Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century: 7th World Summit on Arts and Culture, Malta

21 May

ifacca7th World Summit on Arts and Culture: At the crossroads? Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century

The 7th World Summit on Arts and Culture is jointly hosted by the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) and Arts Council Malta (ACM), the Maltese Government’s national agency for development and investment in the cultural and creative sectors.

The World Summit is the most important and longest running international gathering of professionals and practitioners involved in cultural policy and arts funding.  Held every two or three years, the World Summit on Arts and Culture is the only international event of its kind in the arts and culture policy field. World Summits provide a distinctive platform for national arts councils, ministries of culture and other agencies active in the global arts and culture sector to:

  • discuss and exchange experiences and ideas about key issues affecting public support for the arts and creativity
  • engage in insightful, stimulating debate and discussions among policy makers within the context of contemporary global and national challenges;
  • challenge or affirm current practices by benchmarking good practice;
  • create networking opportunities to build relationships and potential partnerships; and
  • develop the networking, organisational and advocacy objectives and interests of IFACCA and its members.


Theme: At the crossroads? Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century malta

The 2016 Summit will be held in Malta – a country situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, always found at the crossroads, where cultures have been meeting and interacting throughout history. A wonderful place to host this unique international event and to stimulate international discussions.

The 7th World Summit will bring together key decision-makers and actors involved in addressing the challenges of funding the arts; supporting the development of the creative industries and the cultural development of communities; and promoting to the world the initiatives and achievements of the arts and culture sector. Given Malta’s Mediterranean location, the Summit also offers a unique opportunity to consider the intersections between Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

The focus of the 2016 World Summit on Arts and Culture, will be on Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century.  The arts and culture can be considered to be at a crossroads – faced with many challenges and opportunities at the global, national and local level such as: the impact of new technologies on the production and distribution of cultural goods and services; threats to global security; new patterns of migration; changing contexts at the national level including austerity measures and continuous requests for reform; aspirations from artists and culture operators to extend their impact and outreach to other sectors, while also struggling to guarantee freedom of expression and ensure cultural diversity.

Cultural leadership which understands and takes into account the changing realities of today’s world becomes fundamental for ensuring that the arts and culture are seen as pillars of social development in the 21st century. Traditionally, the concept of leadership was associated with the top-down approach. Today, leaders can no longer be identified solely based on their positions in governmental or governance structures, but rather on their ability to articulate a vision and bring about change. It is crucial to affirm also the role of artists, leaders of networks and advocacy groups or professional organisations, whether they are at the local or international level, to maximise the range of stakeholders involved in actively debating and proposing solutions for the contemporary challenges of the arts and culture sector.

Aimed at reflecting on the changing perception and role of leadership at different levels, the programme of the Summit will be organized around three thematic clusters:

  • Global developments having an impact on reforms of the governance of culture in the 21st century
  • National arts and cultural policies in need of vision, innovation and leadership
  • Bottom-up approaches and trends: the role of leadership at local levels

The debates during the 2016 Summit will focus on number of questions – who are the key players? How are the decisions being made? Who provides leadership for development opportunities? What does the concept of leadership represent for different cultures and how do we address the needs and expectations of future generations? How do we articulate priorities and who is responsible for innovative solutions and changes?  How do governments and civil society share responsibilities and collaborate?

My Presentation: Intrapreneurship and Innovation as Vectors of Cultural Leadership in the New Global World

It is an honor for me that my proposal is accepted and I will attend the World Summit as a speaker and panelist. Such a wonderful opportunity! I intend to focus on cultural leaders as intrapreneurs and the need for creating intrapreneurial climate as well as to constantly innovate in order to run a cultural organisation in a sustainable mode. I will be presenting key theoretical concepts, models and cases from diverse countries.

Today we live in a globalized and connected world that brings new international opportunities as well as obstacles for cultural organizations and their leaders. In the context of scarcity of financial resources worldwide, the 21st century cultural leaders require more than ever strategies and methods to create an intrapreneurial innovative climate in their organisations and projects in order to achieve sustainability, to reach global audiences, to increase their international image, and to find new partners. Cultural leadership nowadays is no longer associated just with the position in an organizational structure, or with personal traits. It requires special abilities for creating an intrapreneurial climate of ongoing innovation and seeking opportunities for sustainable financial models through engaging diverse stakeholders on international scale, while at the same time undertaking certain amount of risk.

