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Wisdom of the Dakota

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.†

In modern education and government, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Threatening the horse with termination.

4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

5. Visiting other sites to see how others ride dead horses.

6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

7. Re-classifying the dead horse as “living, impaired”.

8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed.

10. Attempting to mount multiple dead horses in hopes that one of them will spring to life.

11. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.

12. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance.

13. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

14. Re-writing the expected performance requirements for all horses.

15. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.


"While constantly new cultural management training is developed, the projects of the students remove more and more of the arts and cultural work."

In a stunning "big social game" we are witnessing today an exponential acceleration of crisis and the bursting of different bubbling bubbles that have been formed in the high-risk society.

Clearly visible in this crisis, Orthodox cathedrals believe in an earlier form of faith to change and flexibility. A society close to the collective burnout is no longer in a position to bring innovation and change.

In the cultural field one can learn of art, with its roots in autonomy, freedom and creativity,† to find other ideas designs and images of life in our world.

A Grand Master Joseph Beuys with his narrative representations and performances around the "social sculpture".

Michelangelo Pistoletto has shown in the Biennale with the general theme of "The Big Social Game" that art, creativity and the social economy is the "progetto arte" like all other areas of life in relationship. With the idea of the game art can also bring changes in systems, products and productions and of course projects. This also applies to art forms of new media.

When the collector George Costakis in a farmhouse in Russia discovered "Black Square" Kasimier Malevich and thus his first collection object of the Russian Avantgade and Suprematism, he was fascinated of the idea "to know that he was not prisoner in this world" (G.Costakis)

Christoph Schlingensief is the editor of a deformed everyday life with its superimposed copied understanding of life and death.

Even if a project is our own dream, our image or model of the world so it is always a "big social game" and a dialogue with our world.

The Project Management Institute defines: "Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements."†

It replies in no way to the question how utopia could become a reality and to ideas. So the myth is spread, management per se already carries the right solution in itself.

What utopia the society needs, which role, which imagination, empathy and passion matches, is hidden by the management myth "anything is possible".

But today everyting is about visual, dramatic, musical or architectural and also about ecological and economical projects which are largely autonomous change projects.

In the small or in the big frame, project design is an invitation to people who feel responsible for ideas of social transformation,

The content, its communication and the design of projects is more important than the project management toolbox.

This applies of course to the today developed working form of thinking and work in programs, projects and productions in the cultural sector. The realization of ideas and the establishment of appreciative communication and solidar community are the goal.†

In the cultural field cultural institutions are still the place where utopias are realized and therefore they build the social prerequisite for project-work.

Increasingly, however, there is a "soft" influence of public financing partners in financing cultural projects, when they make project funding dependend on the presented criteria and issues (such as cultural tourism, involvement in local events, cultural education and strategies of creative industries).

This raises the question whether this "promotion model or stimulation model" really is a future solution. This form of government contract culture one has already thought disappeared with the GDR!†

Here, art and culture projects are depending on interests. Very astute cultural managers even want projects that replace the building and maintaining of costly infrastructure by projects.

It is clearly identified that this superficial thinking leads to "ad hoc (to the point / reason for matching) - projects", which produce the desired work performance. Project funding make to actually contracts dar. That "ad hoc management" can not lead to sustainable projects is clear. Bring about a cultural change and transformative act, only different scale change projects

With the projects it behaves just like between a big Ad Hoc orchestra and a symphony orchestra, with its long-term goals, strategies and opportunities.

Real change can only occur autonomously in projects in the cultural system and on the basis of lived leadership.

Innovation, change projects ("Art and Culture" and "socio-cultural" projects) are therefore mostly obliged to a cultural change that feels committed to social and special cultural-political and artistic ideas that develops needs and not simply react on supposed "market-oriented" demands. These projects must be supported by a permanent structure, which in the ideal case itself understands as a "learning organization" and ensures sustainability and cumulative success.

For this, project design is a work approach that focuses on ideas, meaning, creation, objectives and the design process.

Project design requires a creative attitude. A project is never like the previous one. There is no blueprint or no rules. Primarily, project design takes care of project contents, results, and impact. Moreover, the project in its design process of course also describes its need for resources, the roles of staff (roles and responsibilities), the rules of interaction, and how the project will be evaluated. † © Herwig Poeschl - Homepage Holder - Operator - Germany - Berlin - †