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Ravensbourne convened a half-day symposium on Open Innovation on 23rd September 2014. The event explored the role of Open Innovation in developing membership and community building schemes in the small independent museum sector. Over 50 professionals from the world of museums, innovation and design attended.

This event was the culmination of a research project funded by the Arts Council’s Share Academy who aim to: “build sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships between the higher education sector and specialist museums in London”.

The 6-month project began as a collaboration between Ravensbourne and the British Music Experience. Since the museum closed in May this year, the project has evolved into an exploration of the wider museum world, the challenges this sector faces and the role of open innovation in meeting these challenges.

Professor Robin Baker adds:

“The importance of bringing together such a distinguished grouping of multi-disciplinary professionals cannot be over-estimated. Today saw us address a major challenge for the independent museum sector – how to grow, become more relevant and innovate from the ‘outside in’ as well as the ‘inside out’. The role of Membership and Friends schemes is critical for the growth of the sector. We learned today how this can be done by designing services to encourage deep participation, generate feedback, ideas, build the potential for strategic innovation, new thinking – ultimately being able to contribute to both the bottom line and to people’s happiness”.

The symposium was the first of a series of Ravensbourne’s Vital Ideas events. Vital Ideas brings together professional practitioners to address key social and business issues where design and innovation can play a systemic role in meeting these challenges.

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