The term intrapreneurship, or internal entrepreneurship, is a relatively new phenomenon, still very little explored in arts and culture sector and rarely connected with the theory and practice of cultural leadership. Intrapreneurial climate is usually described in the management literature as one where the team is given freedom and opportunities to innovate and is encouraged to do so on a long-term. Creating an intrapreneurial climate in the arts and culture sector in public institutions, nonprofit organisations and business ventures depends on several variables, among them: organisational structure, leadership style, size of organisation and sector in which it operates. One of the general rules is that the more flexible, open, collaborative and international the organisation is, the easier it becomes to foster an intrapreneurial climate.

My presentation focuses also on several key characteristics of intrapreneurial climate, created by a successful strategic leader: flexible organisational structure, innovative and autonomous team, feeling of shared ownership, ongoing experimentation and innovation, organisational sociability, risk-taking behavior, appropriate motivation techniques, securing ongoing investment in research and development, and more.

nina-fotoThe Programme Director of the 7th World Summit

Nina Obuljen Koržinek graduated from the Academy of Music and Faculty of Arts of the University of Zagreb. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph. D. in Political Science from the University of Zagreb. She has also completed a one-year programme at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. Nina Obuljen Koržinek works as a research associate at the Institute for Development and International Relations in Zagreb (IRMO). In 2004 she received the European Cultural Policy Research Award for her research on the impact of the EU enlargement on cultural policies which was published in the book Why we need European Cultural Policies: impact of EU enlargement on countries in transition, Amsterdam, 2006. Nina Obuljen Koržinek held positions of State Secretary (2008-2011) and Assistant Minister (2006-2008) at the Croatian Ministry of Culture where she was responsible for the sectors of arts, culture and media. From 2001 until 2006 she was a member of the Steering Committee of the International Network for Cultural Diversity. From 2012 until 2014 she was the Chairperson of the Programme Council of the Croatian Radio and Television. In 2013 she received the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture.


Over 400 delegates from over 70 countries are expected to attend the 7th World Summit on Arts and Culture. Delegates will include: IFACCA members and affiliates; arts funding agencies; ministers of culture and ministry representatives; senior arts leaders; cultural industry sector, arts companies; community arts organisations; arts supporters and advocates; artists and cultural workers; researchers and academics; arts educators and administrators; private foundations and more.

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The Entrepreneurial Strategy in the Real World: Davender Gupta’s Advises and Lessons Learned

22 Feb

20160217_114425Davender Gupta is a coach and mentor to many entrepreneurs through his company, Startup-Académie, and programs such as Startup-Académie 101, FastTrac TechVenture Québec, Startup Weekend (Québec, Sherbrooke and Montreal) and Lean Startup Machine. His passion is to guide high-performance entrepreneurs to develop the clarity, the confidence and the discipline to successfully execute on their ideas. His first 15-year career as a military aerospace research and development engineer led to a second career, experiencing first-hand the startup boom of the late 1990s. He then pivoted into a third career as a Venture Catalyst and Entrepreneurial Leadership Coach, helping hundreds of startups and scaleups across Canada and overseas to transform their ideas into impact. His fourth act is building an “Entrepreneurial Amplifier” and seed fund to support tech scaleups earn their first $1M-$10M of revenue. Davender is also very active in developing the regional and national startup ecosystems. In 2013, Davender was named as one of “Canada’s Top Ten Rockstar Mentors” by Startup Canada and Futurpreneur Canada. Most recently, he completed the MIT-Sloan School of Management “Entrepreneur Development Program”, an elite-level international intensive in innovation-driven business strategy and growth.

