Expanding Digital Cultural Leadership

Dr. Lizzie Muller and Dr. Keir Winesmith will explore a range of digital and cultural leadership perspectives from Australia and beyond. Covering pre/during/post-covid approaches to digital leadership, a newly established CEO mentoring program and the bi-monthly Data Salon for cultural workers interested or involved in the use of cultural data, this session will cover a range of practices and possibilities. Track:Asia/Pacific


Unknown Speaker 07:48
So we've got like about a minute where people join, and then maybe I'll just say while they're joining something we do always now in Australia but then sort of emerged over the last decade is what's called acknowledgement of country, so we're really coming for people who live in Australia, New Zealand, maybe less so for some others. So I'm coming to from the kind of edges of nanowall and every country, they come together in the unseeded lands of the Ngunnawal people, beautiful part of the world very tree, it's very, very flat as it rolls down into kind of lakes and valleys. It is not the place I was born I was born on Gadigal country where it made sort of one go country, very different, very sandy the similar amount of time people have been in in Gadigal country for 60 to 70,000 years and then in not all country less so, 40 to 50,000 years. But I always think about that custodianship of placing that custodianship of culture as a cultural worker in the work that I do and my work changes by placing the changes by the inputs, and so I'd like to acknowledge the non ordinary people in particular and animal elders, like Dr Matilda house and Dr. Paul, and Paul House, who really helped me understand this place and understand the work that I can do and how to is informed by this place. And so I want to acknowledge them, and more broadly. Many First Nations peoples who are joining us today, and any elders, and any knowledge holders whose work we will talk about oh represent during the session. Over here Lizzy.

Unknown Speaker 09:30
Thanks Kim, thanks for that acknowledgement and I'm joining you all from belie on the Illawarra south of Sydney. This is the additional lands of the Woody. Woody people of the Dharawal nation and we're known down here for him, having the Illawarra escarpment, which is a very beautiful cliff, which I can see out of that window there and between the cliff and the sea which I can see out of that window there. And we're this country between the Scotland and the sea and it's a beautiful place I know lots of you may know that currently here in what's known as Greater Sydney we're still locked down because of Delta, and because we enjoy doing things late, and we like to be locked down after everybody else has decided that they're not locked down anymore. But we're locked down here and I have to say if you have to be locked down anywhere, let it be on the Illawarra escarpment so I'm very very grateful for the country where I am right now and then. Yeah, for the time I am spent here in that part of the world.

Unknown Speaker 10:26
So we're gonna get started now and the, the topic is expanding digital cultural leadership and we're going to start actually with some personal stories of how Lizzie and I first kind of collaborated and use that as a proxy, into the present, and then hopefully a proxy into the future to the first thing I want to show you is, is sort of where we first met, and I want to love, Lizzie if you can sort of situate this moment in the water, the web.

Unknown Speaker 10:58
This is like Karen Lizzie the origin story, and so Karen I've worked together for a long time and we were thinking about having this conversation about leadership, we were thinking about where some of our interest in this idea of expanding leadership comes from, and we just wanted to talk a bit about where we both came from in terms of our research which is that we first met when together we were doing our PhDs, back in kind of 2005 2006 and, and at that point, both of us were really drawn to Interactive Arts we were working in that space. I was coming to that space as a curator and Keir was coming to that space as a kind of technologist and a maker and but both of us were really drawn to this idea of how interactive art was going to allow more people to participate in the creation of culture, and for both of us, that was a really driving force at that time it was kind of mid mid naughties days. And most of us as PhD students kind of like working in those in those kind of often makeshift spaces that you start to put together as an early career researcher, and the images that we've shown for you they're up on the screen on the top there is a place that I used to work. And, in fact, a place I kind of like invented and curated in order to have a space to do my PhD research which was called theater space, and it was a little kind of space within a very large museum and museum I still work with really regularly here in Sydney, or the power house museum. And what we were trying to do in Bita space back then was to create a little space in the museum where we could experiment with making our curatorial and making processes more open to audiences. And in that space, we came up with lots of different methods, Most of them based on kind of human computer interaction participatory design for including audiences, not only in the showing, I mean how we show interactive art but also how we made it so we were very interested in this idea of merging the context of creation and exhibition. And we were really interested in seeing how we could expand those contexts, you know, quite often this space of making is quite a rarefied and contained space. So we were trying to see if we could use the museum, as a space to enlarge the role that audiences had in the making of interactive art, and I was coming at that kind of project or that aim very much from the real angle while Keir was doing a pretty similar thing and coming at it from the kind of technology and baking angle so kids will talk a little bit more about that second image down there

