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Digital Works Podcast
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Digital Works Podcast

Author: Digital Works

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Talking about all the different things that 'digital' means in the arts, culture and heritage sectors. Tales of success and failure, interrogating the shiny new things and looking at what works (or not) and why, Interviews with digital folks working across the sector and beyond, in-house, consultants, funders, and more.

34 Episodes
A conversation with George Montagu, Head of Insights at  FT Strategies. FT Strategies is the consulting arm of the Financial Times. George and I talk about the shift from print to digital at the Financial Times and the related shift from ad to subscriber revenue, how leadership at the FT galvanised the entire organisation around a single goal (getting to 1 million paid subscribers in 3 years), changes in journalist workflows, the 'creative enabler' effect of digital working, the role of data and insights at the FT and creating meaningful blended metrics (and taking inspiration from Tesco Clubcard), and the work FT Strategies did with the National Theatre on the NT At Home platform.George's LinkedIn - about FT Strategies - about FT Strategies work with the National Theatre - about NT at Home -
The first in our new series, Bytes, where Ash and Katie will be discussing 3 things from the latest Digital Works Newsletter.In this episode we'll be discussing some of the links in the newsletter that went out on August 29th.We talk about:'How to Blow Up a Timeline' - Eugene Wei ' We need to tell people ChatGPT will lie to them, not debate linguistics' - Simon Willson'Social, Behind the screens' - GWI and 'ABC exiting Twitter: Australia’s national broadcaster shuts down almost all accounts on Elon Musk’s X' - The GuardianYou can sign up for the newsletter at 
A conversation with Fran Sanderson, Director of Arts Programmes and Investments at Nesta (which was originally set up in 1998 as the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts).Fran is in the process of exploring a major shift in the way Nesta goes about making investments in the arts.We discuss the funding landscape for culture in the UK and the changes that need to happen. We explore  what effective funding for digital projects might look like, how the cultural sector could think differently about value, risk appetite, new business and investment models, how the sector views popularity, learning in the open, and loads more.Here is more information about some of the programmes and schemes that we mentioned.The RSC Rothschild Foundation Digital FellowshipsAudience of the FutureNesta Digital R&D Fund for the ArtsNesta Digital Culture SurveyAnd here is the trailer for David Byrne's American Utopia.
Episode 031 - Seb Chan

