Status update: review and outlook

The last months were pretty turbulent for us and we are still working on documenting the different events for you to read about them here on our blog: After the barcamp in early September, we immediately began working on our booksprint, travelled to Copenhagen for CKO‘s and InVio‘s international day of innovation concentrating on cross innovation and contributed with a presentation on C2C’s first findings in this field. We also held the second meeting of our advisory board in Potsdam to discuss the relevance of our research findings and the findings from the barcamp and hosted a workshop for discussing the possibilities of developing a new format for cross innovation, collaboration and knowledge transfer between local companies and universities in Brandenburg.

Next Monday, we will be in Vigevano, Italy, for our third expert round table meeting. This time, the topic is: “Cross Innovation – which potentials lie at the intersection between arts, creativity and business?”. We have invited experts on the field from all involved regions and countries and will discuss the first results from Prof. Giovanni Schiuma’s study on the topic and try to identify further challenges, potentials and possible trends.

Right after this meeting, we will travel further South to Bologna, to meet with our booksprint authors Emma Estborn (Media Evolution, Sweden), Giorgia Boldrini (Business Department, Commune di Bologna, Italy), Steinar Valade-Amland (ThreePointZero, Denmark) and Carsten Busch (Institute for brand communication, Germany) for a whole day of working on finalizing the chapters of the booksprint. The Booksprint is one of the core elements of our project: it is a collaborative way of writing a book. Usually, authors are invited to contribute a chapter from their respective field of specialization to a publication until a certain deadline. With the Booksprint format, we made this process a collaborative one: the authors were not only asked to contribute with their expertise but to also engage in a weekly exchange about their chapters, identify similarities, comment on the chapters of the other authors and thus developing their texts further through this collaborative method.

The chapters of the final publication as the result of the Booksprint will focus on various dimensions of creative industries (support): Emma Estborn focuses on the importance and impact of collaboration. Steinar Valade-Amland analyses design history and puts design in an value chain perspective. Georgia Boldrini from Bologna in Italy describes her experiences how the introduction of business support instruments for cultural and creative entrepreneurs has shaped both the image of the artists as well as the relationship between cultural funding and business support. Gamification and digitization is the topic of Carsten Busch focussing on the broad application fields of games in companies and education. Carsten Becker puts creative industries in the perspective of innovation and describes their role as innovator and innovation driver. Finally, out board chairman Dirk Kiefer reconsiders the right mix of business support instruments for the creative industries.

Finally, on the 7th of November, we will be in Cottbus to contribute to the final conference of the EU project “Urban Creative Poles” with our insights on creative industries support in small and middle-sized cities with examples from Italy and Sweden.

Barcamp review: International cluster cooperation for the creative industries

This session was hosted by Søren Smed and Helle Gransgaard from the Danish innovation network on knowledge and experience economy (InVio). InVio was established in 2010 and is organised under and funded by the The Danish Agency of Sciene Technology and Innovation as one of one of 22 innovation networks in Denmark. The network consists of knowledge institutions, companies and others (approx. 1300 members)

InVio’s objectives are to create a catalogue of prioritised opportunities for international cluster cooperation in the creative industries, to strengthen innovation in

The Internationalisation Jouney. Source: TACTICS (2012): Handbook on Cluster Internationalisation

The Internationalization Jouney. Source: TACTICS (2012): Handbook on Cluster Internationalisation

experience sectors (creative sectors, tourism, events etc.), to strengthen experience based innovation in all business sectors, as well as the support of cross-sector innovation and spill over effects etc.

Their focus lies on 1) new research 2) knowledge sharing 3) matchmaking and collaboration between companies and knowledge institutions 4) internationalisation.

Based on the feasibility study on the motives and interests behind cluster cooperation which InVio is just conducting, this workshop session’s first part was all about formats and benefits for international cluster collaboration within the creative and experience economy.

