Posts with tag Encatc

Trans Europe Halles meeting

Cooperation, not competition was this year’s theme for the network Trans Europe Halles’ yearly conference in Plzen, Czech Republic on October 9-12.

But the main topic and worry during this conference was the fact that the network lost its European network support from European Union.

Many networks, such as Eurozine, the network for European cultural journals, Trans Europe Halles, and others did not get their application through this year.

The European Union was set up in 1945 after the Great Wars with the aim to through cooperation build a peaceful Europe. Mobility has therefore been central for the European Commission as a way to facilitate people to meet.

The European networks within culture have played an important role in this regard. People have been meeting over old closed borders, across political differences or old rival countries. On a network meeting recently with Encatc, the European Network for Cultural Administration Training Centres, Russian and Ukrainian participants discussed art management and its development in the midst of the Ukrainian crises. East meet West, North meet South, and across. It goes back to Socrates (469-399 BC) and his idea of the value of the Socratic discussion where arguments meet and a learning process can start.

These are significant meetings and their importance should not be under estimated. The European Union should continue support a wide variety of European networks.

19 oktober, 2014

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Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries • Brussels

When EU leaders gathers to discuss and form policies for the European Union each participating member is balancing 1) their own nation’s interest and 2) the interest for EU as a whole. In that specific order.

EU leaders have been greatly criticized for not being able to put up a strong and convincing plan for how to come out of the financial crisis and save the euro. The balancing act between the interest of the nation and that of the structure as a whole is, to put it mildly, in conflict.

The discussion in the EU Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries is a miniature of the same problem.

EU Commission invited cultural organizations and networks in late 2007 to form platforms within different topics and policy-areas with the aim of coming up with recommendations to put in to the Commission’s work on culture. Spring 2008 these different platforms started their work.

Through the method structured dialogue the Commission hoped for a better – and more structured – dialogue between the Commission and the different actors in the cultural field.

The platforms have worked very differently. The Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries, a platform formed by around forty organizations, has proposed recommendations for the development of CCI but the road to finally agree on something has been bumpy. Some of the Platform’s participating organizations have refused to sign the final proposition, some have been objecting along the way.

No-one is surprised. Forty organizations representing publishers, audio-visuals, label companies, musicians and composers, architecs, universities and training centres and more gather in this one platform. The needs, structure, possibilities and challenges differ within each of these areas, so much that they can hardly be seen as one industry.

Is it just impossible, then, for the cultural field to agree and in consensus propose  strong overall recommendations to the EU that would benefit the sector as a whole?

Well, it’s symptomatic. What EU leaders fail to do on the large EU level, cultural organizations fail in their particular area. The interest of lobbying the agenda of the organization you are representing stands in the way of the interest for the sector as a whole.

It also needs to be said that the mandate for these platform called for by the EU Commission has been extremely vague if at all existing. The organizations forming the Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries have been working hard and with great seriousness taking the task of forming relevant recommendations.

The reception from the Commission has been lukewarm and the question hangs in the air if they have at all had any impact on forming the new cultural programme Creative Europe.

Still, Xavier Troussard, Head of Unit Cultural policy, diversity and intercultural dialogue, stresses that they now propose more money for the new programme, which of course in times of financial crisis would be an accomplishment however small it is.

It’s easy to in a haste and with frustration draw the conclusion that the actors in the cultural field can’t cooperate. It would be nice when the Commission now aims to evaluate the process, if it remembers to also look at the prerequisite set up for these platforms.

Sometimes the result you get depend on what question you asked.

Reflections from the meeting with The Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries, Brussels, February 6. Read also post here

6 februari, 2012

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Cultural forecast

The Encatc 19th Annual Conference in Helsinki was focusing on the future this year.

”A wind of change is blowing over our societies and reshaping our political, social and cultural paradigms. Increased urbanization, uneven social redistribution, a digital shift and an array of new audiences accessible mainly with the use of new technological tools – these are motors of change which provide as many challenges as they do opportunities.”

In a mix of key note speakers such as Saara L. Tallas, IKEA Professor in Business Studies in School of Business and Design, Linnaeus University (Sweden); Katri Halonen, acting head of degree program in Cultural management at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences; and Lidia Varbanonva, consultant, researcher and lecturer was mixed with intense group discussions on different topics. Encatc thematic areas had workshops within their specific themes as well as room for young researchers and research presentations.

Although the financial crisis hovered above like an evil cloud, optimistic thoughts were exchanged on the future of culture and its possibilities.

Read more of the conference here.

