Workshop announcement: existing and new approaches and activities for better cooperation and CCI support in Brandenburg

Today in a week we will be hosting our second workshop in Brandenburg, again in cooperation with Katja Dietrich-Kröck, the creative coordinator of the region.

This time we want to focus on the existing and ongoing activities that are being carried out in the different Landkreise in Brandenburg, on existing CCI projects in the region, the encountered challenges and obstacles, as well as the potential seen within this branch.

We invited different carefully selected representatives from the economic development administration, from different cultural and touristic offices, as well as creative networkers and other multipliers in order to discuss these topics on a very practical level.

Together, we hope to find out more about the specific demand of CCI entrepreneurs in the different regions, clarify what support methods can work and which do not, help foster better networking conditions and maybe also develop ideas on how working solutions in one region can be successfully transferred and implemented to others or even better, how they can be turned into a model that works for the whole of Brandenburg.

We are very much looking forward to this workshop and would like to thank all participants as well as our hosts from the Oranienwerk!


What: Workshop on new approaches and activities for better cooperation and CCI support in the region of Brandenburg

When: Friday, 22nd of March, 12 to 4 p.m.

Where: Oranienwerk, Kremmener Str. 43, 16515 Oranienburg

Organized by Creative Capital Conference in cooperation with “Kreativdialog”.


More infos: Kreativdialog and Oranienwerk


First advisory board meeting

Yesterday afternoon we had our first advisory board meeting, to which we invited CCI experts from Brandenburg and other German regions, such as Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia: Nina Dreier (Kulturbehörde Hamburg), Dr. Stefan Neubacher (Kulturamt Eberswalde), Katja Dietrich-Kröck (ZAB), Dr. Manfred Wäsche (IHK Potsdam), Prof. Dr. Dana Mietzner (TH Wildau), Prof. Dr. Carsten Busch (HTW Berlin), Dr. Nancy Richter (Bauhaus Uni Weimar) and Beate Ecke (Ecke Design, Potsdam). Also with us have been the advisory board’s chairman Dirk Kiefer (Thuringian Agency for the Creative Industries) and Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Müller, the project’s academic co-director.

In a very brief and intense session of only two hours, we discussed our two hypotheses:

1. Support strategies should first and foremost asses the candidate’s personality and not only the quality of the business idea or business plan.

2. Freelancers need active support strategies (as opposed to passive ones, e.g. an institution with fixed opening hours offers a support program to creative entrepreneurs seeking help, instead of going out “into the field” to meet the creatives where they actually are)

The questions that arose triggered the methodology behind the assessment of a person’s personal quality, asked how to set the frame for a governance of self-governance (as opposed to rationalist management), why so many creative entrepreneurs seem so reluctant to grow and maximize their businesses (because of the fear of being turned into managers?), how to coordinate the active “fishing” for interesting projects especially in rural areas, how to promote the creative industries as a career path for graduates of management and economics and how the existing coaching offer can be improved in order to meet the creative entrepreneurs’ needs.

We will definitely continue monitoring these questions and meet our experts in follow-up meetings in order to find answers to as many of these questions as possible.

Thanks again to all our experts for being there and contributing to this fruitful discussion! We look forward to welcoming you again in June!

Review of our coworking workshop

Review of our coworking workshop


On monday afternoon, we had invited all those interested in coworking to come together at the “Schaufenster” (shop window), an empty and only irregularly used space in the city center, to take part in our first project workshop (read earlier post). The “Schaufenster” belongs to the FHP, Potsdam’s university of applied sciences, who would like it to be used as a coworking space. As spaces for freelancers, especially within the culture and creative industries (CCI) are a scarce good in the city, this idea really had the power to attract around 40 participants – representatives of both the administration and the university as well as CCI entrepreneurs and potential users – to our workshop. After three very inspiring and interesting speeches by our guests Thorsten Jahnke from iq consult, Morten Sylvest Nøhr from Republikken and Christoph Fahle from betahaus (thank you very much for that again!), we split into three groups: the red-dotted “administratives” on one side and two green-dotted “creatives” on the other.