Unknown Speaker 13:32
is the ones below from the Cinema Center which has a kind of research center was created to work with glam institutions, in particular, visual arts institutions, but also, you know with libraries and archives and that's it you know on the left are kind of archival project about bringing kind of the vision of television and making it interactive to an audience and then the other one was more about the making of and so it's like a revelatory project where you can immerse yourself in a kind of studio context and in both works and many of the works I did worked on and contribute to during my PhD, they were participatory, kind of, by design, so did another project that's not listed here with Blast Theory, which was an SMS based projects back from before there was social media. So this, this, this period, I guess what we're kind of formed out of interest in, and how to think about how culture plays a role with technology in kind of creative outputs that was really contemporary and really emergence was very much kind of I think born out of the writable web. This is pre Facebook, in a way, no actually temporally pre Facebook, but also at a moment where you would make the internet and you would make these works kind of almost through hand to hand combat. And that's very much not the case now there are kind of systems in place that you kind of flow through, and in a way that these structures have been imposed on what was kind of a much more open and democratic and leaderless shared creative space and it's not quite a kind of constraint I feel creative space which is we think a really good proxy for where we find ourselves now, so I'll go first and I'm going to hand back to Lizzie, Lucien I now work for some of the most rarefied institutions in our country so I work on the left here at the National Gallery in Australia, so I've come from outside you know provocateur throwing Molotov cocktails, you know, at the establishment to be someone who's very much in the establishment I you know I have a leadership position, not a direct institution obviously but I've leadership position within, you know, the largest and most powerful institution in the country of its kind, it has the largest collection over 150,000 artworks, the largest collection of First Nations work the largest collection of American. American abstraction outside of America, largest collection of Pacific art outside the Pacific so really an incredible institution, very much an institution, and there's institutional politics to kind of frame where museums come from in a really kind of foundational sense as been the kind of agents of colonization, you know some of the first museums were really like the spoils of colonization, you know, British museum to this day, still is that structure is one that's very difficult to be a genuine leader and if the way that you want to lead is different to the kind of hierarchies that are implicit in an institution like the National Gallery, and I've spent time, you know, consulting to leaders of cultural institutions have a similar scale across Australia and in the US and I have a kind of window in what it looks like to run an institution like that which is very different to the way that we started out, you know 20 years before. Lizzie is in an equivalent university institution and you want to talk about that, that's the that's on the right.

