Pathfinding – what are you looking for?  

“Whatever you’re meant to be doing, do it now. The conditions are always impossible” – Doris Lessing

Being creative doesn’t always equal being well paid. The worldwide pandemic is forcing change on sectors unused to the concept. And those who are prominent in creative fields are often visible because of access, advocacy and advantages that are not available to everyone – things like a recognisable name, financial backing or lifelong social contacts in the industry.

So in wild times and overpopulated, competitive industries – no one who succeeds works in a vacuum. The conditions are always impossible and yet here we are making things happen. And to do that successfully we all need the folk to work alongside us, collaborate with us, advocate for us, amplify what we’re doing, commission us, invest in us or simply buy what we do or make from us.

Pathfinding is the key survival skill of working out what we want to achieve – whether that’s market a new product or break into a different level of your industry – and then putting together the necessary network of advocates, access and actions to ensure it happens. Good pathfinding asks “What do you need access and advocacy for? Who are they? Where do they gather? How will you connect with them?”

Sandy Thomson has spent 25 years using pathfinding as a producing artist and agent for change in her sector – wrangling money and partnerships in an arts environment that is slow to support artists in ways that matter, talking truth to power, finding her way into the rooms where no one looks or sounds like her and making work there an act of creative revolution.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn to use pathfinding for network building
  • Learn to use pathfinding to achieve goals
  • Identify their key outcomes and relevant advocates
  • Create strategies for connection with relevant advocate/access hubs
  • Be comprehensively prepared for Creative Ambitions ‘Getting Into The Right Rooms’ session