Live Blog: Inside Day 3 of the Continuing Innovation Convening

The ArtsFwd team is at Norwood Club today to cover Day 3 of the gathering. Live updates from the meeting will be below.


At the Continuing Innovation Convening at the Norwood Club in New York City, leading edge organizations will come together with big thinkers from arts, culture, and innovation to talk about what it means to be engaged, organizational practices, civic responsibility, and evaluation in their work. The organizations and the convening are supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Karina Mangu-Ward, Piama Habibullah, and Kendra Danowski from ArtsFwd will be live blogging and tweeting @ArtsFwd #DDCFconf from the event.

Check out the live blog of Day 1 and Day 2.

12:30pm A Final Gesture

As a final gesture, Richard Evans introduces two dimensions of engagement: Internal and External. Internal engagement, which David Zinger spoke about yesterday, varies from “One-Way” to “Interactive.” External, which varies from “Flexible” to “Fixed.” Richard then invites each individual to physically array themselves in the room along the four quadrants and talk to others near them about how their position along these two spectrums affects their innovation work.

Two dimensions of engagement
Two dimensions of engagement
Groups array themselves within the four quadrants
Groups array themselves within the four quadrants

11:45am Small Groups Report

The cohort comes back together to report on their experiences.  In hearing the presentations, Jamie reflected on a few common themes:

  • Many of the groups expressed a desire to use developmental evaluation to bring the board along. Jamie suggests, “Engage the board as sense makers. Bring them along on the journey from the beginning.”
  • He also suggests presenting a few possible scenarios up front.  Give board, staff, and other stakeholders something to respond to.  Ask them: “How would you feel if this is what we found out?” and see what outcomes generates excitement.
  • Narrative is powerful. Jamie says, “Identify and name successes. Let success become a tool for understanding and communication.”
  • Always ask “Who’s going to use the information and what are they going to use it for?”  Have that inform your every step.
  • Make your evaluation efforts feel like an authentic part of the program.  A good evaluation can be a great opportunity for engagement.
Cohort reports on evaluation small group work
Cohort reports on evaluation small group work

11:00am Small Groups Continue

The small groups continue, moving on to a second presenter.  Exciting new questions and ideas are emerging.  It’s particularly neat to watch what happens when the peer groups discuss the evaluation question after the presenters turn their chair around (see below).  The presenter’s assumptions, experiences, and frame of reference are taken out of the conversation, opening up the space for true discovery and exploration.

Small group discussions continue
Small group discussions continue


Small groups discussion of evaluation questions
Small groups discussion of evaluation questions

10:20am Small Group Discussions

Jamie breaks the cohort into small groups to dive deep into their specific evaluative questions pertaining to their innovation projects. The activity has four parts:

  1. One participant presents their evaluation question and relevant context
  2. The other participants ask clarifying questions
  3. The presenting participant turns around and listens while their peers discuss it
  4. The presenting participant rejoins the conversation and the group debriefs
Jamie Gambles Four Part Activity
Jamie Gamble’s Four Part Activity
One group discusses, while the presenter listens in with their back turned.
One group discusses while the presenter listens in with their back turned.

10:00am Jumping back in with Jamie Gamble

Day 3 starts with picking back up where Jamie Gamble left off with Developmental Evaluation. Today, the groups will dive deep into their own evaluation questions.

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