15 oktober, 2011

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As good as new…

Going through old documents and documentation, I came across the documentation from the Encatc 15th Annual Conference held in Göteborg, Sweden, in June 2007.

The conference invited around 200 participants mainly from Europe, but also other parts of the world, to discuss ”On Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life”. Entrepreneurship was the talk of the day even then and the aim was to discuss methods, experiences and knowledge on this topic. The conference mixed between seminars, workshops, study visits and open space. We used speed-dating as contact creater between participants and had lots of different cultural events in the programme. We  invited speakers from Sweden and UK, but also India to widen our own horizons and bring in reflections from outside of Europe.

The discussions and results are still relevant and I find interesting quotes from all the speakers. Everything is documented in Encatc 2007 which can be downloaded below. We also did an adress-book from the speed-dating which was quite unique. This was never published in a printed version, but is possible to download for enthusiasts.

The 2011 Encatc Annual conference will be held in Helsinki, Finland, on October 12-14 on the topic ”CultureForecast”.

Read more from the from the conference 2007 here.

Download documentation here: encatc-2007-report.pdf.

Download adress-book here: encatc_addressbook.pdf.

3 augusti, 2011

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Centre Dansaert in Brussels

The incubator Centre Dansaert Centrum, Creative Business Centre, is placed in the central Flemish part of Brussels that has become very hip and popular. A few years ago the area was run down and a place many avoided. And we know the story.

Artists moved in, gradually the status of the area grew. Today it has been renovated with apartments and shopping area. It has kept the small-scale feeling and in every corner and street you find them; the energetic people designing clothes, selling craft, running second hand stores, hat designers, architects, coffee shops and others.

For Centre Dansaert Centrum it was an attractive place to have an incubator. It’s an attractive spot, but too expensive for newly started initiatives. In the old storage building with origins back to 1870s, offices and space were created to host small and newly started companies. Today they have around fifty entrepreneurs in the building.

To get a place you introduce your project or idea to Fabien Lambert. You apply on an already existing idea or project. You pay one set amount per month and everything is included: Rent, advice and support on business plan and development, electricity and other related costs. There are eight incubators in the region, financed publicly by Ville de Bruxelles and Region Bruxelles-Capitale and of course the competition between the incubators and funding is there.

Two enthusiastic entrepreneurs and one gallerist meet us; one musician running the music company Cypres; one of the owners, Benoît Vancauwenbergh, of a fairly new communication agency 6+1; and the man behind the small gallery specialized on African artists, Nomad Gallery.

The visit was part of a joint meeting between Eurocities and Encatc in Brussels 1-2 of June 2010. Read about other incubators under the category ”Incubators” on this site.


4 juni, 2010

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Cultural Innovation Seminar

Wagner is said to have stated that if everything is destroyed, the nation clinging on to art will survive. A nation ignoring it’s art ends being a nation.

Arvind Lodaya’s thoughts of cultural innovation and democratizing culture seem to begin with the same standing point. Culture, art, innovation is done in everyday life among ordinary people – i e all of us. Without the social capital – all those things that count for most in the daily lives of people (to use one of the definitions put forward) – we will be poorer. And we seemed to have lost track of this.

Civil society is mentioned in every policy document now-a-days, from local, regional, and state level in Sweden to EU. We have to cooperate with civil society, we are told. Definitions vary and no-one seem to fully understand what it means. Another fact is that policy documents rarely reach ordinary people, Arvind Lodaya argues. ”Temples of Culture” are built and nurtured; artistic and cultural institutions whose existence only gather a few initiated and seem to exclude others. It’s dilemma not only of policy makers and politicians who put a lot of money into sustaining our cultural institutions. It’s something  also pursued by artists themselves, artistic universities, and cultural and art organizations.

Cultural Innovation is about art and culture found in our ordinary lives, is the message of Arvind Lodaya. This is where the driving force for cultural change takes form. The Indian context where he takes his staning point is also like a melting pot of cultures, languages, and people. Small-scale cultural entrepreneurs are found in every corner in the urban India; tailors, fabric producers, crafts, design, game, IT-experts, writers and so forth. In Europe cultural entrepreneurs are also small-scale, although working in a different fashion and structure. It’s in this small-scale environment innovation and new ideas start growing. How can cultural institutions facilitate everyday cultural innovation and what does the interface between an institution and social capital look like? What could policy makers do to support innovation within culture?

Arvind Lodaya’s answer is clear: Innovation needs to be nurtured rather than strangled. One way is to stop reducing people to only being customers and from policy level regarding them as much more complex than this.

