In the past fortnight Effervescent’s CEO Eloise Malone has had the privilege of being a keynote speaker or host at five different events, and the overwhelming sensation we have come away with is that Plymouth is now rapidly emerging as an epicentre for collaboration, creativity and cultural innovation.

 

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Effervescent’s CEO and Creative Director, Eloise Malone.  Image credit: Lawrence Hyne 2016.

 

The end of April saw the extraordinary Social Making: Now and Next symposium, convened by Take a Part with Plymouth University and hosted here at Radiant and RumpusCosy: Effervescent’s own bistro and art gallery which is curated by children and young people – the only fine art gallery of it’s type in Europe.  Our CEO Eloise Malone spoke alongside Mammalian Diving Reflex and Turner Prize Winners Assemble about new models and methodologies in working with people communities and commissioners to make the world a kinder, happier, better place.

 

After the excitement of the Social Making symposium, we presented the findings of our Cold Truth exhibition and action research programme looking at Child Sexual Exploitation and user-led service design.  In conversation with our colleagues from the Police, Plymouth City Council, Barnardos and NSPCC, it became clear that there is a real appetite in Plymouth for ground-breaking new practice which genuinely puts young people’s voice at the centre of how we shape and develop the services that protect them and help them to recover from trauma.

 

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Still from The Cold Truth 2016.  Image credit: Lawrence Hyne. 

 

In early May we welcomed the wonderful Women Cultural Leaders (South West) to Radiant for lunch and a tour of the gallery here.  Conversation was broad, but it is clear that there is a growing network of skillful, supportive, passionate women working and collaborating in the arts, heritage and the cultural sectors across the region.

 

Last week we welcomed the newest (and oldest!) RSA fellows in the region to a lovely lunch at RumpusCosy.  New and exciting ideas immediately started to bubble up, and we already have a plan to inaugurate a monthly informal networking event at RumpusCosy for creatives working across arts, design, heritage, film, and all other creative practices.

 

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The Effervescent team in our bistro, RumpusCosy. Image credit: Lawrence Hyne 2016.

 

And then this was all topped off with a wonderful chance for Eloise to present at the May Plymouth Women in Business Networking event, where she talked about collaboration and kindness.  Here’s Ellie’s top ten tips for successful collaboration:

 

1. Ensure everyone in the collaboration has a full chance to participate

2. Create the conditions for consensus and collective decision-making – trust and empathy

3. Be authentic and honest
4. Be transparent:  be clear what you are seeking from the collaboration
5. Understand that groups of people have collective knowledge and expertise, but that it takes some effort to find ways to access these.
6. Persist.  Be tenacious. Collaborations are demanding
7 . Notice what emerges, whilst staying focused on the goal or outcome: adapt and evolve
8. Celebrate individual achievements/benefits
9. Lead by example
10.Create a supportive milieu

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Members of the public collaborate on turning each other into woodland creatures at our live kickstarter event, 2014.

Image credit: Dom Moore.

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