Unknown Speaker 16:47
Yeah, well, so yeah, key there at the National Gallery and I'm at usw. And University of New South Wales, I guess for us what this kind of trajectory represents from those early days when we as kind of early career researchers tried to expand the context of participation using digital tools for the world we currently find ourselves in. As you know, professors and as leaders in hierarchical organizations. And one of the things that we started to notice as I kind of careers have progressed that it's true to say that we ourselves have kind of moved up the food chain so from being PhD students who are able to kind of you know challenge hierarchical structures to being really implicit and part of those structures, and it started to make both of us wonder what leadership looks like for us now at this stage in our career, and whether there's still kind of possibilities for bringing those digital tools to the table in really radical ways that can unsettle the hierarchical structures that very much exist in the institutions that we work in. So both of us are like as Keir said throwing Molotov cocktails, I mean I was never violent, but we both kind of looked at in early research we did very much try to challenge what we saw as the kind of power structures around art making an art presentation, but I think everyone is very aware that museums particularly remain very hierarchical structures in the way that they're organized, and this is true both in terms of their curatorial agendas, the way they collect the way they present and in terms of their organizational structure so where they start and their teams are organized, and that's to a large degree, and affects your history so we're inheriting organizations that were formed or coalesced often you know in the 19th century, and they coalesced around hierarchical notions of leadership and hierarchical notions of culture. So, we have inherited these hierarchical organizations, they continue to function very often despite many people's best efforts in hierarchical ways, and certainly at the organization I work in which is you NSW, I teach in the Masters of curating and cultural leadership. And one of the things that we try and push for in that master's program is an understanding of leadership, as an action, not a role. So what we're trying to push for in the cultural sector is this idea that yes, a sector continues to be dominated by extremely hierarchical systems, but leadership doesn't necessarily have to be dominated by those system, systems, and if we can start to develop a literacy around the idea of expanding leadership which is why we called a little conversation today, that name. this idea of literacy around expanding leadership to include as many people as possible. We're going to start to open up some new ways of imagining museums, into the future in terms of this question of museum hierarchy and the role that Kira and I have played as curators and as makers. One of the things we wanted to play with a bit today and to think about is how every time you do a project, a digital project or website project, an interactive project, every time you make an exhibition, you have the opportunity to experiment in this hierarchical system to try and pilot or to progress, a new way of expanding leadership, and to try and share the power that you have as a maker as a technologist, as a curator, with people beyond kind of yourself, essentially. So one of the things we wanted to play with today was to look at how that early work that we did around expanding participation in effective art making processes has been carried through into the work that we do now. And the way that we look at exhibition making and digital production as an opportunity to expand and share power with other people. It's about good enough, framing there

Unknown Speaker 20:48
Yeah, that's fantastic, yeah thanks Lizzie, and I think as we get into the back and forward. The expression of that will become clearer. So visie put out earlier in 2021, a book with Caroline tech LEGO The curating lively objects, exhibitions, beyond disciplines, which I encourage you to get. We will check. I was gonna say we should actually when you're talking, I'll get a link and I'll throw it in the chat, because it's now available to buy enable consumers, available in paperback. What's really exciting about this project, you know, building on, you know a number of collaborations you've done with Caroline but other people and other inputs is within it. In a way, is lots of different ideas on leadership that aren't the foregrounding, but there are a through line, at least for me as a reader, and there's a couple that I wanted to bring up and ask you about. And, starting with the first one because I think the devolution of leadership, to the objects themselves is almost like a radical act in, in an environment where actually cultural capital, acquiring retaining and expanding cultural capital for, you know, personal and sometimes departmental and occasionally institutional gain seems to be very common in institutions, which I've worked in and the ones I advise, so I'd like to ask you, with the, how can we and have you seen success in expanding our concepts of leadership to include the objects themselves, you know, as well as the people who are constraining them.

Unknown Speaker 22:21
Yeah, so, objects as leaders is I think it can be a bit of a stretch for some people to accept, but I think for those of us who work in the digital domain, it's not difficult to understand, objects as things that have their own. And so, I'm going to try and avoid saying words like agency because sometimes those very technically loaded words you know animism agency, and can can be quite counterproductive. But the reason that we've in our book use the words lively, is because I think a lot of people who work with digital objects we've worked with digital technology already understand that experience of feeling like you are collaborating with a thing, or that's the thing is no longer a thing, the thing has its own kind of relationship to a situation, sometimes even its own desires, and it's certainly going to kind of force you, ask you politely request of you to do certain things in your relationship with it. So for me, working as a curator, particularly with digital objects. One of the things I really noticed over the last kind of decade is that, at first I was really interested in sharing power with audiences, but as I continue to work more and more closely with digital objects, I became increasingly interested in this question of what these objects themselves are doing to this museological situation, or to an exhibition. And I think I'm expanding our conception of leadership to include objects is going to give us some very interesting new ideas, most particularly for me. The challenge that the idea of a lively object presents to us is the sense that we as humans are always the ones making the decisions. And I think that kind of challenge the digital objects make to our sense of ourselves, as in charge of all situations, is a really useful challenge. I think that that challenge is not limited to digital objects, and one of the things we tried to do in that book was to expand people's ideas of how all kinds of objects can be lively. So although, you know, currently,