See the slideshow of Arvind Lodaya here. A film of the seminar will be available on Internet soon. The seminar was held in cooperation between School of Design and Crafts, University of Gothenburg, Region Västra Götaland, Encatc and Nätverkstan on May 24 2010. More on Arvind Lodaya can be found here and under cateogory ”India” on this site.


30 maj, 2010

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Green Paper on Culture

There is a unison tone on the European Forum on Cultural Industries in Barcelona. Cultural and Creative Industries are seen as the driving force of economy in Europe. It’s among the top priorities. Figures presented show that this field employ 15% of Londoners, between 2000-2005 creative industries grew by 10% in Europe which is more than other industries, and holds 3,1% of GDP in Europe. Everyone is here; ministers and bureaucrats from all around Europe and from all levels from European Commission to state, region and local level. Civil servants, University lecturers and professors, and representatives from cultural companies to the business field. And they all agree. Creative Industries hold a potential of economic growth in Europe. This has to be part of the European 2020 strategy.

Spain holds the presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2010. And they have chosen to organize the Forum in cooperation with European Commission and Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona. Perhaps it’s not so surprising. Barcelona has fostered many famous Artists, as Pablo Picasso who grew up here as young, and of course the home of Gaudi, the famous architect and foremost Artist in Art Noveau tradition. Around the city you find Gaudi’s architecture, but also sculptures and Art works done by many other Artists in a mix of modern and traditional. The Catalonian State has put culture high on the agenda and are proud of their Artists.

Perhaps significant of the Forum is the lack of insight among the ministers and bureaucrats of what the creative industries consist of. What it is. The risk of EU putting money into the wrong incentives, and in all good intentions write new declarations that never reach the actual field is large. The expected evaluation of Mike Coyne, Director of Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services, might be helpful in throwing some light on who all the creators are and their effects on local and regional structures. Also the expected survey by Giep Hagoort, Professor of Art and Economics at Utrecht University and Utrecht School of Arts, this spring is promising. His message being, which is also our experience from the work we have done at Nätverkstan and backed by several reports of this field from among others UK; it’s a field run by Artists within in different Art forms, organized in small-scale, micro and nano businesses and freelancers who work in networks and informal structures. When putting forward incentives and supportive structures in the cultural field, these have to be as complex as the field is.

Also significant is the lack of small-scale Artists in panels and as keynote speakers. They are there, but not as many as you would wish for.  Instead you find some of them outside in an alternative forum, campaigning for the freedom on Internet, led by well-known comic Leo Bassi. Government is promoting a ”download law”, which many Artists are protesting against. Inside, at the Forum, several of the Cultural Ministers and other representatives on the contrary put forward the necessity of strong Intellectual Property Rights.

The Forum ended with six of the Cultural Ministers (we missed the Swedish Minister) giving their comments from a parallel meeting where creative industries has been discussed and with the aim of presenting a Green Paper on Culture. A Green paper released by the European Commission is a discussion document, which hope to stimulate debate and be a process for consultation on a topic. It usually comes before the White Paper, which is a more formal document. This was never presented; it was still too unready, but expect the Green Paper coming during spring.

And outside business were going on as usual among our cultural entrepreneurs; street musicians, living sculptures, painters, and other Artistic professionals.


31 mars, 2010

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Encatc Conference • Barcelona Oct, 21-24 2009

Four conference days filled with seminars, working group meetings, worksops, study visits and meetings in Barcelona just took place at the Encatc Annual Conference.

During the talk between Isabelle Schwartz from European Cultural Foundation, Angels Margarit from Angels Margarit Dance Company, and Angel Meastres from Transit the role of cultural managers were tossed and turned. What is the role of cultural managers? Is it only a role mainly having Artistic production on one side and management on the other? On other point put forward was that of representation within the EU-institutions and funding. The Artistic point of view is not put forward in an organized form, since the organization among Artists is quite week. The publishing house, recording companies, film industry are represented and have organisations that lobby for their interest, but not the Artists. That is more on individual level. There is an interesting balance between framework and independence, something Angel Meastres put forward, and where is the cultural manager? They are mainly emphasizing ideas and how to find money, not society and building infrastructre. Something to consider in educational programmes around Europe.

