Sustainable Enterprise Festival

This week sees the final few days of the Sustainable Enterprise Festival, a great online event curated by my colleagues Siân Prime and Adrian De La Court in the Goldsmiths Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE).

Running online for the past fortnight and finishing this Friday 31 July, the Sustainable Enterprise Festival has set out to look at the issues of sustainability, wellbeing and resilience for enterprise and the creative economy – and provide a space for open and honest discussion about the new ways of working needed for these sectors to survive in unprecedented times.

The pandemic has had a huge impact on all sectors, but our creative and cultural industries have been hit particularly hard. Arts and cultural organisations and social innovators have faced enormous challenges in keeping their businesses afloat during lockdown, and despite a much-needed government support package earlier this month, a great deal of work and collective re-thinking is needed to ensure these essential sources of UK creativity and culture can continue to thrive.

I’ve been so impressed by the range of topics on the Festival’s programme: Ashley Evenson from Oval Productions explored the impact of our personal and professional narratives at work; Heather Corcoran from Kickstarter led a workshop on crowdfunding opportunities; and producer and performer William Bryant Miles spoke on taking performances online during lockdown and developing opportunities for black artists. And there’s still more to come.

Event organisers Siân and Adrian commented:

It has been exhausting and refreshing simultaneously. We have had so many moments of insight and inspiration. We have been humbled at the openness and generosity of speakers and listeners, the depth of passion that we have opened up and how much people have risked to give back to and support their communities over the period of the pandemic.”

Our participants now have a larger network, and are connected in support to each other and their communities in a new and stronger way. We will have equipped those who have engaged with us with new ways of looking and creating. There is reflection on what has gone before, and a newly refreshed ambition in them to make change.

The Sustainable Enterprise Festival is a great example of what can be achieved by actively reaching out to our networks, something that’s so important for universities to do. I’m grateful for the efforts of my colleagues in ICCE for showing what’s possible when we engage with our partners and – crucially – share the results with our wider community.

You can find out more about the Sustainable Enterprise Festival , including how to sign up for the remaining sessions, on the Goldsmiths ICCE blog.