Theses and major points for discussion:

  • Very nationalistic way of thinking – the best way would probably be getting rid of obstacles that stop international connections to work.
  • It would be interesting for creative capacity to match with other sectors and not to match creative industries with other creatives! because … Clusters between creatives already happen.
  • the problem is that companies don’t care about creative input when it is not profitable.
  • Challenge for small clusters: maybe it is an advantage to be part of a bigger one, speciality might evaporate. Where are the limits in this „clusterish“ way of thinking?
  • Working with individuals versus working with institutions: bottom up development. How to empower the people who bring the value?

Questions to be asked in the future: Where do we (and our clusters) go from here? Are clusters within the creative industries different from other clusters? What should the clusters be aware of? 

The benefits of international cluster cooperation

  • to the business of the international cluster cooperation: a raised profile, access to knowledge (to use in new products and services), to new markets, key infrastructure, e.g. pilot plants, living labs etc, new international partners for collaboration

  • to other organizations in the cluster: a raised profile, access to knowledge, to new markets, new and wider customer base, new international partners for collaboration

  • to the cluster organization: a raised profile, new international partners for collaboration, new international partners for staff exchange, improved ability to benchmark performance

  • delivered to the region/member state by the cluster organisation: increased competitiveness and export performance by key businesses, increased access to potential inward investors, increased level of external funding utilised by the region/member state



Further Information:
TACTICS Handbook on Cluster Internationalisation (PDF)

Barcamp review: A toolkit for creative industries support

Barcamp review: A toolkit for creative industries support

This session was hosted by Dirk Kiefer, head of the Creative Industries agency in Thuringia and newly appointed head of the Center for entrepreneurship and start-ups in the region of Thuringia.. He is also the chairman of the C2C advisory board and dedicated to design a toolbox for the ideal creative industries business support. The two specially relevant aspects of new markets and matchmaking where each discussed with regards to the following five partial aspects and questions: Target groups and problems; Aim/how does success look like?; Instruments; General preconditions and assumptions, Critical issues and how to fail (or not)?

1. New markets

  • Target groups and problems: The target group are the creative services and product providers but also the traditional market. The problem is to break the „silos“, to create bridges between traditional economies and CCIs (the crisis is part of the value chain)

  • Aim/how does success look like? Success means to build bridges, to move and work together and to have a common language. Creatives should be integrated in the value chain from the beginning. This requires more dialogue and knowledge about other creatives/products

  • Instruments: Rational approaches have proven wrong. Instead: identify one person in the organization who carries the idea of creative services, who has an affinity for creativity (trojan horse, contamination lab, translators)

  • General preconditions and assumptions: to identify and create a community of “creativity champions” that can co-create a new model with creatives. There should be a change in the discourse about design/creativity. Involving creatives in an early stage is “more fun, less risky and cheap”.

  • Critical issues and how to fail (or not)? It takes too much time to connect different cultures. Companies don’t want/need the infiltration by the „creative link“, they are doing fine without it. They don’t understand it.

2. Matchmaking

  • Target groups and problems: the main problem is how to make the chaos generative = how to use the self organizing powers while finding the matches. The chaos is the motor /driving force, to instrumentalize it will cause harm so we have to keep it generative. We should try to bring order to chaos without losing the driving force, the potential

  • Aim/how does success look like? Matching creates value and acceptance (not necessarily money), the impredictable is a bonus.

  • Instruments: to bring people together for networking is difficult (to get a value out of it). People should be more open to match-making and therefore a new cultural approach can be useful (e.g. documentation with films). Another instrument is a pre-analysis of the resepective needs of all involved parties.

  • General preconditions and assumptions: One precondition is money, also to gather people with common interests (but it doesn’t have to be in a match-making sense). People have to be open-minded and willing to change and they should feel privileged and chosen.

  • Critical issues/how to fail (or not): to fail doesn’t have to be a waste of time because you will always learn from your mistakes and gain experience for the future. One risk is to promise too much or to have too high expectations. The lack of sustainability and the arrogance of partners (lack of respect) could also be a critical issue.

Barcamp review: New finance instruments for incubators

Session Host Corrado Bottoli introduces the work of the Milan Chamber of Commerce that helps to promote new businesses and support high potential growth companies. He points out the relationship between the public and private sector for new companies (like startups). Background is that in Milan 25% of new companies die after one year. Bottoli’s goal for the session is to show different ways to support startups and find new instruments with the help of the participants.

