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Creative Fuse North East Launches Rural CreateNet

31 October 2021

January 2021’s CAKE event, co-hosted with the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE), focussed on Rural Creativity and Innovation and has led to the creation of Rural CreateNet – an Action Learning Programme for the rural creative economy.

During January’s CAKE event, we were joined by dynamic speakers – Paul Cowie, Research Fellow, National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE); Stephanie Allen, Executive Director and Judith King, Creative Director Arts&Heritage; Nick Devitt, Senior Design Associate, The Rural Design Centre and Catherine Johns, CEO, Kielder Observatory. Our speakers led a Q&A session which sparked conversation around collaborative opportunities, handling opposition, and networking, particularly for rural-based minorities. This led to breakout discussions on rural creativity and innovation and the needs of rural artists.

The breakout sessions gave rural-based creatives, artists, businesses, and freelancers the opportunity to network and engage in conversation, sharing their experiences about developing their innovation capacity and what this can mean for collaboration, for organisational impact, and for wider community benefit.
Following the success of the CAKE event, Creative Fuse North East and the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise are building a rural creatives network to bring the region’s creatives together, to highlight great rural innovation and design, and facilitate moving on from the urban design mindset. The network is for innovative arts and creative practice, and all rural science/technology/engineering creativity and sharing new rural projects or services and all great ideas from rural locations and will take the form of an Action Learning Programme.

An Action Learning approach is a simple and powerful way for individuals to learn from each other. Through action, reflection and discussion, participants gain a deeper understanding of the issues or opportunities that they face, compare and exchange experience with their peers and can support the ability to manage or respond to change more effectively. The most important aspects of action learning are the principles that learning should be open, reflective, practical and shared, with the programme agenda shaped by all participants.

Through this Action Learning Programmer rural-based creative/cultural/digital small businesses, freelancers and practitioners can come together to address issues that are affecting the rural creative economy.

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