Catalyst Experiments

Considering to transform your organisation?


What if you’d reconsider your managerial structure and become a TEAL organisation?
What if you’d shift your activity portfolio from B2B to B2C?
What if you’d get to know better your audience and address it differently?
What if you’d establish a spin-off company to develop a new idea?
What if you’d get rid of your venue and start from scratch?


These are some of the experiments that we are running at the
Creative Lenses Catalyst Programme.



Testing new business model ideas


The Catalyst Programme is one of the main activities under Creative Lenses.
For 18 months — from April 2017 to October 2018 —, eight arts organisations,
called ‘Catalysts’, are experimenting to innovate their business models.



Supporting innovation efforts


Creative Lenses supports the Catalyst organisations with:


  • Expertise: eight mentors are guiding the Catalysts in their innovation efforts.
  • Financial resources: each Catalyst has access to up to 20,000€ to implement their ideas.
  • Training: we have trained the Catalysts’ staff members in audience development methods.



Practitioners and researchers working together


Throughout the programme, both catalyst organisations and mentors are
co-researching their shared learning journey. In cooperation with researchers
from the University of the Arts London, we record, gather and interpret data.


Together, we look to uncover insights into the challenges of
developing business models in arts and cultural organisations.
And, ultimately, answer the question: ‘What do the Catalyst projects
tell us about business model innovation in arts and cultural organisations?’


The principles embedded in the programme’s research are:


  • Practice-orientated: focused on producing insights and findings
    that can be put to use by practitioners in the arts and cultural sector.
  • High quality: drawing on and informing the best international
    research on business models and the cultural sector.
  • Collaborative: enabling people with different expertise,
    knowledge and perspectives to work together effectively.
  • Participatory: involving a wide range of people in taking part
    in the research – all Creative Lenses partners are ‘co-researchers’
    rather than objects of study.
  • Ethical: committed to the principle of informed consent.



Real organisations and real impact


Six cultural centres and two theatre companies from seven
European countries are taking part in this programme:


  • Village Underground, London, UK.
  • Kaapeli, Helsinki, Finland.
  • Manifatture Knos, Lecce, Italy.
  • P60, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Stanica, Zilina, Slovakia.
  • ODC Ensemble, Athens, Greece.
  • Projecte Ingenu, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Cía Patricia Pardo, Valencia, Spain.


Read more about them below and watch videos
to learn about their individual innovation journeys.


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