Episode 031 - Seb Chan


An incredibly wide-ranging conversation with Seb Chan, CEO and Director of ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image).Seb talks about his background in community radio, 'looking under the hood' of the early internet, the importance of experience-focused roles in museums, the power of cultural leaders developing a 'digital imagination', understanding the importance of capital in predicting where the future is heading, and loads more.Prior to joining ACMI as their first Chief Experience Office (CXO) in 2015, Seb led digital change projects at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Museum of Design in New York. Seb is Adjunct Professor, School of Media and Communications, in the College of Design and Social Context at RMIT, an international advisory board member of Art Science Museum (Singapore) and board member of the National Communications Museum (Melbourne). He is an alumnus of the Getty Leadership Institute, Salzburg Global Seminar and UNSW.
A conversation with CEO and Creative Director of The Space, Fiona Morris. The Space was founded in 2013 by Arts Council England and the BBC and is now an independent not-for-profit organisation. The Space's primary goal is to enable the arts, culture and heritage sector to engage audiences using digital and broadcast content and platforms. Over the last 6 years The Space has commissioned 300+ digital projects from arts organisations around the UK. Fiona and I discuss what makes a successful digital project, how digital programming requires a shift in thinking, the importance digital skills, rethinking value propositions, investment, and the meaninglessness of the word 'digital'.
A chat with Maaike Verberk, Managing Director of DEN, the Dutch Knowledge Institute for Culture & Digital Transformation. We talked about digital transformation, the importance of being open to new ideas, the value of really understanding your audiences, the traits of organisations where good digital stuff is happening, and loads more.
A great chat with Hilary Knight. We talk about the importance of team culture, the value of trying to be entertaining, the rigidity of the career paths into leadership positions in the cultural sector, the strategic importance of digital ambition, and loads more.Hilary is a Senior Consultant at AEA Consulting and is the former Director of Digital at Tate. Prior to joining Tate, Hilary worked in a variety of digital and commissioning roles at the BBC and Channel 4.
Dr Richard Misek is a Senior Lecturer in Film, School of Arts at the University of Kent. He is a film-maker and researcher, and was the Principal Investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council project, ‘Digital Access to Arts and Culture Beyond COVID-19’, in partnership with Arts Council England and digital arts agency The Space.It's through this research project that I first became aware of and got in touch with Richard, and we discuss the findings of his research, the structural problems around the economics of digital cultural activity, the accessibility benefits of working in this way, and much more.You can find out more about the research project via the project's website 
A conversation with Nick Sherrard about experimentation and innovation. Nick is a Partner at Label Ventures, which is a venture studio in Edinburgh. Nick has held a number innovation and strategy-focused roles in the commercial sector as well as production and administration-focused roles in the cultural sector. We talk about risk models, nurturing a culture of innovation, new approaches to partnership and funding, and why some organisations might deserve to die.
Our first returning guest! Another brilliant conversation with Kati Price. Kati is Head of Digital Media and Publishing at Victoria and Albert Museum in London and was one of the first guests I had on the podcast back in early 2020 (that chat is now our most listened-to episode).We reflect on the turmoil (and progress) of the last two years, the impact that the pandemic has had on the thinking around digital in the cultural sector, the challenges everyone is facing around retaining and hiring people, the importance of good leadership, and what she is excited about for the future.Oh and Beyonce, we talk about Beyonce too.
A lovely chat with Nicholas Triantafyllou. Nicholas is the Director of Information Technology at the National Theatre and has previously held technology and systems-focused leadership roles at the Southbank Centre and the Barbican.We explored the importance of collaboration, what good leadership looks like, the challenge of getting things done in big institutions, how NT At Home happened, and lots more.
A conversation with Annette Mees, Annette is an award-winning artistic director, creative producer and cultural strategist.Annette used to be Artistic Director of Coney (an award-winning company of adventure and play which put the audience at the centre of every experience), she ran Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House. She is currently Artistic Director of Audience Labs & Visiting Senior Research Fellow in Culture and Creative Industries at King's College London, and is also the Chair of the FutureEverything a year-round cultural programme, that brings people together to discover, share and experience new ideas for the future.We discuss the use of technology in cultural experiences, we also discuss Current, Rising which is a hyper-reality opera that Annette made whilst at ROH (I discussed this project in Episode 018 with Eva Liparova, who was a producer on the project, listen to that conversation).
Back after a bit of a break with a chat with the Sydney Opera House's Head of Digital Programming, Stuart Buchanan. We chat rave culture, the Royal Court Theatre's website in the 1990s, employing digital to explore new ways of engaging with artists, wrangling institutional dynamics, responses to the pandemic and loads more.Stuart has worked with organisations such as ABC, Disney, SBS, Sydney Festival, The Guardian, MONA, Royal Court Theatre and TED, and as founder of digital cultural agency The Nest. He has presented radio programs and podcasts on ABC Double J, FBi Radio and London's Resonance FM, and is the curator of the New Weird Australia music initiative.
In this episode we chat with Heart Of Glass CEO, Patrick Fox.Heart Of Glass are a St Helens, Merseyside-based collaborative and social arts agency. They work "with artists and community groups, young people, asylum seekers and refugees, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, older people and communities of all kinds" to "support each other – and learn from each other – on creative journeys of enquiry and exploration."We chatted about how the organisation's use of digital has shifted over the pandemic, how you can create digital serendipity, the digital divide, and much more
Episode 020 - Drew Graham

Episode 020 - Drew Graham


A really enjoyable chat with my pal, Drew. We compare and contrast the similarities and differences between the banking and cultural sectors.Drew in his own words is "a serial entrepreneur turned banker; a sheep in wolf’s clothing. He recently left Barclays where he was Director of Digital Strategy since 2019. He was previously the Head of Platform for the Standard Chartered Virtual Bank in Hong Kong. He joined Standard Chartered as Director of Fintech Strategy and Engagement in 2016. Before renting his soul, he founded and led a financial inclusion payments company in Indonesia, a financial services Cloud services company in Hong Kong, an oil and gas technology infrastructure company in Papua New Guinea, a data analytics startup in Berlin and a zip line in Singapore." 
A lovely chat with Wise Children's Technical Director, Simon Baker. We talk about Simon's career, the DIY approach that Wise Children have taken to their digital activity, why the "bodge it" skills you learn doing audio are useful in a digital context, the potential of audio experiences for storytelling, understanding signal flow, and loads more. 
We're back! A conversation with theatre producer and digital product manager, Eva Liparova about the 'hyper reality opera experience' that she worked on with the Royal Opera House last year. This was a fascinating conversation which explored remote creative teams, technologists and theatre practitioners working together, creative uses of new technologies, how you design audience experiences and expectations and lots more.
We sit down with Robin Cantrill-Fenwick, CEO of Baker Richards, to discuss the findings of their Culture Restart audience sentiment tracker. We explore how audiences are feeling about returning to in-person cultural experiences (whenever that may be), emerging insights around pricing and distribution of digital content, segmentation models, and consumer psychology.
A conversation with one of the Directors of Storythings, Matt Locke. We discuss digital audiences, attention patterns, formats, shifts in behaviour, and loads more.Matt has held senior positions at Channel 4 and the BBC, been a curator of a gallery, set up and run digital art programmes, and attend Glasgow School of Art in the early 90s. He has a fascinating perspective on content and audiences and his blog is well worth a read
In this episode I speak with award-winning cultural studies scholar, Dr Kirsty Sedgman. We talk about the audience experience - particularly within a digital context, theatre etiquette campaigns, excluded audiences, the democratising potential of digital, and how we understand the 'value' of cultural experiences. 
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