The Milan chamber of commerce gives support on three levels:

  1. Equity capital market with equity funds in terms of creating equity funds with a direct investment and setting up a co-investment with the private sector (ongoing project)
  2. Debt capital market in terms of guarantee funds for startups and grants to reduce the cost of bank loans
  3. Setting up new incubators in terms of low price for facilities and training/tutoring to reduce risk of investment 

The theses and major points for discussion of the session were:

  • With regards to equity capital market, the participants criticise the focus on only high potential startups like in the technology sector that gets enough support anyways. The creative sector, e.g. fashion design seems to be underrepresented. One Participant points out that high tech sector is not necessarily supported anyways because there are long production process, too, e.g. for computer game developers. The creative sector has the advantage of being able to form working groups that share space and capacities.
    The participants express their doubts that startups in the creative sector want to have equity money because banks wouldn’t finance their projects anyways and that debt instruments might be more suitable.

  • With regards to dept capital market, the participants note, that clients usually prefer grants while there is no proof that grants have a growth effect. The garantee system via microfinancing agencies (in Brandenburg) on the other hand doesn’t seem to have any effect. In Estonia grants sometimes work but very often it is a black whole. One suggestion for cultural support is to demand more professionalism from their clients/startups. The participants agree that grants are not the solution or at least should be designed in a better way. One suggestion is to follow the investors and how much money they want to invest.

Further points of discussion and other contributions:

  • The role of the public sector is also discussed, but the situations in the participants’ respective home countries are very different.

  • Crowdfunding as a potential alternative which also allows for early market research.

  • The idea of paying back some of the money or providing new jobs after success was brought up. The problem is to give the right incentives. If the condition is to employ new people companies would employ anybody to keep the money. It is always a distortian of the market. Another option is to pay pack if you are not successful in order keep the motivation to succeed alive. 


  • Milano Speed Mi Up: incubator run by Milan Chamber of Commerce and Bocconi University. The idea is to combine startups with young freelancers to work together by providing services (training, innovation, internationalization), working spaces, tutoring and IT services. The goals are to set up about 10 startup/year (startup hub) and support 20 professionals/year (professional hub).

  • Exist Gründerstipendium: provides a basic salary for the company members, money for the company and coaching. The project members have to reach milestones but if they are not successful they dont have to pay back anything. The advantage is they can concentrate on their project.

There is no ideal model for public support due to the differences of the countries. All three introduced models could be helpful. There seems to be an agreement that debt instruments and creating new incubators might be more suitable for the creative sector. New instruments could be crowdfunding and networking, they should be added to the three models .

Milan Chamber of Commerce:

Barcamp review: New approaches to coaching and consulting

Jörn Krug is a scientist at Filmschool Babelsberg and works as a coach at the IBF-Institute. Before, he built „Media Exist“, a platform for creatives of the region of Berlin-Brandenburg who want to set up businesses. Most of his clients think that regular coaches and consultants do not really offer suitable services. This is one of the reasons why he and his colleagues published the book „Beratung und Coaching in der Kreativwirtschaft“ (Kohlhammer Edition Kreativwirtschaft, 2011, Klaus-Dieter Müller, Wolfgang Fischer, Jörn Krug). For him, coaching is more like a mid-term/ long-term process. It gives the client the chance to work on his/her own and it can fail easily if the interests are going appart. He sees consulting more in a short-term perspective, as a knowledge transfer from an expert to someone else. On the other hand, a coach has to accept the clients’ opinions.

In this session, the host and the participants discuss the following assumptions:

Thesis 1: Each stadium needs a specific coaching method/ consulting approach.
Thesis 2: The different structure of creative industries leads to a need of different instruments.

The core question is: “What are the best methods for each entrepreneurial stage (experimental, pre-start up, start up, growth phase, etc.)?”

