Archive for april, 2010

Innovationsystem in Region Västra Götaland

Twelve people working with different parts of the innovation system to support business ideas, counselling, mentorship, and financing for the SME field in Region Västra Götaland walk up the stage. They stand in a long row on the stage where some fifteen years ago the world’s well-known operas were performed. Storan was the former opera house of Göteborg and a cultural mark in Göteborg, a building that unfortunately has not gotten a proper new role yet after the opera moved to the new built opera house by the river in 1994.

This conference is about how to start and help new businesses through the innovation system in the region. There are representatives from incubators, financing, social businesses, counselling, mentorship and the middlemen that can answer questions and send you to the right place. Two of these mentioned that they work with artists, none of them put forward cultural and creative businesses as a potential area or possible clients to work with.

It’s interesting since at the same time, in Brussels and around Europe, the contribution of the creative industries is put forward as a high priority question. The state of Sweden has written an activity plan for how to support creative industries in Sweden, the Region Västra Götaland has one too, and so have some communities. Everyone lean on the figures from the EU commission from 2006 on the economic size of the field: 2,6% of GDP in Europe, 3,1% of the workforce and growing. This is where new jobs will be created.

But for the twelve people on the stage, and the presentators of the day, this fact seem to have passed by unnoticed. Not one mentioned this as a potential area or had strategies of how to encircle, define and find methods of how to work with this growing field. Perhaps it’s not so big in economic size compared to others in the larger economy, but isn’t every lost opportunity also a missed possibility?

Nätverkstan is working with an educational programme on creative industries aimed for the innovation system in the region on an assignment from Region Västra Götaland. We also work with Cultural Innovation as such and have two seminars with Arvind Lodaya from Sristhi School of Art, Design and Technology in May. Read this for more info.

28 april, 2010

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Cultural Innovation

Another buzzword in Europe is ”Innovation”. A word making the eyes of policy makers, economists and others shine with expectation. Last year in Europe was dedicated to the year of Creativity and Innovation and the creativity around how to get the attention from the EU Commission was interesting to follow.

As was said on the Forum of Cultural Industries in Barcelona recently, cultural and creative industries are still high on the priority list among cultural ministers in Europe. And with this also the question of how you could foster creativity and innovation within art and culture.  KEA European Affairs was commissioned last year by EU to do a study showing with facts how culture in itself had an impact on creativity.  Interesting, but is culture and art necessary always creative? And for the concept of innovation we are often stuck with the classical understanding of the word; as an invention you get patented, often found within medicine and technique. Structures are built to support and foster creative ideas within these fields, often together with technical Universities.

c_innovation_webHow does that apply on cultural products and artistic expressions? Very few of these can be patented. What would be innovation in a cultural and artistic context? What is cultural innovation? Where is the driving force for (cultural) change in society? How does cultural innovation happen?

On a meeting last week with one of the finance and support structures for SME’s put up by the Swedish state, two things were evident. They had never given finance support to cultural entrepreneurs as they could remember, and on a discussion on innovative ideas, art and culture was not on the agenda.

In May and June, Region Västra Götaland will host Arvind Lodaya, Senior Faculty and Dean, Research at Sristhi School of Art, Design and Tecnology, and an artist from Bangalore (India) as a visiting Professor. His working place will be Nätverkstan and his main focus is cultural innovation. Two seminars will be held in Göteborg to explore the topic together with participants.

Download the invitation here: Cultural_Innovation.pdf . You can also download a discussion paper by Mr Arvind Lodaya here: arvindlodaya_discussionnote.pdf. More can be read of Arvind Lodaya and Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology here. and here The residence is part of the programme Linking Initiatives, a cooperation between the state of Karnataka and Region Västra Götaland.

20 april, 2010

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Publicity and Intellectual Property Rights

There is a lot of talk about Google in Sweden these days. Well, it has been since they started the process of digitizing books on Internet and the question of Intellectual Property Rights that followed. The Swedish Publishing Houses are one of the parties in this being furious. But now the buzz is due to the Swedish journalist Andreas Ekström who just released a book on Google (Google-koden), which has been reviewed in the papers recently.

The overall question seem to be: Is Google a threat to publicity?

Nätverkstan and Journalist Mikael Löfgren are, together with National Library of Sweden, Göteborg Book Fair, and The Foundation for the Culture of the Future, arranging two seminars this year on the topic Publicity and Intellectual Property Rights. The first will be in Stockholm in May, the second during the Göteborg Book Fair in inbjudankbSweden – and as invited guest and speaker to this seminar will be Santiago de la Mora (read an interview here) from Google.

The thought is simple and as can be read in the invitation to the seminar in Stockholm (my translation):

”The digital development affects society with a force we can only see the beginning of. The technical development detonates all efforts to with legal system or commercially encircle it. The business models of which through history has created the infrastructure of the modern society is in the middle of a crisis. This infrastructure has, in turn, been the base for the democratic emergence”

The questions of the publicity and intellectual property rights concern not only the different art forms, legal system, business models; it concerns everyone, all citizens.

First seminar in Stockholm is in Swedish, second one in September with Google in English. Download the invitation to Stockholm here: inbjudanO&U.pdf. One of many seminars on the topic of new busniess models for arts due to digitizing can be read on this site here.

11 april, 2010

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Lotta Lekvall
Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural Organisation in Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services …

Cultural and Social Entrepreneurship

On this blog we would like to explore entrepreneurship from a cultural and social point of view. Or rather put forward entrepreneurial initiatives within these two fields.




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