As you can imagine, vivid discussions ensued. But the results were brilliant:

One the “creative side” almost everyone was and is personally interested in moving into the “Schaufenster” and also knows more people who would join in. Although it quickly became clear that two very different groups could be defined according to their needs – those with no equipment except for a laptop, who would love to immediately set their tents up and start working, and those with costly and heavy equipment, who expressed a reasonable wish for lockable rooms and spaces – there was a lot of consensus within the group: most people expressed a concern about the sound level (e.g. when everybody in the room is having a phone conversation at the same time) and all agreed that a basic infrastructure, such as wifi, a printer and a beamer were the basic requirements, as well as the need for being able to access the space 24/7. Generally speaking, the majority was also in favour of mixing the guilds or disciplines (such as designers, writers, film makers etc.) in order to have a more fruitful exchange, as long as this was reconcilable with the different spatial needs.

On the “administrative” side, a consensus was also quickly found and is just as quickly told: if the potential users or an external operator comes up with a solid concept, they are more than willing to support the cause – with financial as well as organizational and scientifically help (such as e.g. helping with a market research). And the FHP is thinking about accompanying the process by a student project from the culture management class.

We sincerely hope and cross our fingers that the momentum of the workshop will be used in a way as to quickly put together what it takes to turn this idea into reality and will be following the development process at close range!

For further information (in German), read about our workshop in the press:


The Green Room: A testing bed for creative entrepreneurship support in Trelleborg

The Green Room: A testing bed for creative entrepreneurship support in Trelleborg

To most Germans, Trelleborg might exclusively be known for its ferry harbour that paves the way for entering Sweden for their summer holidays. The economic structure of the 29.000 inhabitants city is not surprisingly dominated by retail and farming and – creative industries. Although the Swedish definition of CCI might seem very broad to some as it includes also tourism and gastronomy, their presence in Trelleborg surprised not only policy makers. The sector became visible in a pre-study the municipality conducted in the course of planning an incubator for entrepreneurs.

“We wanted to dig where we stand”, says Ditte Fagerlund, executive director of the local development agency. The city of Trelleborg is a city of transition. The big companies, although still important employers, have moved many jobs away and are thus not the only labour market players anymore. In the course of this transition the city looks for other sources of development for local companies and the labour market and also started to incorporate individual entrepreneurs into their considerations.

The Green Room was opened in January 2013 and currently provides room for five entrepreneurs:

  • a festival manager
  • an IT programmer
  • an interior designer
  • a chef
  • and a souvenir developer.

“I am a bit shocked that people wanted to help me” says Jonas who has a company organizing an annual countryfestival in Söderslätts and wants to make his business independent from public funding. He is experienced in organizing events and wants to have his own event agency one day.

The entrepreneurs within the incubator benefit from regular meetings with a personal coach and gain from a network of specialized consultants when it comes to specific legal, marketing or other business questions.


The water tower in Trelleborg

For the future, the activities of the incubator will be extended to networking events and a mentoring scheme. Already now the companies wihin the incubator profit from mutual exchange because they are in different phases of business development.


Further information

Söderslätts CountryFestival

We’ll be continuously monitoring European projects on creative and cultural industries

Obviously, we are not the only European project on creative and cultural industries. That’s why we are going to present other projects working on creative industries relevant to our particular focus via the hashtag #CCIEurope on Twitter.


Meet the speakers for our coworking workshop!

We are thrilled that we could get 3 very interesting people to speak at our coworking workshop next monday in Potsdam and would like to introduce you to Christoph Fahle, Thorsten Jahnke and Morten Sylvest Nøhr!

Christoph Fahle (CEO at betahaus) studied Media Sciences, Political Communication and Business Studies and was, amongst millions of other things, co-founder of Politikfabrik, worked for a short time in Brussels for the European Parliament, operated a small T-Shirt label and helped a couple of companies and organisations in understanding Social Computing. Christoph is your man in the area of future visions of betahaus, one of Berlin’s most notorious coworking spaces with offshoots in Hamburg, Cologne, Lisbon and Sofia.

Thorsten Jahnke (associate and second CEO of iq consult) has a background as an industrial sales management assistant and studied business education and political science in Berlin. Thorsten is member of the SROI network (SROI = social return on investment) and has worked as CEO and chairman in numerous different companies and organizations before joining iq consult in 2005. iq consult promotes social entrepreneurship in Germany and has, amongst others established an incubator for social entrepreneurs in Berlin. They are operating on the european level and have branches in Berlin and Potsdam.

