The project “Creative Insight as a Service” wraps up its first pilot

Illustration by Martins Zutis

At the end of May the Creative Insight as a Service project wrapped-up its first pilot at the Draugiem Group. At the Draugiem Group premises in Riga, artist and illustrator Martins Zutis worked for a pilot period of four weeks. The purpose of the pilot was to bring artistic practice into the company’s every-day setting, and through the artistic approach, exploration and experimentation to create new dialogues and insights into the specific theme and challenge set by the host company. Learn more about the artist and the hosting company: here.

The Challenge

With the pandemic experience behind them, Draugiem Group, as so many other companies, are facing the challenge of community building in the post-pandemic era. Many changes have their effect on the community, since many of the employees want to work more in hybrid modes, and also the group´s office location has changed. In this pilot the Draugiem Group wanted to look for creative insights on how to ignite connectivity, unity and community of the group, consisting of its 11 rapidly growing and independent companies.

The Insight

At Draugiem Mārtiņš task was to experiment, come into dialogue with the employees, make inquiries and to learn more about the given topic of unity. During his residency at the Draugiem Group Mārtiņš experimented with different kinds of approaches to create dialogue: from inviting employees to a drawing workshop or a tea-ceremony, doing small interactive installations, and one-to-one conversations by drawing portraits of the employees and making observations.

When creating his insights and conclusions, Mārtiņš approached the question of unity from another angle and invited the group to “go back to the roots” by keeping the focus in the small units and communities of the Draugiem Group company. How could the different companies learn from each other, and that way nurture the overall community of the Draugiem Group? After all – there is a limit for how many colleagues you can properly provide a birthday cake (see illustrations)

Author: Martins Zutis

Wrapping Up

All Draugiem Group employees were invited to take part in the wrap-up event of the pilot. Krista Petäjäjärvi (Acting Head of the NDPC Secretariat) facilitated the event and kicked-it-off by presenting the project and the proposed topic Mārtiņš was invited to explore. She was followed by Mārtiņš  Zutis with an inspiring story of his journey at the company and the insights. The employees were invited to discuss further and relate to the topic of unity and Mārtiņš approach. The presented insights and illustrations are set to serve as a basis for further dialogues when the Draugiem Group community discusses further its aims and possibilities to develop their unity. 

Photos by Kaspars Teilāns

Further steps

The pilot is a part of the “Creative Insight as a Service” project which has been designed and implemented by Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture – NDPC, Fabryka Sztuki and Subtopia (the lead partner). The project aims to support the development of new practical tools and methodologies to encourage creative cross-innovations in the Baltic Sea Region.

Based on the experience and evaluation of this pilot process, the project partners will develop a toolkit to encourage similar cross-innovation collaborations in the future. The results of the project will be presented at an international conference. Save the date for the hybrid (Stockholm & online) event: 23/11/2023 from 9:00 CET. Stay tuned for further info!

The pilot is being funded by the Swedish Institute with co-funding from the NDPC and the Draugiem Group.

More information on the “Creative Insight as a Service” project is available: here.