Davender was so kind to join my classes on Strategic Management at Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University last week and share his 20160217_121049viewpoint on strategy, related to startup companies and entrepreneurs. His guest lecture was very much appreciated by the students. Below are some of the highlights:

  • The importance of every strategy is how you create, deliver and harvest value.
  • Strategy is a guide, but not the answer. It is about exploring choices and it has to be adaptable to the reality. The moment you execute a strategy, it becomes invalid.
  • Strategy is to look at problems and find solutions, not to justify ideas.
  • It is important to ask yourself the question: is your idea a strong foundation for growth? How does it measure up to the four Ps:

* People: Who are the stakeholders of your idea and how many of them you could get to contribute to your growth?
*Purpose: How does your idea resonate with the stakeholders and does it have a strong, responsible and compelling purpose?
*Passion: How does your idea tap into the passion of your stakeholders? Would they contribute to your growth?
*Profit: What is the result that you will create with your idea? How will your stakeholders benefit? How can you be rewarded for the impact and results you make?


  • When elaborating a strategy, it is important to choose the right market and industry segment. Business ventures are complex entities and it is often difficult to define the exact industry branch where the company will compete. In what business are we in, and how to compete are the two important angles of strategic choices.
  • Strategy is a hypothesis. You need to dig down to what you don’t know about what you don’t know – and what the market doesn’t know about what the market doesn’t know.
  • The strategy needs to be agile and to be able to adapt to the changes and the real world in real time. Strategic plans are dynamic-in order to be useful, they should contain a room for changes.20160217_121530
  • Strategy is about choosing between equally viable alternative strategic commitments. This requires knowledge that can only be gained through experimentation and learning.
  • When elaborating a strategy, there is no “right answer” other than that which honours what you stand for.
  • Smart entrepreneurs are not “risk-takers, but “risk managers”. The goal of the entrepreneurs when elaborating and executing a strategy is to change the game in their own favour. This is actually the only strategy that counts.

Davender’s talk provoked students to ask over 30 questions at the end of the class.He took time after the classes to answer to all of them-a big Thank You for that on behalf of the students! Below are only a small portion of questions and answers:

1. What are the biggest errors an entrepreneur can do that would lead to a business failure?

-          Focusing on “building the thing” rather than focusing on solving a real problem for a real person.

-          Not choosing the right people: most business failures are team and people failures, not financial or technical

-          Starting a business “to get rich”: there are easier, faster and cheaper ways to make money. Start a business for the right reasons, primarily because you are “in love” with what you’re doing.

2. What is the most challenging risk that you have observed in startups?

-          Shifting from development mode to sales mode and entering the first market. It requires a whole different mindset. Sometimes you need to let people go and bring new people on board.

 3. What advices would you give to someone that wants to work in consulting?

-          Build a network of smart people around you early on.

-          Share your knowledge early and often (blog, podcast, social media).

-          Build a personal brand, be known as a passionate.

 4.  How to find passion? When you find out that someone’s idea is really your passion? How to differentiate from just other things you like?

-          Passion about an idea is like falling in love: you can’t think of anything else other than that idea and it keeps you up at night.

 5. How do you think a company’s growth strategy should change as revenue grows from $10 000 to 100 000 to 10 000 000 to 50 000 000?

-          The first ten customers need to become your best friends. They will buy because they know and love you.

-          The first hundred customers then become your best spokespeople. They will buy because they know you and want to help you.

-          The first thousand customers need to be your true fans. They buy because they are meeting you and love what you’re doing.

-          At that point, your customer base loyalty shifts from you to your offer.

-          So at first, don’t be shy about putting a personal face on your company and your offer. Then as the company grows, put the offer first.

6.  It appears that the hope of 2015+ is around tech-apps, sites, platforms…and product ideas are discouraged. Is it getting too crowded?

-          Disagree. The movement up until recently was more apps and software because the tools were developed to make it cheap to build software. Now with 3d-printing, Arduino, etc, I believe the next wave is more hardware. I am specifically looking to invest in tangible things rather than just software.

 7.  How to you coach to deal with uncertainty?

-          Visualize the future as if everything will go right and act in the moment as if everything will go wrong.

