No formulas are written but after a second week at Baltic Creative, we came up with some clues about how to build a community around a Hub
How to develop a community? That’s a difficult question to answer, there is not a formula that works for everybody, but it is one of the key issues about creating and running a hub in the cultural and creative industries. During this last week, we have been talking with very different people related to Baltic Creative, Baltic Triangle and culture and business in Liverpool. Great conversations, we must say. We talked with Kevin McManus from the Bristish Music Experience about the feelings that arise when starting a project like that; with Lynne Robertson from the Incubator that Santander Bank runs in Liverpool about the need to develop companies around the creative sector; with Laura Anderson from the Women Organization on empowering business run by women, Fiona Shaw and Andrew Beatie from Wordscapes about the Baltic Manifesto and the sense of community in the Baltic Triangle; with Erika Rushton from Beautiful Ideas about the paper of creativity and creative communities in urban regeneration; and Liam Kelly from the maker’s space Make Liverpool about artists and creative professionals as early adopters in moving to new city areas, how to face and overcome change and the need to participate in the conversation with the public sector and companies involved in the regeneration of your area (don’t be afraid of change and don’t be too attached to feelings).
Many good ideas have aroused during these days. We first would like to recommend you have a look to the Baltic Triangle Manifesto. It was written in 2012 thanks to the contribution of the main stakeholders of the area. It is spontaneous, fresh, inspiring and empowering. Fiona Shaw and Andrew Beatie are leading a new Manifesto. It will be interesting to see how the new one moves from the aspirational first edition to a mature second one. But in some way it is the written reflection of what the Digital and Creative community of the area feels about it. After 5 years many things have changed, business have grown, the urban development of the area is being fast and the outsider’s interest in the area has grown (life night, residential, cultural a…).
There are many edges in how to build, grow and nurture a community. We are not trying to be exhaustive but here some notes about what we have seen during these days:
-Work in an ongoing transformation: make people be part of it
-Listen, converse and collaborate: don’t be selfish and share
-Build environments, networks and places where things can happen: it is a bar, a green space, a coworking zone…
-Be authentic, let people be: people likes authenticity
-Take decisions or be where the decisions are taken
-Share the results and make people be part of them: what happens in the Baltic area is not because one person or one business, it is thanks to a shared effort
-But above all community is about community self-confidence: share a vision and commit