The results of the participants’ brainstorming on the thesis:

  • Coaching is built on trust.
  • A coach / consultant needs expertise.
  • Looking at the personalities is important in both consulting and coaching.
  • Understanding the clients’ motivation, finding out their individual talents, USPs and needs and helping them to develop strategies is important
  • It is difficult to be coach and consultant at the same time.
  • It’s all about the mix.
  • Coaching includes observing by participating
  • Every step in the process has its challenges.
  • The quality of a consultant must be to have her/ his own techniques so that people can choose.


The learnings of this session are not easy to summarize. This might be explained by the complexity of a coaching/consulting process. Every client has a different background and therefore different needs so that each process is individual and tailor-made.

  1. Regarding the question whether we need specific services for each phase of development, there might be appropriate advise according to each phase and a coach should let go if he/she is not the right coach.
  2. Instead of asking whether there was a specific structure of creative industries, it might be more about the question: How can people choose the right coach/ consultant?, Has the public body knowledge about the track record?
  3. Essential features of consulting / coaching
  • experience of the coach / consultant is important but should not dominate the process
  • awareness, empathy and dialogue are essential
  • reflect on the right mixture if you are using elements of coaching and/ or consulting
  • empowerment of the client is importan
  • a coach should be passionate about what he/she does.




HFF Potsdam:

Media Exist:

Barcamp Review: The European Connection

Barcamp Review: The European Connection

Inspired by the potential of international collaboration within and across the creative and experience economy, Rasmus Heyman from ADA, the swedish association for design and advertising, dedicated this session to the idea of a closer individual cooperation between people in Europe, making use of the newly emerging culture of sharing.

Rasmus proposes two own ideas: Since there are many canals in Europe, there could be a boat full of artists with a new crew in each city; cheap rooms in each city combined with the offer to switch and swap appartments and jobs – which are then supplemented with ideas for international collaboration clusters by the participants. The following belonged to the participant’s favorite ideas:

  • a European Championship in creativity
  • a creative boat ride across Europe
  • changing jobs and apartments
  • a working vacation ressort with mindshare
  • Easier and faster application process for the existing funding
  • open spaces in cities


Open room Hotel Hamburg,
Open room Hotel in Cologne:

Further links:  

Barcamp review: Radical innovation

Barcamp review: Radical innovation

jensWith his own company JK Innovation and within the Nebula group (a joint initiative of several Danish companies working in the field of innovation), Jens Kruhøffer offers services to private firms but mostly to the public sector, for which he runs projects mainly dealing with education and interventions. The project which served as example for this workshop session – “Nordjylland på spel” – used the means of gamification to enhance young people’s participation in matters of regional development.

The game, developed by a network of consultants under the leadership of Jens Kruhøffer, focused on healthy competition and collaboration. It was not delivered as a ready-made product to the region, but as a co-creational process between the citizens and the government.

Important learnings were that it was hard to convince people that they can play with the fine line between reality and fiction and that a balance between content and process is difficult but extremely important to achieve. Ultimately, collaboration, passion and emotion were identified as immense drivers for innovation.

Before this backdrop, this session was aimed at defining what radical innovation is and where it can lead.

The participants’ ad-hoc definition of radical innovation included:

© by Marie Jacobi (

  • rule-breaking new ideas
  • challenging of the ordinary world-view
  • different point-of-view/focus
  • combining two incompatible elements
  • disruptive and unconventional
  • complete changes in standards (methods, processes, outcomes, meanings etc.) which create new markets
  • playing with odds, gambling, taking risks

Questions arose, like:

  • How can we innovate the innovation process?
  • How can we create standards and a shared language for innovation without creating barriers?
  • How can we work with companies/organizations that have a very fixed aim/goal/focus that they don’t want to change?
  • How can we create a shared understanding between innovators and companies/organizations? How can we create trust and room for risk?
  • Is an artful transformation (topic of other workshop) a radical innovation?
  • Is this case study really an example of radical innovation or is it more social innovation?
  • What would have been really radical in this example?
  • How can we replicate examples for radical innovation? Are there elemental tools, can we develop a toolkit that can be passed on? How can we design radical innovation processes?
  • What is the benifit of game-based, emotion-based, playful innovation processes for traditional organizations?
  • What are the next steps after an initial pilot phase of radical innovation? How can we achieve long-term effects?