 8. What are specific tools entrepreneurs use to identify what they don’t know?

-          Validation of hypothesis around what people need and what they want


9. Do you believe an undergraduate diploma in entrepreneurship is worth anything to actually start a company?

-          The popular belief today is that the only way to learn entrepreneurship is “on the job”, that you learn by doing. However what I see is that this leads to too many blind spots that end up sinking great ideas. I think that you need to learn the basics of aerodynamics before taking the controls of a jet fighter. I like the trends at McGill and Concordia to integrate learning about entrepreneurship and doing it at the same time.

Davender is convinced that “in the future we need a new generation of citizen-leaders who are crystal-clear about their purpose, who are powered by the passion of a big vision and who transform the status-quo by mobilizing communities of people to build systems that create profit and prosperity for all“. Hopefully McGill students will be exactly this types of leaders in the 21st century….Especially supported in such a generous way by business leadership mentors and coaches like Davender Gupta.


International Entrepreneurship in the Arts: Scope, Models and Examples

26 Jan

ifaccaThis report summarizes the results of the online survey on International Entrepreneurship n the Arts, disseminated among the members of IFACCA (International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies) in May-June 2015. IFACCA Secretariat assisted my research on this topic. The results are included in Chapter 6 of my new book International Entrepreneurship in the Arts, to be published by Routledge in 2016.

Why is International Entrepreneurship an Important Issue in the Arts?

International entrepreneurship is a dynamic, evolving and motivating field for scholars, researchers, educators, artists and managers in the arts. In the current global context of scarcity of financial resources for the arts, artists and art managers require more than ever innovative methods and tools to expand their creative ideas and projects internationally in order to find a sustainable ways to increase audiences for the arts and attract diverse stakeholders. Artistic creativity nowadays is not simply a personal expression, but a means to influence society, foster economic growth, and create new jobs by transforming an artistic idea into a business model. Therefore, it is inevitably connected with the development of creative industries and cultural entrepreneurship. Governments and diverse stakeholders at local, national and international level have an important role to play in creating a support system for entrepreneurial climate in the arts.

What Were the Aims of This Research?

The online survey aimed at answering the following key questions:

  • How do the national governments, local authorities and diverse stakeholders support arts entrepreneurs, organizations and artists that go beyond national borders with a creative idea that has the potential to earn revenue?
  • What are the opportunities, barriers and trends in international entrepreneurship in the arts in different countries? What are effective ways by which arts entrepreneurs expand internationally?
  • What are the leading examples in support of international entrepreneurship in the arts in different countries?
  • What are some of the success stories of arts entrepreneurs and organizations in different countries and regions of the world?
  • What are the “lessons learned” about how to expand a creative idea internationally?

The survey consisted of 12 open and closed questions. Twenty six people from 19 countries responded to the questionnaire – 18 in English, 4 in French and 2 in Spanish. Below is the summary of the survey’s results.

Scope of International Entrepreneurship in the Arts

Respondents of the online survey answered that there are four main aspects related to the term international entrepreneurship in the arts, ranking them in priority order as follows:

  • Gradual expansion of an arts organization globally after positioning itself on the domestic market (16%).
  • Attracting international sources of financing and funding in the development of an emerging arts organization (16%).
  • Starting an entrepreneurial arts organization or project in another country and conducting business activities based on a creative idea across national boundaries (4%)
  • Presenting of artistic projects, or events in front of audiences beyond the national boundaries.
  • All of the above (60%)
  • Other (4%). Here respondents outline the following two aspects of IEA: simultaneous presence in several countries and starting up an arts venture that is run by a multinational team


Sectors Most Suitable for Entrepreneurial Developmentglobalbusiness

The online survey aimed at identifying the sectors of arts and creative industries that are most suitable for starting up entrepreneurial ventures. Respondents in the survey ranked them in the following way (please, note that the question had multiple choice answers):

  • Music and sound recording (73%)
  • Visual and applied arts (72%)
  • Performing arts (62%)
  • Crafts (62%)
  • Design (61%)
  • Cultural heritage (60%)
  • Fashion (50%)
  • Film (45%)
  • Video (34%)
  • Publishing (33%)
  • Multimedia art (33%)
  • Animation (28%)
  • Computer games (27%)
  • Architecture (22%)
  • Others (11%)

Several respondents expressed opinions that all sectors could be suitable for elaboration of entrepreneurial models. In some sectors this depends to a great extent on public funding (like cultural heritage), while in other branches entrepreneurs could generate more revenues from audiences and buyers (e.g. video games, film business or music business). The important aspect of an entrepreneurial model in the arts is to keep a balance between self-generated incomes and public funding, especially in the cases of social entrepreneurship.

