Listening Projects

Understanding the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and the events of 2020 on our partners, young Londoners, and the cultural landscape

In January 2021, A New Direction commissioned five Listening Projects. In a rapidly changing context, we want to listen to the voices of those we work with and those who are involved in our work, to understand evolving dynamics in the city and ensure our future work is rooted, part of collective ambitions and relevant.

Each Listening Project was led by a different partner organisation, and was designed to capture reflections and ideas on one of five themes:

  1. The experience of young LondonersAweo Group
  2. The experience of organisations and individuals leading creative education practices B & G Partners
  3. How culture and creative learning might respond to the Earth emergency Climate Museum UK
  4. Enabling creative communities New Local
  5. Employment and work Rocket Science

The projects comprised a mix of virtual conversations – including group conversations and individual interviews – and built on learning and evidence emerging from published materials exploring the current context for our sector and young Londoners. They gathered views from families and young Londoners as well as organisations and partners who work across the rich ecology that supports young people, culture and creativity in different areas of the city and regionally.

Each research project explored environments, spaces and listening methodologies to gather a rich range of perspectives. This helped create vital recommendations and calls for action within each theme that are essential as we move out of the pandemic.

Outcomes from the five Projects will feed directly into our future planning, but we think these Listening Projects speak beyond our own organisation and can support the practices of others working to empower young Londoners through this time.

Download the reports

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This work forms part of Reset, A New Direction’s programme of support in response to the pandemic. Though COVID-19 has caused huge disruption to our lives, our professions, and our learning, it is important to remember that we are resilient, strong and good at what we do.

We know that we can adapt and work differently, move quickly and innovate. Let’s take this chance to reset and move forward with what we know works, leave behind what doesn’t, and introduce new ways of working, together.

Find out more about Reset