Image of a square with the words Ambition and Quality

The people make it work view on ACE's Investment Principle of ambition and quality

We’ve gathered together the views of some of our team, some tools and approaches we use when we are supporting clients to explore these ideas, some examples of organisations that are epitomising this principle in some of their work, and some resources out in the world that we are finding useful.
Scroll to read, watch, download and use… give us a shout if we can help in any way.

Our take on this investment principle

For us, Ambition and Quality is about asking questions like, whose ambition? whose quality? and ensuring that we are always striving, never complacent and that our sense of ambition and quality is driven by generosity and curiosity.


Some questions and perspectives

I suppose we might want to ask what is getting in the way of others’ ambition… as well as what is in the way of ours. We might want to think about our own organisational ambition through the lens of our mission… taking ourselves back to the original spur to become an organisation… and what an ambition of that magnitude look like today. We might want to explore in an inclusive way what we tend to think of as quality, and see that through multiple lenses, not just through the lens of the canon or the conservatoire. We might want to think about ambitions that relate to our community or wider society, rather than our own organisational security, reputation or reserves. At people make it work, we are drawn to ambitions that have heart (which is why we are featuring the incredible Laura Nyahuye on this page) and that have generosity, and are driven my that organisations’ or individuals’ understanding of need. Quality indeed.



We’ve been thinking about some ways you might explore ambition and quality. You might enjoy connecting with some of the ‘postcards to the future’ our podcast series last year on Culture Reset – including interviews with Sharmaine Lovegrove, Nina Simon, Bryony Kimmings, Farooq Chaudhry, Nato Thompson and Wesley Enoch.



We have been inspired by many organisations who have been demonstrating ambition and quality. Grand Union, YSP, Intoart, Invisible Dust, Leeds 2023 are all developing brilliant work that investigates and builds inclusion across intersections – examples of all the Investment Principles working in unison. 


Views from our colleagues (coming soon!)

people make it work is a collection of 60 freelance cultural workers, leaders in their fields. A selection of them share their views on ambition and quality here. See more about our team here 



Some practical exercises and tools you might use to open up and explore ambition and quality with your leadership team, board or wider staff group.


Links (coming soon)

Some other resources we’ve found useful when we’ve been thinking about ambition and quality. Artistic Directors of the future, Literature Wales’ Representing Wales, Fuel (and others’) anti-racism touring rider



Image – The wonderful Laura Nyahuye