Models of International Expansion

International entrepreneurs in the arts have different choices to expand their creative business abroad. They have an option to start internationally from the early inception of an innovative idea, or to grow the venture beyond borders after the initial domestic positioning and local success. The process of considering expansion beyond borders usually starts with evaluation of the main reasons for international growth and a thorough research of all influencing external and internal factors in order to find out the driving and restraining forces that might influence the expansion process. The research results shows that the choice of a model for international expansion is influencing by diverse factors, such as: the aspiration of the arts entrepreneur, the motivation to expand internationally, the “exportability” of cultural goods and services, the art venture’s capacity and potential for growth, options for partnership and collaboration in the targeted country, the overall situation in the targeted country, the level of risk which arts entrepreneur need to undertake, as well as practical and logistical matters.

One of the questions in the online survey was about the most common and preferred methods which entrepreneur in the arts use to expand their ventures abroad. The list below represents respondents’ answers, in a priority order (please, note that the question had multiple-choice answers):

  • Networking (88%)
  • Co-productions (75%)
  • Touring (66%)
  • Artistic cooperatives (53%)
  • Representatives (40%)
  • Online expansion (40%)
  • Agents (33%)
  • Consortium (33%)
  • Creative clusters (33%)
  • Licensing (27%)
  • Strategic alliances (non-equity) (27%)
  • Distributors (22%)
  • Strategic alliances (equity based) (20%)
  • Indirect export (through trade houses) (14%)
  • Merging (13%)
  • Acquisition (7%)
  • Horizontal integration (6%)
  • Vertical integration (0%)
  • Others (please specify):

Collaborative models of international expansion, such as networking and co-productions are ranked with priority. They aim at combining efforts, competences, resources and expertise of arts organisations in order to achieve mutually beneficiary results by working together. Touring is an especially effective model for performing arts organisations that aim at reaching international audiences and increase their visibility abroad. Foreign agents and other types of representatives also receive high ranking in the list, especially related to arts ventures that sell abroad creative and cultural goods in the field of fine arts and crafts. Establishing of international consortium is useful for attracting international funding for a specific project, for building up a new cultural venue, or for promoting the value of cultural resources to local communities. This type of partnership is often used by nonprofit organisations and social enterprises. Licensing is a popular international expansion model especially in some branches of creative industries such as visual arts, music, design and photography.

Business models focused on online distribution and sales are also very popular in the arts, especially considering the rapid development of Web 2.0 tools and other online and mobile technologies in the 21st century.

Development of strategic alliances, horizontal and vertical integration methods, indirect exporting, as well as mergers and acquisitions are not very popular international expansion models in the arts sector. One of the reasons is that they are usually effective for big corporations and arts sector worldwide is fragmented, consisting of small and medium-scale businesses that do not have the capacity and resources to use these methods of expansion.

EAK-BabsonArts-Final-940x400Examples of Arts Enterprises

Part of the online survey was related to finding examples of arts enterprises that start small and local, but then rapidly develop internationally, that have innovative characteristics, efficient business mode and aim at global leadership. Survey respondents provided the following examples coming from eight countries:

There are several key success factors in the process of international expansion of an arts venture, as follows:

  • Ongoing innovation and high creative capacity;
  • Choice of the right partner in the targeted country;
  • Maintaining a strong international network of partners, audiences and supporters;
  • Understanding and applying online technologies;
  • Creative and devoted international team, and
  • Constant observation of trends and external factors.


