Clore Leadership Programme
Clore Leadership Programme

Dare Mighty Things: What the Cultural Sector Can Learn From Rocket Science

After doing her Fellowship secondment at NASA, Clore Fellow Hannah Bird urges the cultural sector to follow its example in areas like experimentation, collaboration, risk and failure.

Hannah Bird
Hannah Bird

This paper asks what the cultural sector can learn from rocket science.

I’ve always been interested in the edges of things, where boundaries blur and things don’t quite make sense. I am neither artist or scientist, producer or director, though I have been described as all those things. What drives me is not the definition of a job title or being an expert in one thing, but a curiosity to learn and understand something from different angles, to add to, change and improve it.

In his book, Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson explores the conditions for innovation to flourish, concluding that: “The trick to having good ideas is not to sit around in glorious isolation and try to think big thoughts. The trick is to get more parts on the table.”

If the arts sector was better at “getting more parts on the table” would we create better art? Be more relevant? Lead better future innovations?

To read or download the full provocation paper, click below.  


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