Step 2. Shift Workshop

Use Design Thinking and Business planning to Create Beneficial Community Projects.

Discover new ways to think about the power of creativity and challenge your mental models about art, business, community and money. Take the mystery out of business planning. Strengthen your creative muscles and entrepreneurial mindset. Practice design thinking and prototyping.

The Shift Workshop uses hands-on collaboration, design thinking, and business planning to help grow creative communities and economies.

Creative people get business skills and business people get creative

In a multi-day, hands-on workshop, Air Certified Facilitators help small teams learn to use collaboration skills, design thinking, and business planning to create small, locally implementable projects. It’s totally unique in bringing together emerging and professional creatives and business people for a collaborative learning experience.


What You Will Learn & Do

Day 1 – 4 hours

Shift Your Mindset.

Discover new ways to think about the power of creativity and challenge your mental models about art, business, community and money.

Sessions include:

  • The Paradigm Shift
  • Who Are We? Exercise
  • Tell Your Story Exercise
  • Small Builds Big Builds Small Exercise
  • Design Thinking Overview
  • Community Collaboration Project Overview

Day 2 – 8 hours

Learn by Doing – With Others!

Take the mystery out of business planning and strengthen your creative muscles. Work with a small, facilitated group to create a local project that uses creativity to improve your community. Use the Air Project Canvas to build a business plan that is implementable.

Sessions include:

  • Team Building
  • Creativity Strength Training
  • Building the Project
  • Research Tools
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Project Operations
  • Testing & Refining

Day 3 – 4 hours

Find Your Voice.

Present your groups’ plan, show and tell the story of your Community Collaboration Project, and get valuable feedback from local leaders.

Action Session – 4 hours

Get to Work & Make it personal.

Recharge with your team and refine your Project plans. Get a 15 minute coaching session and start planning your new career path, project, or venture.

Implemented Community Collaboration Projects

The Pop Up STEAMshops project was designed in the Berea, KY Shift Workshop in 2017. A dedicated team worked on the project all winter and attended the Evolve Program to work out the details of the project. New sponsors emerged and volunteers helped design the programs for kids. Ten pop-up STEAM workshops occurred in 2018 and more than 300 kids participated in the activities.

The Berea Story Trail was designed in the 2019 Berea, KY Shift Workshop. The project was implemented by the City of Berea Parks Department and is sponsored by the Madison County Public Library and other Berea organizations. An advisory group helps change the stories quarterly. Many loved having the safe, distanced outdoor story trail during the months of COVID lockdown.

As a product of an AIR Shift Workshop held at Piedmont Arts, in Martinsville, VA, this project provides artist-designed public benches to be placed at bus stops and other public locations around Martinsville and Henry County. It is currently funded by the Harvest Foundation.

Shift Workshop Materials

Shift participants receive printed and digital editions of Air workshop guides. All Air materials are copyrighted using Creative Commons licenses that allow for attributed, noncommercial use. You can order your own print copies or download electronic materials that you can save and fill.