Examples of Government Support for International Entrepreneurship in the Artsi-can-t-keep-calm-because-i-m-an-artist

Government support mechanisms for international entrepreneurship in the arts vary from country to country. Some strategies and tools are specialized for the creative industries while others are part of the general country support for international trade and business. There are several main methods of government support, as follows:

  • Legislative mechanisms for import-export of arts-related products
  • Export and trade support services, including export finance measures and fiscal initiatives
  • Promotional activities for arts events and organisations that expand abroad
  • Cultural diplomacy

Governments’ support on organizational level includes the following mechanisms:

  • Support for international co-productions;
  • Establishment of incubators and accelerators for startup companies in the arts and creative industries;
  • Offering low-cost spaces for artistic innovation and entrepreneurial activities in the arts;
  • Support of networks of startup companies, and
  • Assistance of artists-run centers and cooperatives.

On individual level, governments in different countries support artists and entrepreneurs in the arts in their efforts to expand abroad in the following main ways:

  • Individual travel grants;
  • Individual travel loans;
  • Information sessions for possibility to expand abroad;
  • Support for attending international events, such as trade shows and festivals;
  • Mentorship and coaching for arts entrepreneurs; and
  • Awards and prizes for the most successful arts entrepreneurs and inventors.

Respondents in the survey provided a few concrete country examples of government support for international entrepreneurship in the arts, as follows:

Arts entrepreneurs need to explore what are the support system elements that exist in their country in all the three sectors-government, business and nonprofit, and how to use these opportunities. It is important that they are aware of the direct and indirect cultural policy methods for support of arts entrepreneurship, as well as the city strategy for investing in innovations, creativity and the arts as vectors for further economic and social development.

What’s next?

The forthcoming book International Entrepreneurship in the Arts (Routledge, 2016) will provide further understanding and analysis of elements of the support system for entrepreneurship in the arts that exist on international, national and local level. It aims to help entrepreneurs in the arts to apply successfully theoretical strategies and tools into their practice to cross borders and expand their artistic ventures internationally.

Read more on the research results at IFACCA D’Art research reports soon!


Image Sources:


Cultural and Creative Industries for Sustainable Development: Policy Directions and Innovative Projects

15 Dec

Paper, presented at the III International Conference “Cultural Policy, Policy for Culture: the Role of Culture in Sustainable Development in Post-2015 Agenda”, within the framework of 70th Anniversary of UNESCO (11-13 July 2015, Yerevan, Armenia). The full results of the research and some of the examples are included in Lidia Varbanova’s new book International Entrepreneurs in the Arts: Innovative Strategies and Cases (to be published by Routledge in 2016).

 1. Cultural policy for cultural diversity

UNESCOSince long time UNESCO is concerned about the role of policy-making for protection and promotion of cultural diversity. In the 1950-60s official documents relate to cultural policy as “art policy” – the responsibility of the governments for supporting arts and culture organizations, both directly and indirectly. In the 1970s onward, culture became linked with the notion of “development”. The 2001 Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity represents cultural diversity as fundamental for humankind, linking it to ideas of democracy and human rights. The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in 2005 recognizes:

  • the distinction between economic and cultural values, asserts that both are important, and sets out a series of measures which can be developed at national or international level;
  • the overall contribution of the cultural industries to economic and social development, particularly in developing countries;
  • the integration of culture into sustainable development strategies and national development policies; and
  • the international cooperation to facilitate the mobility of artists as well as the flow of cultural goods and services, especially those from the South.

Cultural policies for cultural diversity have two distinguished elements (See Fig.1):

  • Support of accessibility, participation, education, equality because of the “market failure” of the arts. From this angle, culture is mainly understood as artistic expressions and from institutional viewpoint relates to core artistic disciplines.
  • Support of creative industries, incl. broadcasting, film, publishing, new media, design, and others. The main focus here is on the chain “production-consumption” of cultural goods and services, and how to measure the economic and social values in each phase of the process.


2. Cultural industries: six key trends and policy directions

The term “cultural industries” traces its genealogy back to earlier work in the Frankfurt School (1930-1940s). In 1980s UNESCO included in this term forms of cultural production and consumption that have at their core symbolic or expressive elements. Creative industries were considered to cover wide range of fields, such as music, art, writing, fashion and design, and media industries, e.g. radio, publishing, film and television production. The most well known definition about creative industries is the one given by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, UK, in 1996: “The creative industries are those industries that have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent, and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.[i]” This is a breakthrough definition as it emphasizes on the fact that arts and culture are not only subsidized areas, but they have a huge contribution to the economic development of a country. They comprise a large variety of creative fields, from more industrialized one such as advertising and marketing, broadcasting, film industries, Internet and mobile content industry, music industries, print and electronic publishing, and video and computer games to those that are traditional fields of arts, such as: painting, sculpture, theatre, opera and other performing arts, museums and library services. In according to different classifications , creative industries might include also: crafts, fashion, design industry, cultural tourism, architecture and even sport and recreation.

