Archive för Social Forum

The Economy of Creativity • Nairobi

I was stunned with what the government official was saying. I had to hear it referred by another person before I believed it.

The workshop days on the topic ”The Economy of Creativity” started with a TV-show with well-known actor and journalist John Sibi-Okumu as the presenter. Invited to the panel were celebrities from Kenyan business and creative life. Hip-hop artist Nameless shared panel with business man Manu Chandaria,TV-personality Dan Ndambuki known for his very popular show ”Churchill Live”, a representative from the Rugby team, Anders Öhrn from Swedish Institute and the governmental official. It was a talk of the economy of creativity, obstacles and possibilities for creative industries in Kenya, the relation between culture and business life. The governmental official said that a cultural policy is coming and a national endowment for the Arts will be in place, something very welcomed by the Artists in the audience although many afterwards told me that they heard this so many times. And as she talked she was addressing problems in the field, and she explained the problems with something like: ”People have an attitude problem” and ”this needs to be changed”. People have an attitude problem? A clip will be on youtube soon, so let’s check if she really said this.

After the show, mainly cultural entrepreneurs and some representatives from business life gathered on a one and a half day workshop to discuss how cultural entrepreneurs and investors could empower each other. The thought was that business life needs the creative industries, as well as the other way around. After long and intense discussions and the full commitment of participants acting as investors investing money in cultural projects, it was quite obvious that venture capital and cultural projects and businesses have difficulties finding each other. Investors will not find the opportunities they are looking for in these projects and Artists’ might not be interested in this sort of capital. They just don’t make enough profit to be interesting for the investor and the major drive for the Artists is not profit, but meaning. For a few it might be a way, and for them it would perhaps be interesting to build bridges, but for the majority this is not a solution. It is important, all-the-same, to learn from each other and there are benefits for both business and cultural field to interact more, was a thought from the conference.

On the evaluation after the workshop, a few conclusions were drawn to strengthen the creative industries and the awareness of the same. Maybe not so new, but even more strongly:

1. Strengthen cultural entrepreneurs and professional Artists with management tools and other similar skills. Education, workshops and training is needed.

2. Strengthen the creative field as a sector through better organization and structure.

3. Promote the creative industries and show the potential for other fields. Raise awareness with businesses and investors.

The workshop was funded by Swedish Institute and Strömme Foundation, support from the Swedish Embassy in Nairobi,  in the project ”Empowering Creators and Investors” run by Pratik Vithlani in cooperation with GoDown Arts Centre and Nätverkstan. Read more under category ”Kenya” on the side on this site.


13 september, 2009

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More World Social Forum, Belém

”We are living in a more globalized world, whether we like it or not”. With those words introduced Professor Jan Aart Scholte a seminar on Building Global Democracy. He continued:  “The world also tends to be governed more global. Global problems need scholte.jpgglobal response. But how?” As one of a group of academics, practitioners and policy makers, he has created a network  called the Building Global Democracy Programme (BGD). Their aim is to give a clearer picture of the concept of Global Democracy, put it on the agenda, raise the consciousness about it, give publicity to different initiatives and hopefully formulate some proposals of what to do to create a more democratic world.

It is not an easy task. Finding new solutions to old problems. Even this small seminar demonstrates the difficulties. We are around 30 people in the room. The facilitator asks us to put questions to the panel as an input to the discussion? We are also asked to present ourselves by name and nationality, as if each and every one of us could represent her or his country. This is only one example of how old structures and perceptions are being reproduced.

However, the initiative is very interesting and worth looking into:

Yesterday evening we witnessed a historic event in a huge exhibition hall in the outskirts wsf-belem.jpgtidning.jpgof Belém. Tens of thousands of enthusiastic delegates to the World Social Forum greeted Brazilian president Lula as he entered the stage together with four presidential colleagues from the South American Continent, among them Venezuela´s controversial leader, Hugo Chávez. The meeting can be interpreted as one of the outcomes of the Forum process: civil society in Latin America has managed to get their candidates elected president.
Written by Karin Dalborg, Manager of Kulturverkstan, the Project Management Training Programme at Nätverkstan.

1 februari, 2009

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Welcome! Belém 2009

Welcome citizens of the world!
Coming from Nätverkstan, Gothenburg Sweden, I’m one of 100 000 people from all over the world attending the 9th World Social Forum. This time it is held in Belém, Amazonia Brazil. Opposed to the World Economic Forum in Davos this is a meeting place for Civil Society Organisations, activists, scholars, networks and other people interested in making “another world possible”. The Forum aims to be a space for alliances and platforms for action, discussion and new perspectives.

The official opening took place on January 27th with a march through the city. During six days some 2000 self-managed activities (seminars, workshops, cultural activities) are taking place. The topics span from democracy, Human Rights, climate changes, our demonstration.jpgwelcome.jpgnatural resources…

This year the WSF enlarges its territory. Local social forum events express their participation in Mexico, Kongo, Pakistan, Sweden (Malmö), Palestine, France, Sudan, to mention some of them. This Belém expanded has been prepared through the social networking website of the WSF.

Nätverkstan has been following this process since 2003, participating in both the global and the regional (European Social Forum) forums. It’s difficult to grasp but it’s definitely one of the most interesting events in the 21st century. A grassroots initiative that indicates a global civil society. What will come out of it? I think it’s too early to evaluate.

Written by Karin Dalborg, Manager of Kulturverkstan, the Project Management Training Programme at Nätverkstan.

30 januari, 2009

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Some says aid, some says trade- I say: Help Sweden

With Barack Obama in power the future looks a little bit brighter. But the challenges for him are huge, to say it mildly. One of the greatest challenges for him and other global leaders are The Millennium Development goals. The goals in itself is not controversial today – but the question is how to get there. Some says aid, some says trade. Others are more radical. Many puts a great blame on the European agricultural subsidies. A very interesting and thoughtful campaign is Help Sweden. By reversing our way of thinking (especially on Africa) it helps us to understand what’s at stake. Please check it out and, if you agree, sign.

6 november, 2008

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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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