Celine, Gavin and the team read and like the Size Matters paper so they invited me to make a presentation at their Public Evaluation Event.
I thought long and hard about how best to present my work on business models, income generation approaches and deferred value and rather than present it as a set of concrete models, well tested solution and firm ideas I thought I’d take the risk of showing how I arrived at the models, what I’m trying to convey by the structures I’ve chosen and the new ideas I’m working on at the moment. It seemed that taking professional risk by showing some of my half baked ideas was the right thing to do albeit a terrifying prospect. If I could pull it off however the quality of the discussion should be very interesting and should inform where I take the work next.
The next question was how to achieve this? How to convey these intentions to the audience (and to the Eastside team) and how to make the most of the opportunity. I took a set of slides used in other presentations as the starting off point. The intention was to give a narrative about them rather than to present them as I usually do … to talk about them but not to them. This turned out to be harder than I imagined … it started out well but it was hard not to slip into my normal presentation style.
Nevertheless I think I managed to give a different feel to the work, enabled a very open discussion of both the strengths and the weaknesses in the work … the conclusion I reached was that I feel very strongly that we need to pursue the development of better models for articulating the economic value generated in the arts (hence my work on deferred value) but in parallel we need models which articulate and evidence the social and artistic value without defaulting to converting these into a monetary currency. The alternative preferred by some in the room was to stand outside of the economic value and monetary currency approaches but in my view doing so limits the chances of actually being heard … but then I don’t think that we are yet on the cusp of revolutionary change and we need the economic arguments to keep us at the table until we can change the terms of engagement.