Know How

Building digital capacity for the cultural sector through a design-led approach.

Know How was a programme for cultural businesses in the East Midlands looking to place digital and design thinking at the heart of their mission. We partnered with Snook to coach 24 businesses over 12 months, and offered £20k in grants for organisations to prototype their ideas.

The cultural sector, to remain innovative, needs to embrace the potential of technology.  For small to medium sized cultural businesses, knowing how to start and whether your idea is valuable can be the biggest challenge.

We partnered with award-winning service design agency Snook to co-design an intensive six-month programme.  Know How gave cultural sector leaders new methods to identify how technology could be most impactful in their business.

The Programme

Know How led teams from 24 businesses, representing the diversity of the cultural sector, through a six phase process to take an idea through to launch.

We partnered teams with technologists from our Talent Network including freelance professionals, post-graduates and researchers. Organisations had access funding to embed a full-time technologist in their business for up to 13 weeks.

At the end of the programme, companies were able to apply for grants of up to £5k to build and progress their ideas.

Teams explored ideas ranging from: an app that unlocks educational music activities previously hidden away in books, a playful installation that makes collecting audience feedback easy, and a mixed reality game giving audiences new ways to discover one of the UK's leading photography festivals.

We designed Know How as a six-step structured process, bringing together methods from design and digital thinking, to help organisations meet their digital ambitions.


Think clarifies your focus and aligns your mission, helping you develop a brief that frames opportunities to bring design and digital thinking into your everyday business.


Develop is about testing your ideas and direction with internal stakeholders, potential audiences and future customers to generate insights that inform what you will make.


In Play you progress towards a solid concept, build a business case, and learn how to prototype and test your ideas quickly and cheaply with resources you already have.


Learn how to test your prototype, get early feedback from stakeholders and find the right mix of people to continue to build your idea.


Bring together your expert team to build out your concept over three days into a working prototype.


Take your concept out into the open and put it in front of your audiences.

The Know How Toolkit

In developing Know How we created an open source toolkit that anyone can use. Inside the Know How Toolkit you'll find useful methods and resources to help you think and develop ideas in your business.

Taking forward learning and innovation from Know How, Broadway - in its role as BFI Film Hub Lead Organisation - co-delivered Cinema Know How with Snook.  Cinema Know How supported 20 sector leaders from 4 venues across the Central East Film Hub Region, and is now being rolled out across the BFI’s Film Audience Network.

Know How was a knowledge transfer project, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2007 to 2013 (ERDF) and supported using public funding by Arts Council England, with additional finance contributed by regional universities.