Presentation on theme: "Sustainable AmbITion Project – Our Journey. Who are we? We are a maker organisation made up of a board of applied arts professionals from across Scotland’s."— Presentation transcript:
Sustainable AmbITion Project – Our Journey
Who are we? We are a maker organisation made up of a board of applied arts professionals from across Scotland’s landscapes and craft disciplines. Why did we apply for an Sustainable AmbITion award from AmbITion Scotland’s Make:IT:Happen fund? “Applied Arts Scotland (AAS) is a membership organisation which supports the professional development of Scottish applied artists. AAS is going through fundamental change in the way it delivers its services and wants to take the opportunity to rethink communication and administration systems in order to be efficient and environmentally responsible.” Here’s the official text…
But what does that mean? Well it means that we believe in the talent and skills that Scotland's makers have to offer, not just in producing beautifully crafted work but also in running businesses in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way. As makers ourselves we are aware of the challenges that todays applied artists face and so thought we could take use the AmbITion Scotland Make:IT:Happen fund Sustainable AmbITion award as an opportunity to show leadership within our sector and pave the way for more of us to become more eco friendly in the way we use our digital resources. We also saw it as an chance to digitally grow as an organisation, improve communications, reduce our carbon footprint and get a shiny new website.
Here’s the official diagram we created in our recent business planning session.
Here’s the shiny new website
But it’s more than just a website … It’s a place where people can be a part of the digital network and growing Applied artists community that is AAS. By becoming a member users can add their own events and exhibitions to the calendar, communicate with each other through the internal network and browse through our growing resource of professional development videos.
About those videos we mentioned… We are aiming to record professional development talks by makers at each of our training events. By recording the content and publishing it on the website we are making them accessible to a more Scotland wide audience. And as people may not have to travel so far to develop their practice we are also reducing our carbon footprint.
To access the presentations just visit our resources page onresources the website.
Let’s think about the environment. As part of our overall development AAS wished to create an environmental policy which would enable us to grow as an organisation whilst also being more environmentally friendly. Through working with Creative Carbon Scotland and researching the policies of other organisations we have written our very own. It’s still being tweaked though and will be added to the website soon so keep your eyes peeled.website
Through working with Creative Carbon Scotland we were able to access free training on carbon measurement and reporting. We attended workshops and also accessed 1:1 advice. We signed up to their green arts portal and learned how to use the Julie’s Bicycle tool to measure our carbon footprint going to and from meetings. Which is great because this meant we could start working on reducing it.
Using the Sustainable AmbiITion award we have put in to place digital systems to enable board members to communicate more effectively. It also means that board members can digitally attend meetings. As many of us hail from across the lengths and breadth of Scotland it means that this will reduce our carbon emissions substantially. In fact in putting these measures in place we have managed to recruit 2 new board members form the Highlands and Islands. They may not have been so keen if they knew they might have had to travel a round trip from Orkney to Edinburgh for every meeting.
In fact we have several new board members from across Scotland. Welcome on board everyone. Hilary Grant - Orkney Merlin Planterose - Lochbroom Caroline Finlay - Fife Lise Bratton - Kelso
But as with any new project we have faced challenges So what were they? Just having training in the digital communication systems wasn’t enough. It needs to be used and promoted proactively within the organisation and this is something we will endeavour to improve on. Things always take longer than you expect. Technology can sometimes hinder communication and things can be lost in translation. We have learnt that it is here to aid us in our communication not completely take over or be relied upon over face to face.
But we’ve come so far and learnt so much. It’s been a learning curve for us and one which we hope to continue along. Although we do need to give some time for all these new skills to bed in we have effectively up-skilled Board members to use new technology effectively and realise the benefits to themselves as well as the organisation. Having the tech in place also proved attractive to recruiting new Board members from further afield and fitted with our environmental policy giving us a real win:win situation.
So what’s next for Applied Arts Scotland and our overall and digital development? Well as our organisation continues to grow we have a number of objectives which we Would like to put in to place. We would like to embed the digital tech into the Board activities to improve effective internal communications and performance. We would like to share our learning with the sector possibly through an event with In partnership with agencies such as Zero Waste Scotland and Creative Carbon Scotland We will aim to kick off the membership recruitment drive detailing the features and benefits of our new website, encouraging members use, engagement and sharing to feed into the sector development.
Overall we have learnt and gained a lot from our experiences and are hugely grateful to have received a Sustainable AmbITion award which allowed us to do so. We will aim to continue to develop as an organisation and continue to work to improve the Applied Arts Sector as a whole. Thanks AmbITion Scotland