Unknown Speaker 24:30
you know, we're working in a space where everything might have its kind of own every object could be a smart object like every object could be addressable and by digital technology. There's also this kind of sense that we are returning to an older idea of how objects become alive. And in that kind of returning to an older idea of how objects may be alive but isn't itself quite kind of futuristic. And I think one of kirs old colleagues and Angie Abdullah who's an Aboriginal technologist and designer working here in Australia has talked about this kind of techno activism. So as we move forwards in time, things become increasingly technology technologized objects come to life in ways that many different kinds of knowledge holders, particularly here in Australia would already recognize. So as we move forward in the future and objects become more lively. We're also kind of awakening and engaging with lots of other kinds of knowledge that have always understood objects to be lively. So for us for Caroline Langella Mei who edited that book. We looked for examples of curators who are allowing objects to lead them. And one of the examples that I wanted to kind of give you guys was the example of a carved tree that's a danger glyph that example is discussed in our book by artist and curator, Andrew. So Brooke, is that we're actually man, and, and he was the curator of the most recent Sydney banali which is nearing meaning edge in the book he talks about his experiences of moving between museum archives and collection sites, both in Australia and in Europe in particular he talks about going into a collection at the Pitt rivers Museum in Oxford in England and encountering what for him was extremely sacred object, a CART tree, which would have been taken from Australia and kept in that collection. And there's also other chapters in that book, I don't want to go into this too much now but we'll talk about the kind of violent dispossession that occurred at that moment when those collections were taken, and the kind of trauma that's involved in that kind of originary moment of collection, but one of the things that that Brooke was looking at was how that curved tree removed from its context placed into a museum collection was kind of separated from its contextual archive is an archive of knowledge, and it has been decontextualized and placed into a museum collection within which it finds it very difficult to continue to mean and the way he describes this is it becomes, it is a powerful object that has been rendered harmless, and he's talked a lot about how he would like to find ways to allow these objects to be harmful again. He doesn't mean when he says harmful what he's looking at is is trying to restore those objects their proper power, and the fact that they are not necessarily safe. They're not necessarily there it's the experiences around them maybe very kind of challenging maybe traumatic maybe difficult, and in many cases also may be restricted. So, in improper terms that danger glyph should not be encountered by people who are not initiated and able to encounter it It's a sacred object. And one of the things that Brooke worked through is this idea of what happens if we digitize that object, what's going to happen if we create 3d versions of that object that are available to people, either as a digital file. So as a kind of 3d digital model, or to the point that we can actually recreate it, through things like rapid prototyping and create an actual existence material replica of that dendrogram

Unknown Speaker 28:20
me the questions he's playing with are extremely interesting. He's talking about the capacity to give access to communities who are currently separated from that object, but he's also talking about how digital objects themselves, kind of challenge many of the many of the structures that exist around conservation care, how that object needs to be held and how that object needs to be either revealed or exhibited for us interestingly and later on in this talk here and I are going to talk a bit about the data salon, which is a base back here and I have created together to facilitate these kinds of conversations. We invited a young Aboriginal poet, and digital kind of practitioner called Jazz money to speak about did you talk about what she calls data sovereignty. And what she said in relationship to this standard living She's published some really interesting writing about it. We have to ask ourselves, is the data itself still sacred, and is it even possible for us to create these 3d Digital renders of objects that are kept in collections and what ethical problems are associated with it. And the reason I wanted to raise that particular example is it shows how the object itself. Kind of impelled by its own needs its own kind of sacred and sovereignty forces us as museum practitioners and professionals to rethink what we might think of as the hierarchy that exists between the keepers of objects, the objects themselves, and the access of different communities to those objects. And what we're trying to do one of the things we're trying to do in that book is to find different objects like that different objects that sit between the digital, physical material and museological world, and force us to rethink some of the hierarchies of curatorial practice that are currently creating what we might think of as a narrow band of power around the objects that we currently hold in museums and to expand the power of the curatorial power that we hold as museum professionals in relationships, those objects and the communities they come from.

