Let’s Get Real

Our collaborative action research programme supports arts and heritage people and organisations to become more relevant, resilient and responsive to digital cultural changes.

Let’s Get Real (LGR) is leading a quiet revolution in our participants’ working methods. It isn’t organisations that struggle to adapt to digital change, it’s the people within them. We know that real innovation lies in changing people’s working rhythms and building their confidence.

LGR projects build and use knowledge to effect practical change for the arts and heritage sector. This happens at four levels: individual, organisational, in peer networks and at a sector level. The action research our project groups collectively explore do this by:

  • Nurturing the personal confidence of participating individuals by building the digital literacies they need in their work environments
  • Building organisational capacity by supporting participating organisations to identify, design and embed relevant changes
  • Fostering collaborative working and best practice across relevant peer networks
  • Developing shared understanding for the sector, analysing and addressing the strategic and practical impact of key societal changes and ideas.

Our model

  • Learning from others – LGR brings in a variety of voices and perspectives from within and beyond the cultural sector, to inform, support, guide and reflect on the challenges at hand
  • Learning by doing – LGR encourages practical action research. We support participants to experiment in the context of their everyday work, testing out hunches developed through our collaborative discussions. This is a different type of R&D. It is innovation from the inside, using what they already have and trying to make more of it
  • Learning togetherLGR creates a community of supportive peers with a shared sense of purpose. We actively seek out ways to foster and promote collaborative exchange, combining and analysing people’s wealth of individual experiences, expertise and knowledge, turning them into invaluable shared sources of understanding for their peers across the arts and heritage sector.

Our process

Each LGR project follows a structured process that combines collaborative discussion with expert input and individual practical action. A typical project involves:

  • Four collaborative workshops full of discussion, participatory activity, expert presentations, individual reflection and informal networking
  • Four research periods between workshops when participants are supported and mentored to experiment in their own contexts, following a lightweight structure
  • Ongoing online collaboration between all project participants
  • Analysis of findings and insights, often published as a report and always shared far and wide in conference talks, workshops and partner publications.

Our reach

Over the last decade our LGR work has helped a significant number of people and organisations.

600+ organisations
1000+ project participants
9 years
8 action research projects
8 conferences
6 reports
34,000+ downloads

LGR projects

There have been 8 LGR projects to date, each exploring a different question around digital change for arts and heritage organisations. You can download reports here from some of these projects, as well as from our other research projects.

Let’s Get Real 1: How do we evaluate success online? (June 2010 to September 2011)

Let’s Get Real 2: How do we understand and measure digital engagement? (July 2012 to July 2013)

Let’s Get Real 3: Is your content fit for purpose? (April 2014 to November 2014)

Let’s Get Real 4: What’s the story? (April 2015 to February 2016)

Let’s Get Real Young Audiences: How do we digitally engage young audiences? (September 2015 to April 2016)

Let’s Get Real 5: What’s the brand? (July 2016 to February 2017)

Let’s Get Real 6: How do we connect digital practice and social purpose? (January 2018 to October 2018)

Let’s Get Real 7: Developing deeper human connection across digital channels (March 2019 to November 2019)

Let’s Get Real 10 Years On: How to evaluate online success

More about our research.