Shifting Cultures of Expertise

In a context of global social and economic transitions influenced by digital technologies there is
an increasing perception that anyone can be an expert and that this apparent ‘dumbing down’
means that as a society we are becoming increasingly shallow in our knowledge base and skills.

How are the wider public able to be active in this shifting culture if in K A Ericsson’s view
“Superior expert performance is primarily acquired…many thousands of hours of deliberate
practice and training are necessary to reach the highest levels of performance” Attaining
Excellence Through Deliberate Practice: insights from the study of expert performance (2001).

We seek to discuss what new roles and contributions of expertise will look like; what re-thinking
of these problems is taking place in other sectors that we might usefully explore?

Allan Kaprow reflected in Success and Failure When Art Changes (1995), that “Once art departs
from traditional models and begins to merge into the everyday manifestations of society itself,
artists not only cannot assume the authority of their “talent,” they cannot claim that what takes
place is valuable just because it is art”.

As ‘experts’ are we ready to embrace this shift in culture or is it happening around us anyway?