Unknown Speaker 30:30
Awesome. Thanks, that's really exciting. And I think we'll come to that and it's a really lovely time I'm going to read my book for a second, to something that Barbara FET talks in sort of detail about the Pacific, access collection Pacific collection Access Project at the Wellington Museum, which, which in a way, is a kind of instrumental institutional scale, look at the work that this is talking about, macandrew doing it a kind of object scale, where they directly engaged with communities diasporic communities from all over the Pacific, with a mixture of physical and digital access to the to these records that are essentially, you know, a little bit disposed of colonization, but in other cases quite deliberate acts of diasporic communities to bring things in from those Pacific islands into New Zealand to make them like active sort of provocative objects in that environment. And what was really fantastic about that project again about expanding this notion of leadership is that they allowed really generous space for the individual kind of knowledge holders from those specific communities to come in and tell the museum, so they actually first gave agency to Mary and Pacifica curators and researchers who then gave agency to community holders to tell them how those objects need to be careful, who could see them in what conditions, what families that had relationships to and what their kind of exhibition airy context would be into the future, which for me is a kind of extension or a kind of, you know, a corollary to the work, work that we're talking about, and yet another example of what were previously considered source communities, you know, or colonized communities who had very low, and I'll use the word agency pairing the agency on their own cultural heritage as it was, you know, stolen violently by people who look just like me. And then put into these sort of archives of celebrating their colonial success, giving that devolving that agency that leadership around what it means to care for that object into the future was is a really radical act I think in the in the museum world, and often in done in dialogue with First Nations communities or other marginalized communities in Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific, and less so in other environments. But I think what we're really interested in is, That's one of many ways to think about this and there's another chapter in here one with Andrew Lewis is paired with a brain and Adrian talks about, I think it really active ways around what it means to be shared or servant leader in his community, with objects that are created without us in real time. And I think there's two really interesting chapters in there that talk to this kind of relationship of leadership, the different ways of thinking about an expanding leadership and agenda the next slide because there's he had some questions that she wanted to ask me so they will awkwardly bounce back to you but if you'd like to frame this.