The newest definition of creative industries is given by the UK innovation charity NESTA in 2013: “Creative industries cover those sectors which specialize in the use of creative talent for commercial purposes” (source). This definition emphasizes that these industries are leaders and establish trends for creativity and innovation in the wider economy and they exclude cultural production of nonprofit and public sectors.

The beauty and uniqueness of creative industries are that:

  • They deal with ideas and are based on human creativity;
  • They are a combination of individual creativity and mass production of symbolic cultural goods;
  • They require an ability to think differently and outside of the box;
  • They are based on intellectual property;
  • Their branches are very closely connected with one another; and
  • They allow cultural diversity to flourish.


 3. Six key policy directions for support of creative industries

When elaborating policy directions for creative industries in the future, there is a need to consider two main trends in the external environment:

  • The key technological changes and main trends that will affect our societies in the next 10 years. Among them are: the internet of things – universal connectivity; the rise of ‘biological machines’; biometric security; alternative energy generators; materials getting smart; 3D printing; robotics; super sensors; augmented reality, and many others. How arts and culture field reflects on these technological advancements and uses them for increasing audiences and supporters is an important question.
  • The Generation Z, or the Millennials and their new way to connect, get information and accumulate knowledge. These young people are born with the new technologies and are surrounded by media and screens. They have a high tolerance for risk and uncertainty. Around 72% of them want to start their own business. They are highly collaborative and online platforms as well as the global connectivity is part of their daily life.

A recent online research outlines six key policy directions for support of creative industries that governments undertake. They are listed below, with examples from different countries on each one of them as an illustration. The full results of the research and some of these examples are included in Lidia Varbanova’s new book International Entrepreneurs in the Arts: Innovative Strategies and Cases (to be published by Routledge in 2016).

            3.1.Nurturing innovations in the Arts is an innovative project that aims to provide access to 3d digital archives of museum collections and to facilitate the distribution of 3d printed replicas and curated content of cultural artifacts for educational, research and entertainment use. The project is founded by Nikolaos Maniatis from Athens, Greece with the ambition to accelerate innovation in the field of cultural asset management. The project is one of the winning ideas of the Diversity European Idea Competition Awards in 2013.

           3.2. Supporting arts entrepreneurship

1. Raw Almond_Photo3Joe Kalturnyk is the founding director of RAW: Gallery of Architecture and Design, which is one of only two official galleries in Canada focused on contemporary architecture and design, featuring artists, architects and designers. He is also the initiator of RAW: Almond -the “Winnipeg’s winter fine dining experience” – a restaurant on the top of the ice on the Assiniboine River and The Forks in Winnipeg. The restaurant was conceptualized in 2011 and opened in 2013 as a result of Joe’s collaboration with Mandel Hitzer , the chef of deer + almond restaurant. The restaurant is a temporary venture lasting only for 3 weeks in the winter as the ice melts after, and the construction dissembles. The two ventures are tight together. RAW: Almond was born out of necessity – there was a very real practical reason to start it – there hasn’t been sufficient funding for the RAW: Gallery

3.3. Facilitating collaboration and strategic alliances

4. Nova Iskra_Marko Radenkovic_Photo1Nova Iskra was initiated by five cultural managers and producers from different fields – previously working for festivals, arts organizations, design agencies, events planning and children. The focus point that motivated them to start a business together was not just their love for the arts. Their goal was to synergize skills and knowledge to help in positioning the role and the recognition of artists in the society, to assist creative young people to find jobs and being valued for their creative skills. Nova Iskra started as a project – conceptualize in 2010 and officially opened in 2012. It has four main directions of development:

  • Network for design and creative professionals;
  • Co-working space for creative projects – pioneer on the Balkans;
  • Innovation platform, includes educational programs; and
  • Matchmaking agency: connecting creative businesses with creative young professionals.

