BOP turned 20 this year. We have used this important milestone to renew our sense of purpose and to clarify our future strategy. We’re here to do three important things:
Make great cities and places – by putting culture and creativity at the centre of policy-making, planning and development. Our brainchild the World Cities Culture Forum promotes this agenda across the globe with 35 cities on 4 continents through research, policy advice and peer-to-peer learning. In the UK we continue to lead the thinking on cities and culture, for example, though our briefing for the new Metro Mayors, produced on behalf of the Creative Industries Council. We carried out a range of strategic projects in Birmingham, Belfast, Liverpool and Edinburgh. Look out early next year for the announcement of a major new initiative on the future on cultural investment in UK cities – with BOP as co-designer and delivery partner.
Build dynamic cultural and creative businesses and organisations – which are open, engaged and switched on to using the full potential of new technologies. This year we’ve worked with a wide range from universities (Salford and University of the Arts), to large cultural/heritage organisations (Alexandra Palace and Abbey Theatre, Dublin), to development agencies (Digital Catapult, Goethe Institute) to smaller, newer creative businesses like Secret Cinema and Underbelly. The theme for each is the same: improving and/or transforming what we do, so we can reach more people and achieve greater impact. From 2018 we will be rolling out our organisational transformation and innovation offer to even more businesses.
Connect, connect, connect – within the cultural and creative sectors, across to other sectors, between places. Our 20th anniversary has helped us to understand the sheer breadth and depth of our professional network. We’re using this to benefit our clients by connecting them to money, talent, ideas and a whole range of other opportunities. Our work in building cultural and creative links with China continues with projects in IP, film and television and a major touring exhibition of the collections of country houses. We’re working in an exciting initiative in arts and health with Aesop. We’re delighted to announce, to mark our anniversary, the launch of BOP Fellows, which will see BOP investing in talented individuals to build even deeper links between the different strands of our work.
So while our 20th has given us an opportunity to us to reflect on past achievements, it has mostly showed us that there’s still a huge amount of work to do - on all three fronts!
We look forward to getting down to it for the next 20 years, starting January 2018!
In the meantime, BOP sends its festive best wishes to friends, partners, colleagues and clients across the world.
- Paul Owens, Founder and Director