Unknown Speaker 33:46
So I just wanted to kind of point out at Tim's pops in the chat a link to that PISA p cap project. And if anyone else wants to kind of pop links into the chat or post a question as well we've got our eyes on the chat so if there is things you want to ask or stuff you want to contribute, please do pop them in there. And so, yeah as Keir was mentioning this there's a couple of different examples in both of those books about ways in which kind of, you can challenge colonial mindsets let's say museums and challenging hierarchies is itself a way of challenging that Imperial colonial mindset. And from my point of view I was trying to look at that in terms of how we curate how we collect, how we show stuff, but the other angle to look at it from is this question of how we organize our museums, and how we work within them, and carry himself kind of now sitting in this, let's say positional leadership like within a very significant and large institution. One of the things that Ken and I have talked a lot about and it's how he works in that space to expand hierarchies and, and the idea that he's put forward that I really love and I wanted him to share with all of you is this idea of modeling and making room so kicking off a little bit about it. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 34:59
thanks, Susie and we should note that Lizzie teaches a course that has cultural leadership as part of it and brings me in once a year to kind of expand on some of the ideas that I've been doing so this is like the third time we've come to this ground together, and I think it's now to a point where I'm happy to share it with, with beyond her student body. So what I have noted as someone who's worked with leaders or with executives, a lot over the last sort of three or four years and then working kind of through institutions in their kind of decade class before that. Is it there's very few people in our glam institutions and our galleries and libraries, archives and museums and in particular kind of museological institutions that are at the very top of the very bottom. So, almost everyone in the institution who's who has decisions to make and priorities to set is somewhere in the middle, and I found myself largely in the middle, and often working with people who are at the top, but just as often working with people who were in towards the bottom, and I found myself trying to try to resolve the way to use my digital practices. And so I have a, you know, a life of running projects outside the museum context before, during, and hopefully after where I am kind of the boss of them you know they're kind of creative outputs where, you know, I get to decide what I'm going to do, or the consultancies that I've run, you know, in smaller institutions that I've led, and in those contexts is very clear what the expectations are. When you're within an institution you're being asked to kind of lead from within, it's actually not clear at all to most people what the expectations are mostly we become domain experts, very skilled at our particular thing maybe that's conservation, you know, maybe it's digital, maybe it's design, you know, curation, but we're very rarely also trained in what it might mean to be a leader and when we are it's usually through the lens of this very kind of traditional colonial hierarchical, kind of, you know, Western and masculine, of being in charge of other people. And very rarely are we the people on this call, but also the people who listen to this later, actually in those positions. And so, I've really invested in trying to create a system for myself that I can share and enable that, that actually works from the middle. And so the two things that I tried to do always in the projects, the digital projects in that I lead and often those are transformational Trojan horse projects which I think people on the call who who've done digital projects will know that often digital is a stand in for institutional change that needs to happen, but it needs a context and the digital project maybe that's, you know, a web project a design project a brand project whatever is a stand in for that is, is modeling and making room and that is about showing how to do a certain type of work without doing it, and then making room for others, either above you will believe you to do it in their own way, with some kind of guiding principles. So I often say, in, in kind of meetings with my colleagues that actually we in the room are the right people right now. To set the priorities that others above or below us, can then interpret like were the experts, we shouldn't be devolving our decision making, action to everyone else, we should model how this is done model it transparently and we should set priorities used to say this is the most important thing, and below, and then we should allow the people who are not in the room to then take that and move that forward. So, modeling digital leadership is, is for me kind of fundamental to being successful in hierarchical organization because you shouldn't and you can't go and change how other people work, But you can create an environment where they want to do it the way you're doing it because of the way you're doing it is, you know, digital first is transparent, is legible is connected. And a good example of this and this is sort of, you know, just by dint of chance. I was in a department heads meeting earlier today at the institution, at which I work. And we were sharing some up a couple of people sharing updates, and I had offered a few weeks ago, to share the entire year plan for my department, all of the inputs and all the outputs with in real, like in real time, where we could make edits with those individuals and they could see what the cascading effect of their plans would have on ours in a way that's totally transparent and then sent them the entire plan in this interactive kind of Gantt Chart thing with inputs and outputs that they can play with give feedback on and adjust and then feedback into their own colleagues. It was the first time, it was reflected, to me, that anyone has done that. And for me that is modeling and making room okay. Here are the tools. Here's how we've used them, you can use them himself. You can have access you can see everything that we're doing in real time. If you want, or you can ignore it and continue on, on your work if that's the most efficient way forward, but there's nothing hidden about our practices, and then doing that is great and then following up and then showing other leaders, you know, people leading within, how to do that as effectively with their own colleagues and their own teams is about that making room and then they'll do it their way. And so that for me is a really proactive approach. The other thing that I've been doing and this came a bit later and was, I was sort of guided into. About five years ago by a mentor of mine, where he said, a lot of a lot of people are kind of measured extrinsically in the institution that you're working in damaged by that exhibition or the award or the press mention or the pat on the back from the boss, but you don't tend to be motivated by that, you know what, what motivates you and I'm like I'm kind of motivated by doing good work, work that I'm proud of. And so whether it gets extended, it's hingedly.