A visit at Can Xalant showed an Artistic collective, Transit, running residency-programmes, workshops and exhibitions. An old farming house, owned by the municipality, now embedded and surrounded by larger companies and industries. Their deal was quite unusual. The municipality set up a competetion to find who would get the possibility to run the building. Artistic groups sent in their proposals of activities and ideas. Transit won and had now built an infrastructure, programmes, activities and resiencies. Now it’s time to apply again, with a new application. Their time run out in December, and they will get the decision…in December. January 1 they are supposed to continue with programming if they get money, if not, they are supposed to leave the house with everything in it. Either step on the gas pedal or brake.

So, how do you plan a serious and sustainable organization under those conditions?

For the conference programme, look here. Nätverkstan took part in two presentations: 1) the working group meeting ”Creative Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life”, download the pdf here: encatcwg_barcelona-oct09. , and 2) the dialogue on ”How to detect creativity potentials in the digital environment” together with Jordi Sellas i Ferrés at, among other things, RBA Audovisual. Download the presentation here: encatc09-presentation-oct-09_2.


27 oktober, 2009

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More traces of Chicago

Little Black Pearl, situated in Bronzeville south of Chicago, is a nonprofit organisation with ambition to create opportunities for young adults through Artistic and cultural work. In the Centre they can work in one of the many studios with wood, glass, painting, ceramics, run workshops or put up shows. Gwendolyn Pruitt, Director of Product Design, shows us around and tells us the story of this community based organisation with enthusiasm and passion. It’s both about what they achieve with the students, she shows an example of tables they did with beautiful mosiac cover on top, which they sell to customers. It can be anything. Their mission is to deepen the creative involvement through Arts, and learn how to run things. It’s also about the struggle of getting the budget to sum up in the end and the constant search for funding bodies, she tells us with a sigh. ”I found that I don’t have the time to teach them that personal component”, she tells us with referral to the young students. She finds it’s a great need to also teach teachers ”It’s a gap between the structure and the student”.

In 1974 a group of classmates at high school got together to set up a theatre play by Paul Zindel. Since they only had one semester left, it was not until they came to Illionis State University that the idea formed and they looked for a place to set it up. Their first production was played in a Church in Chicago, and since they at the time was reading the book ”Steppenwolf” by Herman Hesse, they named the theatre the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Today the theatre is a prestigous one on Halsted Street, with the ambition of advancing the vitality and diversity of American Theatre .

We see the play ”Up” by Bridget Carpenter of the man who once reached the sky, the clouds, in a chair with balloons, and could not let go of the idea of doing it again. In another machine he would build. His vision held him alive, this was his passion, while everyday life and the reality of having to pay bills at the end of the month was taken care of by his wife. Until the situation changed and the pressure of supporting the family came closer.  After the play there was an interesting discussion with the audience, reflections  showing how differently we interpreted the play. The discussions at the conference of Artists and entrepreneurship become very real in this beautiful and sad play of having dreams and struggling with reality.

The Art Institute in Chicago is impressive in many ways, but mainly and mostly of two things. The collection of Art they have is impressive, to say the least. In this institute you can see everything from American contemporary Art to the Impressionists, African to Asian Art, photography and industrial design. You can stay days in there. Secondly it’s free for the public after five pm Thursdays and Fridays. The Institute and its collections are open and accessible for the public, something that seems in line with the attitude of giving Art and culture a central role in Chicago.

The study to  Chicago is part of the conference ”Creative Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life”, held in Chicago on July 16–18 2009, organized by Columbia College Chicago and Encatc.


19 juli, 2009

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Chicago Conference traces

After the opening speeches of the conference ”Creative Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life”, the poet Marc Kelly Smith took the floor. He is best known for founding Poetry Slam in 1987, a new presentation and reading style of poetry now spread around the world. Is he an entrepreneur, he asks himself and the audience, before he changes into one of the characters in ”Wilderness”,  a poem written by American (and on-and-off Chicago-based) writer and poet Carl Sandburg. He performed ”Chicago”, another poem by Sandburg, and also a piece by the English poet D.H Lawrence.

Three intense conference-days going from theoretical discussions and reflections to practical examples from USA and Europe in workshops and seminar sessions, as well as study visits were included in the conference, arranged by Columbia College Chicago and Encatc in Chicago on July 16–18. The main topic – if and how artistic education should include entrepreneurial skills – were tossed and turned over the days. The participants, professional educators and artists from many different countries, shared their experiences and expertise. Many examples were put forward, where management skills, career planning, project planning was part of the curricula, a trend that goes well into today’s discussion of entrepreneurship. The question of cultural economy was pursued; both the perspective of the impact of culture and art to the economy in society as a whole, something put forward by many studies; and the economy for Artists and how these professionals could build a sustainable economy on their profession.

