Since it was formed, Bristol+Bath Creative R+D has been tackling questions and ideas on how to make the programme and the creative technology community of Bristol and Bath a more inclusive space to think, make, and do.
As a team we have been asking big questions about, what we mean by ‘inclusion’ in the first place, and who we are trying to be inclusive of. We have also been reflecting on how B+B R+D is governed, who applies for our research and prototype call outs, and who joins our cohorts.
The programme has long supported Inclusion Fellows alongside Industry Partners, and Prototype teams to explore themed questions as part of our Pathfinders. Over the last four years we have also engaged in community mapping and experimented with new recruitment practices, both for our funding opportunities and for staff recruitment.
We have developed new funding streams to meet the needs of our community and are working through the difficult task of changing our governance structures to try and better reflect that community too. In addition, the team has had to learn hard lessons through getting things wrong and learning from our mistakes.
The programme also launched State of Play, an ongoing data gathering process to understand who we are as a cluster. The findings from this data have influenced the design of many aspects of this programme. You can see a summary of this data here. Alternatively, you can view the large text of this data here.
We are pleased to launch two different open calls for paid contributions to help gather more insight into these areas from other organisations and individuals. Engaging with one of our three themes to test a new idea for inclusive practice or to reflect on an experience you have had recently. All of these learnings will be brought together in a series of observations, recommendations, resources and toolkits over the next 12 months.
Reflect - £500
Reflect funds individuals to write a blog sharing your experiences of inclusion practice, both positive and negative. That could mean a good recruitment process, or a bad workshop environment. We invite people to share what made those experiences good or bad, what could have made them better, or what could others have learnt from them?
There is no deadline for this open call, submissions are reviewed weekly until all pots are distributed. There are 15 pots available.
Each open call asks the applicant to engage with one of the three themes that Bristol + Bath Creative R+D have been researching.
Inclusive Governance grew out of conversations around our own governance. Exploring how projects and programmes like this are governed, and who by. This theme explores what representation looks like, tackles tokenism and investigates best practise in partnership working. It also asks questions about equity in management and what the legacy of programmes like this should or could be in the future.
Inclusive spaces explores ‘touchpoints’ for inclusion. That means the points at which people engage with projects and programmes.
The theme builds on work and conversations happening with B+B R+D to explore how we make our meetings, workshops, and events more inclusive and empowering spaces. The theme also explores the design of application and interview processes, the wording of callouts, inductions and exit interviews.
Inclusive Communities of Practice
Inclusive Communities of Practice creates space to explore how a community is grown and nurtured. The theme addresses the tensions that can emerge when developing opportunities to nurture talent within an existing community whilst trying to develop opportunities to grow that community.
That includes questions about offering opportunities to existing community members vs creating opportunities for new people to engage (within a setting where opportunities are limited). It also asks questions about what it means to be ‘a community’ in the first place.