Unknown Speaker 40:56
You know, that reward is less important than I'm happy with it. And he said, Well, who else is doing good work and I sort of nominated some people in the institution that I thought were doing interesting work and he said how are they said they said how can you show your followership of them and empower them to make their work stronger by investing your cultural capital in it, without taking it away from them, without making it look like it's in your voice and pushing it along and propelling it where you get no benefit, but good more good work gets done. And it took me some months to be able to even do it the first time, and now I do it as a matter of course because you end up with better work, and when you end up with better work because you're not trying to put it in your voice, not trying to take ownership but not trying to be the white guy who repeats the funny thing his wife says and then everybody laughs because you just said it louder. That is the kind of emblematic of, you know what often happens in the workplace where someone Junior has a great idea someone senior repeats it, the senior person gets fettered, and it happens is constantly calling out where the idea came from, why it's a good idea, the ways you're going to support it. When that support can be expected, the shape of that support. So followship for me is really about giving up cultural capital and agency to allow others to be successful but success in a way where they're supported and enabled, and is part of this broader idea for me of modeling and making room.

Unknown Speaker 42:28
Thank you. Yeah, and the thing I one of the things I really want to emphasize about your, I love your idea of modeling and making room and then maybe we talked about follow followership a lot in our classes at UW. When we think about cultural leadership. And what for me was so powerful, what you were saying was the way that if you understand the relationship between leadership and fellowship that relationship never has to exist in a hierarchical format, so it's often you know someone who's above you who's following you doing what you suggest it can be someone alongside you. And so by kind of understanding that way that followership and leadership can work, it can count it can work in hierarchies, but it can also counter hierarchies work across them, and really start to kind of unsettle how those hierarchies work things very powerful thing to think about if you are working in a position or hierarchical situation. And the other thing. So here I wanted to talk a little bit just to finish because we're kind of coming up to time almost we wanted to talk about two initiatives we're both involved in, which kind of draws on all of these kind of foundational ideas we've been discussing here about sharing power, and, and I'll go back up to poor old Mary because we just skipped. And yeah, we want to talk about these two initiatives the data sell on and the digital mentoring project that he's involved in but we want to kind of get there by way of just giving a shout out to a 19th Century woman, because America is a kind of a hero for us in the curating and cultural leadership program. And I think that this quote by hair is such an interesting one to think about in relationship to everything we've been discussing today so the idea that leadership is not defined by the exercise of power, but by the capacity to increase the sense of power among those legs. And I guess really the key point to this quote the most essential work of the leader is to create more leaders. And for me, this seems like a really nice way of translating the impulse to clear and I have always had to increase patient in culture into kind of leadership paradigms and training and capacity building. And for us some two different projects that we've been working on where we try to do this so try to increase the number of leaders that there are in the corporate sector, you can, you can leave Mary now, and the first one is a project that Kira and I have been working on for the last two years, called the Sydney culture data salon, and the data salon for us. It started as a way of kind of just bringing together much as Q was kind of talking about their people from every level of every organization. We wanted as much to hear from people that are kind of building the website as from the kind of directions of public engagement, and we wanted there to be a space where all of those practitioners saw themselves as learners, and all of them saw themselves as teachers so everyone could share knowledge, what we do with the day to sell on is we meet every two months, and we kind of talk about a particular theme. I mentioned earlier on, the thing that we did for example and data sovereignty where we asked for money and another indigenous man called Nathan sentence to come and speak for all of those digital cultural workers. So if you want to go and have a look at the website you can see some of the briefings that we've thrown up after each salon. But one of the things we wanted to talk about here was that the salon has always been a space for non hierarchical collaborative leadership of the sector. And it became much more than that, the case during the last two years as COVID shut down or the cultural organizations across Australia and Sydney, when we were all in lockdown last year, the data seven became a place where all the digital cultural workers who as many of you I'm sure there in the audience, experienced yourself suddenly became the front line for engagement with audiences who were suddenly only able to access culture and often connect with each other via digital cultural offerings, and suddenly all the digital cultural workers across Sydney were kind of the, as he's described it the kind of a great acceleration of COVID So we all knew that culture was kind of the digital was an ascending force in the way we access culture, but suddenly everyone was really having to just pivot, innovate, throw things up fast kind of come up with good practice quickly kind of stay positive and engaged with their team, even though they were all working entirely on Zoom in teams, and the data center became a space where, as those cultural digital cultural workers took on that position of leadership in the sector, they could do it together with support with a bit of capacity building, sharing good practice and kind of giving each other the kind of background support that everybody needed during that very frantic time to actually take on that leadership role, and to kind of, you know, create a space where culture could continue thriving despite the fact that everyone was locked down. So that was one example we wanted to give and care, Do you want to say things about the DEAI salon or do you want to talk about,

