Challenge Voting Closed! Finalists to Be Officially Announced Friday!

Over the next few days, we’ll be auditing the Challenge votes and determining the official results. On June 7th, we’ll announce the official roster of Finalists.


Thank you to all who voted in the ArtsFwd Business Unusual Challenge!

Voting closed last Friday at 11:59pm EDT with over 78,000 votes cast by 40,000 people, according to unaudited results.

We were thrilled at the level of engagement from the Semi-Finalists, who seized this as an opportunity to communicate with their stakeholders about the big challenges and exciting shifts underway at their organizations. We saw passionate responses from all corners of the country on Facebook, Twitter, and in the comments sections on ArtsFwd.

We take this as an encouraging sign that that the Challenge is advancing the ultimate goal of the ArtsFwd community, which is to bring the dialogue about the process of innovation and adaptive change from the margins to the center of the conversation in the arts sector.

What happens next?

Over the next few days we’ll be auditing the results to remove fraudulent votes and determining the official results for the Top 5 most-voted-for Semi-Finalist organizations.

On Friday, June 7th, we’ll announce the official Top 5, who will automatically become Finalists and move onto the next round, which will consist of crowdsourcing ideas and inspirations in response to these organization’s adaptive challenges. You’re invited to participate! Here’s how.

What about all the voting disruptions early in the voting process?

We have been in intense conversation over the last week about how we might adapt the Challenge in response to the concerns and frustration about the reliability of the voting, which was compromised by nearly 5 days of disruptions early in the process. We also transparently communicated with the Semi-Finalists during these disruptions and their concerns informed our response.

We’ve decided that in addition to the 5 Finalist spots that will go to the Semi-Finalists who receive the most votes, we will also offer spots to 2 additional Finalists based on selection criteria that take into account both the quantitative voting data and additional qualitative data about how the organization would make strategic use of the crowdsourcing phase. We will announce these two additional Finalists along with the Top 5 from the vote on Friday, June 7th.

In the face of the challenges in voting, we are choosing to model the behavior we want to see in the larger field: developing an adaptive response to our ongoing learning. In this case, our learning suggests that using a pure vote to determine the Finalists was an idea worth testing, but it lost the full confidence of the EmcArts staff, the Semi-Finalists, and our constituents due to technical failures.

We recognize that this isn’t a perfect solution and, of course, it’s part of a larger conversation about how to best support our field, which we will certainly continue to take part in. For now, it is the most thoughtful way we felt we could correct mid-course due to the challenges we faced during the voting.

How can I stay involved with the next phase of the Challenge?

Crowdsourcing will begin on Wednesday, June 19th on Any member of the public is invited to contribute ideas and inspiration in response to research questions posed by the Finalists. Read more here.

If you’re in New York City on June 24, 2013, join us for an in-person Creative Conversation event, in which we’ll use one of the Finalists’ adaptive challenges as a jumping off point to try lateral thinking exercises and equip participants with strategies for generating outside-the-box ideas. RSVP and learn more here.

Karina Mangu-Ward is the former Director of Strategic Initiatives at EmcArts.