About AmbITion

scenes from the culturing our creativity eventAmbITion

AmbITion is a programme for change in the arts, heritage, and cultural sector. We help organisations become digitally fitter so they can adapt to the social, cultural, and economic changes of the technology revolution. Business sustainability in the 21st century will demand digital fitness! AmbITion has been working in England and Scotland since 2007.

Digital technology is transforming the relationship between artist and audience, arts organisations and places, art and the creative economy. As digital technologies and art forms converge, so do the assumptions about who is an artist, and what is a digital business. In the past, it was assumed that the arts were purely a research and development function of the creative economy, or an enhancement element to places where creative economies flourished. Now, the arts are beginning to be recognised for their full economic and social potential. They are:

• equal partners in the creation of aesthetic quality and tastes;
• trusted channels the general public like;
• incubators for and homes of creative talent; and
• they leverage mass participation and dialogue.

AmbITion champion, and BBC technology programme “click’ presenter Bill Thompson suggested that organisations most likely to thrive in this century were those that were moving from a position of ‘assimilation’ (where the digital is assimilated into existing modes of thinking) to ‘adaptation’ (where existing thinking is changed to accommodate the new possibilities and potential of the digital).

A panel discussion at an AmbITIon roadshow

Why the need for AmbITion?

It is critical that the arts, culture and heritage sector not only keeps up with digital developments – such as those adopted by the wider creative industries – but that it successfully develops its own, suitable to its content, audiences and aspirations. We have found specifically that small to medium sized creative organisations are most likely to benefit from digital developments but are limited in their capacity to embrace change. Put simply, their current knowledge base, limited staffing capacity and scale means that many cannot sustain new digital developments alone.

AmbITion believes that digital development is a key driver to sustaining adaptable and resilient organisations, and strengthening the sector for the future. AmbITion is also encouraging the emergence of a digital content ecology for new capitalisation opportunities, where new digital content is created by the arts, culture and heritage sector collaborating with the digital/media industries. This demands different types of collaborations with digital media and technology companies. Our experience shows us that creative sector organisations and individuals also need to adapt to the opportunities presented by the now embedded philosophies of openness and sharing. Understanding and capitalising on the sharing of processes, and of data, is a further opportunity.

AmbITion is a solution for all areas described. It is a programme that enables wider access to a specialist knowledge base (technologists, and digital media professionals); supports confidence, capacity, and capability development; providing sector specific learning resources and knowledge sharing tools; and through partnership, facilitates content production collaborations.

AmbITion’s Vision

AmbITion’s vision is to generate a critical mass of creative and cultural organisations that proactively consider ongoing digital development as key to business, operational, and artistic growth and sustainability.

Specifically, AmbITion prepares organisations and practices for artistic, organisational and business model change – we build the capability, capacity, and confidence of those we work with so that they can use digital developments to support resilient strategy creation; digital content creation; and collaborative relationships with media, broadcast and technology companies.

The AmbITion Approach

The AmbITion Approach is a change methodology which sits at the heart of all AmbITion programmes. It supports cultural organisations and practices through a managed process of organisational change to enable them to use digital technology in an effective and integrated way (across artistic, organisational and business practices) – for better sustainability, adaptability and resilience to ongoing digital disruptions.

Digitally disseminating lessons learnt

AmbITion increases the legacy of work with organisations and practices, by curating and sharing an online resource of lessons learnt through the undertaking of digital developments, including How To… Guides, curated Learning Journeys through our resources on many digital development topics, and toolkits for self guided learning online. There’s also AmbITion TV – video on demand of past masterclasses and debates, cultural sector specific video case studies, and video learning journeys through digital development topics.

We facilitate an online network of cultural sector professionals discussing digital development, and a marketplace to exchange digital development ideas and find digital service providers to help realise them.

You can find out about in-person learning, networking opportunities via the calendar - even if you aren’t local to them you can participate online as AmbITion events are webcast to expand their reach and impact.

Watch an overview describing the current opportunities of AmbITion Scotland:

Did you know?

Arts Council England

AmbITion started life in England as a pilot programme for the arts and cultural sector in the North West and East regions.  Read more…