Most discussed questions:

How can we create long-term innovation effects?

Through shared experiences, shared language, constant communication. The entire process and communication should reflect innovation, include playfulness and the creating of meaning through fun.

Is radical innovation only applicable for product or service innovation or can it also lead to change in the public sector?

Yes, challenge the given, challenge constraints, as this is were radical innovation is most needed.




At the end of the workshop, the group was asked to identify on which level radical innovation should be applied first and most importantly:

  1. personal dimension (personal skills, drive, goals)

  2. preparing the context (gathering acceptance, shared understanding between partners, definition of problem)

  3. the right process

After intense discussions the group agreed on 3. the right process, as the RIGHT process includes defining needs, problems, research, activation etc. The right process can generate the right mindsets and personal dimensions (process as a catalyst).



Nebula group:

JK Innovation:

Barcamp review: Holistic competence development

Barcamp review: Holistic competence development

For hosting this session, we could win over Gerda Hempel from Artlab in Denmark and Robert Karlsson from Kulturkraft Syd in Sweden. Both have longstanding professional experience in the field of competence development for artists and creative professionals.

ArtLab is an institution based in Copenhagen and run by the Danish Musicians Union in cooperation with the Danish Actors Association. ArtLab offers courses and coaching for professional artists and culturally experienced professionals. Artlab aims at creating jobs through education in arts and in arts & business, based on artists’ unique qualifications and methods.

The same is valid for its Swedish counterpart Kulturkraft Syd, based in Malmö, which offers empowerment and competence development to professionals and organizations that are working within the area of performing arts, music, film, television, radio and interactive media.

On the background of these realities and in accordance with C2C’s research findings, this workshop was dedicated to a discussion of the following thesis: “In order to meet the demands of professional development of entrepeneurs in the creative sector, both artistic and business competence development is needed!”

Theses and major points for discussion:

  • Artistic development is fundamentally different from business development
  • Business skills vs. Entrepreneurial skills. Not the same! „Being an entrepreneur is different from starting a company!“
  • The CCI cover a very broad field – every sub-sector requires their specific approach. How can this be addressed?
  • Not every artist/creative/individual needs to know all about business, which makes collaboration even more important. Which minimal basic knowledge is needed in order to be able to collaborate with the right people for the right issues?
  • Do artists want to have business skills? Difference between arts (as “l’art pour l’art”) and creative industries? What are the different needs?
  • If the discussion goes both ways: should business students also learn about arts and culture?
  • How can the existing tools for collaboration between both sectors be better fostered? What can the government do? What needs to be changed in „the system“ in general?




  • The balance and consideration of both sides (arts and business) is crucial

  • The mutual understanding and knowledge of both sides might be a goal to aim for, as they might share the same needs and interest, which in return would make collaboration valuable for both sides.

  • Business skills are never a waste and should be part of the arts education (and vice versa)

  • There is no use in applying corporate models to artistic fields – rather, new models, methods and tools need to be developed

  • Build structures that creatives can draw on when they need certain skills at a certain point

  • Artists should also learn from other artists, not just businesses

  • Mindset is the most important thing

  • Focus on innovation through combined competence / collaboration




Kulturkraft Syd:

UdK Career Center / Workshops:

TAFI – Training artists for innovation:

TAFI publication – “Competencies for new contexts” (2013) by Joost Heinsius and Kai Lehikoinen (editors):

Barcamp review: Building strong networks

Barcamp review: Building strong networks

Media Evolution is the Swedish media cluster, located in Malmö. As such, Media Evolution operates on at least three levels: the Media Evolution City (the meeting and event space, a coworking space and an office hotel), Media Evolution as member-based organization, the Conference (their annual conference). Media Evolution collaborates with a variety of stakeholders, ranging from their members to the region, from the media and creative industries to the construction business. Collaboration is their motto, and so the session hosted by Sten Selander, business developer at Media Evolution, focussed on the question „How to build networks that really have an impact?“

Strengths of networks are certainly that you can rely not only on one specific person but many, services and favours are exchanged in uncomplicated and unbureaucratic manners. The weaknesses however is that they might be instabile if built on only one or a few nodes and they tend to trigger many different expectations of which not all can be met.