Unknown Speaker 47:16
I'd say one thing, which I guess is an expression of what you've been talking about Lindsay is after two years of running it, we kind of let go of the reins and Megan Lawrence and Marie McKay now Rhonda we, you know, provide advice and we chip in, But we thought, you know, not only should the whole project be about bringing people into dialogue that wouldn't otherwise be in dialogue and help, I guess, make more leaders that were actively promoting to young leaders Megan Lawrence took me, sorry, Megan and Rory, to take on the project for a year, year and a half and then we'll, our goal is to allow others to do that afterwards, and maybe even see the idea of data salons into other communities, that would be led by those communities and not by us so very much a kind of reflection I realized on the in real time, that that broader agenda that wasn't something we talked about but it really is. The other one that I wanted.

Unknown Speaker 48:12
As we were saying if people out there are interested in either being at or starting a data cell on that is a conversation we're super interested in having so yeah seeding with data fellows.

Unknown Speaker 48:23
Yeah, yeah, we'd love to, You know, get others started doing it's been so effective and so important in Sydney but it would be just as effective in other communities, the other one and we were running into like last four or five minutes, and so when we are really closing to the end here is the CEO digital mentoring program that I'm part of which is something that the Australia Council for the Arts Ian Potter Foundation and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image all work together to fund and to create and so they asked five, you know, digital leaders. I guess I'm not sure what the right word now. Did participatory expanded digital leaders from across the sector in Australia to mentor, six organisations leaders about the role of digital in their institution so it's actually what kind of one on one mentoring which often happens in isolation through who you know and in can sometimes Mentoring can be a kind of, kind of power hierarchy and enforcing thing. Now I often get asked to mentor the students or children of people I know some people maybe who aren't known to me might not get that opportunity. And in this case he made an open application where any institution any CEO of any institution in the entire country can put their hand up, and essentially gets paid to take part and I get paid to take apart so it's a funded project, it's not a gift. And we mentor those individual who was selected so we selected six of 82 applicants, 82 institutions said, we would like our CEO to take part in this program, they would benefit from mentoring so we're going to run it next year as well, is our hope. And the process we're about halfway through so to speak about it too much and I really want to give a shout out to sub Chan and Lena O'Donnell from Acme who have been instrumental in putting this together and they're still driving it, I'm simply a participant, but it's a really different model and a really effective model because in a way it is also kind of by default, bidirectional mentoring in that, it exposes me to what it looks like to try and lead an institution of scale and exposes them to all of the things we've been talking about around leadership with a digital perspective into that environment directly one on one, and so it is really new and really interesting way of thinking about leadership in the cultural sector and fantastic to have our national cultural body of funding by the Australian Council for the Arts, put real money behind it to make it possible and I don't want to say too much about it but we will definitely get a chance to share about that in the future, which right on cue with one minute ago, takes us to the end of our deck and end of our story. So thank you very much for listening, and I'm not sure if we've got time for questions. But yeah, really happy to share everything really happy to have this chance to share and please contact us afterwards. If you'd like to have any questions answered. Thanks. Thank you. Thanks, Karen Lisi,

Unknown Speaker 51:20
thank you. Pleasure. Thanks, everyone.

Unknown Speaker 51:23
Thanks Karen thanks Eric file.