Nova Iskra’s business model proves sustainability of the organization from external funding sources. At the same time, the organization works in line of its core values and mission. The structure is horizontal , flexible and organic – there is no one leader or manager who decides autocratically.

             3.4   Revitalizing the city through the arts

Krumbach is a town with about 12,500 residents in the district Günzburg in the Bavarian administrative region Swabia, Germany. The goal to put it on the touristic map stayed behind the project of the Associaton Kultur Krumbach to approach seven international architects with an unusual proposition: ”design a bus stop for us and we’ll give you a free vacation in Krumbach”. International architects from Japan, China, Norway, Spain, Chile, Belgium, Russia collaborated with over 200 local designers and craftsmen to design the bus stops in a very unique and artistic way.

Sderot is a town in Southern Israel with a population of 24 000. After Gaza war (Dec 2008-Jan 2009) 150 million was spent on the construction of bomb shelters. This is a problem in the city as shelters are a serious source of anxiety for locals. The problem was transformed into a creative solution. A city initiative in 2014 motivated artists to paint the shelters in colors and to make them “sympathetic-looking”. This project changed them into art pieces and a symbol of the city’s creativity as well as vulnerability.

3.5   Fostering other industries using arts and artists

10. Street captured_Ariel_Photo2_OKThe idea for Street Captured project came up in 2004 when the designer Ariel Zuckerman and his colleague and friend Eran Shumshovitz were sharing a studio at a street of Florentine, one of Tel Aviv’s most graffiti-flooded neighbourhoods where there are also furniture craftsmen. The area is very lively in the night. Ariel and Eran decided to combine the two worlds-the graffiti and furniture. They left blank wooden boards on walls and waited someone to paint it with graffiti. Slowly, in few days, or sometimes in a month, different artists were adding layers after layers to the boards. Once when the palettes looked satisfactory in terms of shapes, colors, images of graffiti on them, they were brought to the design studio and transformed into diverse furniture pieces: tables, dressers, night stands.

                3.6   Encouraging sustainability in the arts

18.Ocean Sole_Julie Chirch_Photo3The company Ocean Sole, initiated by Julie Church, is passionate about the ocean, its ecosystems and marine wildlife. The main aim is to recycle tons of abandoned flip-flops that are found littered on beaches and in waterways of Kenya. The flip-flops are transformed into handcrafted colorful products. In 2010 the company won the National Award for Kenya at the Energy Globe Awards, Rwanda, celebrating their work with sustainable development. In 2013 the Ocean Sole Foundation was created with the idea to support marine conservation and the encouragement of innovation, creativity and sustainable trade solutions.

4. Conclusion

There are two principle ways for support of creative industries and cultural entrepreneurship: direct and indirect. Direct methods include:

  • Operations and programs initiated and managed by a government authority;
  • Loans for elaboration of a business plan and for starting up an arts enterprise;
  • Incubators and accelerators for arts entrepreneurship;
  • Awards, prizes for leading innovators and arts entrepreneurs ;
  • Working spaces for entrepreneurial arts cooperatives.

Indirect government support covers the following main areas:

  • Specific legislative mechanisms for encouraging start-up companies in the arts, including tax incentives;
  • Encouraging networks and strategic alliances;
  • Encouraging applied research and development in the arts; and
  • Education and training in arts entrepreneurship.

The direct and indirect methods of support for cultural industries on national and international level requires the governments to work on assisting cultural organizations and arts entrepreneurs to build strategic alliances, to implement innovative tools, to explore alternative sources of financing and new business models, to initiate new dynamic forms of online collaboration, and to reflect on global issues such as: sustainability, global warming, climate change, world poverty, and others.


 The International Conference “Cultural Policy and Policy for Culture” held in Yerevan, Armenia 11-13 July 2015 was devoted to the 70th anniversary of establishment of UNESCO. Delegates from 45 countries took part in the conference – cultural ministers, deputy-ministers, heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations in Armenia, cultural managers, researchers and experts.