Experimental Culture: a horizon scan

Between December 2017 and February 2018, Nesta undertook a rapid horizon scan to support the development of Arts Council England’s forthcoming ten-year strategy to 2030. This paper is intended to serve as a prompt for Arts Council England’s consultation activity over the forthcoming months, with the intent of provoking a conversation with arts and cultural organisations about the changing context for their work.
The aim was to produce a primer on existing knowledge of key trends, not to conduct a comprehensive review. Within the timeframe available for this exercise, we primarily focused on domain areas in which Nesta has previously conducted research or run grant programmes. Consequently, this paper emphasises the impact of technology and opportunities for experimentation and innovation in the coming decade. Looking at broader trends through the prism of new technologies and innovation also serves as a useful means of locating early ‘signals of change’ likely to alter the operating environment in the coming decade (as opposed to focusing on practices or trends which perpetuate the status quo).
In extrapolating insights from these signals we aim to provoke discussion about possible futures as part of an ongoing dialogue within the sector, rather than presenting definitive conclusions. Each chapter includes a short summary of the current context for organisations operating in the (publicly-funded) arts and cultural sector, followed by a section which looks ahead to the opportunities and challenges these drivers could present over the coming decade.

Date Published: 15th March 2018
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