Conference programme can be downloaded here: program_pdf.


19 juli, 2009

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Community Art Lab

On a café in San Francisco close to Union Square, in a rest between meetings with cultural organisations and Artists, the Artist Jörgen Svensson together with a few of us from Nätverkstan started a discussion on how Artistic competence could be an asset for city development. It was June 2008 and the European Commission were assigning the coming year as the year of creativity and innovation. The question intriguing us was: What boosts creativity? And how can an Artist’s competence be used in real life challenges, not only as an Artistic project, but as an asset for city developers? The project Community Art Lab took form.

The idea is simple: Put together people with different competencies to create a creative process which will enable new perspectives and ideas to form. This will become a resource for city development and innovative ideas. In this project we want to have local authorities, Artists, Art University and other expertise working together. The process is led by an Artist, and starts by the city authorities presenting a real challenge they are dealing with. All participants in the process are equally important for creativity to take form; the working method is to work in a genuine and long-term cooperation in a group of the different competencies, and through the process created catalyze ideas and find alternative solutions to challenges.

The project start with a five day Lab in the city with the partners involved. The starting point is the presentation by city authorities and where the invited group are seen as an asset to find alternative solutions and action plans. An intense five working days in a Lab-form starts. The process continues over time, between three to six months. A process leader leads the Lab and is a guide and mentor in the continuing work. The Lab-form is flexible and new competence and expertise can be added as the work proceeds.  Read more of the project in the outline: community-art-laboratory_090603.


To read more of the study trip to San Francisco, look under Category with the same name. A quick look can be done on ”Thought on the road” and ”Public art and entrepreneurship” . The democracy project the South Bank Process in Göteborg, can be found on ”Transformation: from Warehouse to Cultural Center” and ”Democracy projects”. Read also about the Encatc Working Group ”Creative Entrepreneurship and Education”. Also read about the Artistic group Berlin, working with process as a method, and also the project Art and Politics in Västra Götaland.

4 juni, 2009

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Forum for Creative Regions and Cities

Committee of the Regions, a political assembly giving local and regional authorities within EU a voice within the EU structure, arranged a two-day meeting in Brussels on 20 – 21 of April. More than four hundred participants gathered, together with a hundred invited ”young talents” from many parts of Europe, to discuss what makes regions and cities creative, what would make Europe more creative and together with practical examples both in panels and study visits around Brussels.

The first panel discussion addressed the question ”What makes regions and cities creative?”. A crucial question for EU-Commission if the aim of the year of creativity and innovation is supposed to give results in more innovation and affect economy in a positive way. Many things were put forward, both by the panel, and also by the many young entrepreneurs, cultural practitioners and students in the audience. Why doesn’t education in Europe have more ideas about how to foster creativity? How come the visionary eyes of the young child is gone in the eyes of grown-ups? What happens going through the educational system? Many Art Educations are quite conservative, how could these change? How can Artists and politicians work more together? Are there educational tools to be used? Where do you turn to if you have ideas of something to start?

On the question ”If you get to choose, what is the priority action at EU level?” the answer was unison: Get rid of the blocks in EU, make access to EU money less bureaucratic!

A crucial question if the hopes of creative economy is to come true. There is also a close link between the year of intercultural dialogue in EU last year, and the year of creativity and innovation. If new creative ideas are to happen, the wide variety of competence, skills, cultural and ethnic backgrounds need to be addressed and taken care of in a different way than is done today. There are hopes that the creative field will be the new savior in the financial crisis. Perhaps it will be. But only if you do a correct analysis of the field, understand how running organisations, Artistic practice, projects work, using the competence in the field to find the right incentives to catalyze the potential – there are of course an enormous potential. If you don’t, and get stuck in policies and the overestimated perception of what creativity and innovation is, it will be more difficult. There is a balancing act that needs to be performed.

Artist Jörgen Svensson represented Region Västra Götaland with the project Art and Politics and the project Community Art Lab formed together with Nätverkstan, a project based on using creative processes as a tool for city development. Interesting projecs were for instant FIRST innovation Park in Brno, Czech Republic, and the housing project led by Territorial and Urban Development of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain, led together with Mia Hägg, an archtiect in Paris running Habiter Autrement. Urbact, European Programme for Urban Sustainability, just launched a report that can be found on the website.