Key features of networks:

  • trust
  • network platform (like infrastructure, set of rules)
  • value capture
  • influential power
  • image / identity
  • win-win situation
  • engagement
  • purpose



The host recommends to structure the network (even private ones) and to act more systematic within it.

In general one should always ask oneself, what are the tools, processes and situations? What has worked and why? Share it. What were good stories or results? Share it! And what were the mistakes and failures? Share it!

The session concluded that

  • Networks work but need to be maintained – that demands effort and communication. The group could not agree about the question if networks need one or a few strong leading figures or if they function by themselves, once established.
  • The value of being in a specific network has to be made clear, e.g. being the first to have a new information or the relevant news.
  • A good way of having contributors is showing them their value and their power: promote and help your networkers. Networks do not have owners but players. Things are moving very fast these days in the neworks, you need to be aware of that 

Further information

Media Evolution:

The Conference:!/

Nordic Game:

Barcamp review: Access to smart finance

This session was hosted by Søren Würtz, chief consultant from our Danish partner CKO, the Danish Centre for Culture and Experience Economy. CKO’s work is centered around building frameworks for creative industries and entrepreneurs. At the moment, the topic of access to finance is one of their foci, as they have just been conducting a survey measuring the needs of creative industries vs. other industries in Denmark in order to answer the question: “How can we build an ecosystem in a regional area that fosters good investments?”

A key finding showed that creative industries carried significant ambitions for commercial growth – in this aspect, they were most alike to other industries.
Based on this survey and its results, Søren Würtz set out to discuss the questions: What is smart financing for the creative industries? What is stupid financing for the creative industries?

The theses and major points for discussion of the session were:

  • Ambitions for commercial growth:

This point was challenged by some participants. First, because the study did not take into account companies with less than two employees, freelancers and artists.

Jörn Krug who is a coach for creative entrepreneurs in the region of Brandenburg: “My experience proves both the myth that the creative industry is not interested in growth and the opposite, so I’m surprised that the difference shown by the survey is so small. This shows that the business development components are similar in all industries.”

  • Use of classical analysis tools for success measuring:

Classical investors use the 3-year-ladder, whereas in the creative industries it makes more sense to use the leap metaphor: development 1 step at a time, testing in between phases, and a close relationship with the investor – essentially learning by doing.

In Søren Würtz opinion “the typical 3-year ladder-models doesn’t correspond to the pace of the market, they can’t compete with new developments or miss them completely. Instead, investors and creative industries alike should become experts in change, they should focus on short-term strategies and step-by-step scaling!”

  • Need for immaterial assets, much higher within creative industries than others.

(Source: CKO (2013) Access to smart finance, study and presentation for C2C, May 2013)


In groups, the participants worked on the tasks 1) create a map of the investment ecosystem and 2) to develop a strategy for region x.

1) Create a map of the investment ecosystem

  • creatives in the center of the investment ecosystem as the most important aspect
  • creatives should reflect on whether they really need an investor and if yes, what kind, as investments can also be immaterial.
  • Investors should aquire more knowledge of the market, support life-cycle growth models and reflect on their own mindset, as investment gains can also be immaterial.


2) Develop a strategy for the region X!

Key questions:

  1. What are the elements of the ecosystem?

  2. How can we create good meeting places?

  3. How can we put new actors into meeting places?

  4. Why are banks always the main go-to actor when it comes to financing? What about venture capital, crowdfunding, private funding?


The session concluded that in order to improve the investment system for the creative industries
We need to change the cultural mindset: the intellectual property is unique, not the money involved.
We need to change the paradigm of needs/communication.
We need to help creatives develop business sense.
We need to mix financing sources.
We need to develop small scale financing/crowdfunding as business strategy.
We need to develop incentives and models for role models/ambassadors.
We need to focus also on mentors, not just investors.