Unlocking the potential of curiosity-driven engagement

The Night Watch lego

In the run up to our Engage 2014 conference, we are exploring the conference themes of 'Captivating places; Captivating ideas; Captivating people: Unlocking the potential of curiosity-driven engagement'. Here, Director of the NCCPE Paul Manners shares his thoughts on capturing people's imaginations and curiosity.

Engage 2014 takes engaging the public curiosity as its theme. We sometimes lose sight of just how important this is, in our long deliberations about culture change, evaluation and impact! We want to focus this year on that sometimes seemingly magical process when people’s imagination, curiosity, and emotions are captivated.

At the conference there will be the opportunity to see exceptional engagement in action – to take part in ‘engagement encounters’ where people share successful activities they have run; to join workshops exploring the dynamics of engagement with people from inside and outside higher education who are pushing the boundaries of what works and why; and to hear inspirational plenaries from people leading policy, practice and critical thinking about this topic.

To get us in the mood for Engage 2014 we want to share some examples of what extraordinary engagement can look like. The NCCPE recently ran a competition to find examples of the best work happening across higher education – and we will highlight some of the extraordinary shortlisted and winning entries with you over the next few weeks.

But we want to start with examples from outside the university sector – which can provide us with an amazing source of inspiration. Take a look at this short video – a project run by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, to mark the re-opening of the museum after a ten year renovation. If only shopping was always this much fun!


We’d love to know what you think of this clip – can you think of a better way of bringing an old master to life? Do you have your own examples of remarkable projects you could share? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below.

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