The Community Art Lab project will soon be posted on this website. Other posts connected to this are for instand Robert McNulty from America for the Arts, on Migration and Entrepreneurs, the seminar in Barcelona in January on the same topic, and examples from India. A programme of the seminar can be downloaded here CreativeCitiesRegions16-04-09. Encatc had a smaller seminar in the afternoon of the 21st of April to continue the discussion, with interesting inputs from Pascale Bonniel Charier of experiences from Grand Lyon and Donato Guiliani from Region Nord Pas de Calais. Download the programme for the Encatc seminar here seminar_encatc090421.

23 april, 2009

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Encatc Working Group meeting

The first meeting of the Encatc working group ”Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life” was in held in Barcelona last week as a continuation of the seminar held by University of Barcelona on creativity and innovation.

Many things were discussed at the meeting. How can educators enable creativity in education? If we are to be more innovative, educations and educators need to be more open towards risk taking and failing, and how can this be taught in the class-room? To fail is part of innovation processes, how can we create a more open attitude towards this? Students are using education as a commodity they buy, becoming more customers than students. How can patience towards the not-planned discussions increase? To work in the cultural field you need all this; risk taking, ability to work in flexible and constant changing environment – how can education be formed to support this?

Read the short notes from the meeting here:  encatc/wg1.barcelona09.pdf. The seminar in Barcelona was presented at this site under ”Seminar on creativity in Barcelona”.

6 februari, 2009

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Creative Entrepreneurship and Education

The European network Encatc is at this moment putting the last touch to the programme planning for 2009. It’s a programme full of activities, networking and sharing of knowledge. The working group ”Creative Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life” starts the year in Barcelona, Spain, in the middle of January. We start with combining a seminar held by Universitat de Barcelona on innvoation and creativity – yes, it’s a way to start the EU year of ”Innovation and Creativity” – with working group discussions. The programme will soon be posted on the Encatc website.

The idea with the working groups is to share knowledge and experience among wg_programme_bild.jpgprofessionals within different areas. The working group on entrepreneurship plan to do several different things during the year such as study visits, conference in Chicago invited by our American colleagues, the project Community Art Lab and the web.  Sharing of knowledge is important, but perhaps more so inspiration. Inspiration can take you far, and is a factor for innovative ideas.

To view the image, double click on it. Find the plans: encatc-wgprogramme2009.pdf and the plan for the Community Art Lab: community-art-laboratory.pdf.

4 december, 2008

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Intercultural Dialogue?

”It’s a total failure! We have hundreds of policy papers, but has anything changed?”. One of the participants of the round table burst out in frustration. After four days on the Encatc Conference in Lyon (France) on the topic ”Intercultural dialogue and project management”, listening to professors, directors, general secretaries, presidents, coordinators on different European levels, you wonder.

78 million Europeans live in poverty, the Belgian newspaper Le Soir shows in an article just a day after the conference. 78 millions. It’s equivalent to 16% of the European population.  At the same time as educators from Europe gathered in Lyon to discuss intercultural dialogue, ministers gathered in Marseille to take up the fight on poverty and social exclusion in Europe. Policy papers are written, at the same time as people in Europe, many of them immigrants, struggle to find a job and to live above the poverty line. People are still killed in Europe today on the basis of the colour of their skin, religious belief or for putting forward controversial opinions. So what is missing? There is not a lack of initiatives. Non-profit organisations, artists and cultural entrepreneurs start new projects all the time to address and put light on societal challenges and difficulties. On a small-scale grassroot level these initatives struggle in an unpredictable funding system, where the policies written seem to miss their purposes.

Intercultural dialogue. What in the world does it mean? A quick look in the Encyclopaedia suggests that ”intercultural” consider the processes where people with different languages and cultures communicate with and influence each other. ”Dialogue” is said, in the same dictionary, to be a conversation between two or several persons. The dialogue, the same source suggests, gives excellent opportunity to let the participants characterize themselves, in opinions, judgements and ways of expression. What happens when you put these two words together? Do the meaning get stronger when putting two words of communication next to each other? Or do they simply take out each other, so the meaning gets pointless?

In Lyon we were presented to two projects that in interesting ways try to reach people, communicate and experiment with new forms of expressions: Image-aiguë and the Lyon Opera project Kaléidoscope.


Artists’ situation in USA was described on this website here in June this year.

Two Swedish books (in Swedish) with a critical perspective on how the question of multicultural society has been handled in Sweden is Etnotism by Aleksander Muttori at Bwana Club, and Befria oss från mångkulturalism edited by Rasoul Nejadmehr, Sven-Eric Liedman och Dariush Moaven Doust published by Natur & Kultur.

23 oktober, 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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