Morten Sylvest Nøhr (architect) works at Republikken, one of the best known coworking spaces in Copenhagen, founded by some of his close friends in 2005. It is located in the centre of the city and covers three floors, where approximately 85 coworkers (also known as citizens) from different backgrounds and fields such as design, graphics, communication and craftsmanship have pitched their tents. Morten was involved in the whole project since the very beginning, when he helped with the painting, building and drilling. Later, he was the project manager of the design team, before he became head of events, communication and PR. Today, Morten is developing the new projects such as Republikken Academy, the designshop and external relations.

We want to thank them all for accepting to come speak and are very curious to hear them share their experiences with us!


Co-working in Potsdam – an invitation!

Workshop on „Coworking – a model for Potsdam?“

Schaufenster Potsdam

Schaufenster Potsdam

When: 4th of March 2013, 4 to 7 p.m.

Where: FHP-Schaufenster, Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 4, 14467 Potsdam

Over the last years, „coworking spaces“ have established themselves as a new form of work environment for people active within the culture and creative industries (CCI). Against the mostly unattractive alternative of isolated home office at scattered kitchen tables, a coworking space offers the common shared use of the room and its infrastructure. Additionally, a coworking space facilitates exchange, inspiration and cooperation of like-minded professionals.

But: Can „coworking spaces“ function as an alternative working model in Potsdam, where affordable spaces for the CCI are such a scarce good? 

This is the question we want to explore with stakeholders of the creative scene as well as representatives of the city’s administrative and political level.

To this end, we will start by presenting successful projects from other regions (Berlin and Copenhagen), followed by an analysis of the practical needs of Potsdam’s creative entrepreneurs. The workshop will also attempt to develop very practical ideas and action recommendations based on the example of the „Schaufenster“, this empty space, belonging to the FHP, the city’s university of applied sciences.

C2C is hosting this event in collaboration with „Kreativdialog“ (a series of discussions dealing with issues around the CCI, initiated by the Ministry of economics and european affairs of Brandenburg/MWE and the ZukunftsAgentur Brandenburg/ZAB) and we would like to invite you to join us on the 4th of March to actively participate in this process.

As the places are limited, please send your binding registration to Katja Dietrich-Kröck (Creative coordinator, ZAB: before the 1st of March. Please also tell us which branch/sector you are active in.


Bildschirmfoto 2013-02-21 um 11.44.40





The European Social Fund – investing in your future!

This event is sponsored by the Ministry of Labour, social affairs, women and family (Ministerium für Arbeit, Soziales, Frauen und Familie) with funds from the European Social Fund (Europäischen Sozialfond) and the state of Brandenburg.  

Sweden opens up its methodical treasure chest: presentation of the handbook “Development of Cultural and Creative Industries in Practice

Sweden opens up its methodical treasure chest: presentation of the handbook “Development of Cultural and Creative Industries in Practice

It’s not a secret that Sweden is among the frontrunners when it comes to supporting creative industries. In order to share their experience and knowledge, Alexanderson Institute and Generator Sverige launched the book „To Do – Development of Cultural and Creative Industries in Practice“ on February 6, 2013 in Brussels.

From the national to the local level

Creative industries support poses a challenge to all policy levels. This was reflected in the presentations in the Skåne office in Brussels where the publication was presented: Johanna Skantze from Generator Sverige gave an overview over the national perspective on the creative sector in Sweden and presented the latest numbers about the sector: 146.000 employees work in CCI; 117.000 companies generate an overall annual turnover of 34 billion EUR and thus contribute 3,3% to the Swedish gross domestic product (GDP). Not at least a growth rate of 5,5% is something other business sectors can only dream of. This development might have been an important motivation for regions and municipalities to establish Generator Sverige in 2010 as a network for the creative sector. In the future, the organization wants to work even more intensively with European partners to improve internationalization efforts of CCI companies and facilitate collaborations with other business sectors as well as the tourism and public sector.

The history of creative industries support in Sweden now dates back more than ten years. Daniel Borgman from the Halland regional development council presented the regional perspective and highlighted the need to use cultural capital for the establishment of relations with new growth markets. In his perspective the growing economic impact of the CCI indicates a substantial change in the global economy. Consequentially, the implication for the regional level is: “We need to acknowledge culture and creativity not as an isolated sector but as the backbone of a new information, knowledge and content based economy.”

Finally, Anna Linton and Ida Boström from the Alexanderson Institute presented the local case of CRED – Creative Destination Halland.

Cultural and Creative Industries Support in Practice

The book „To Do – Development of Cultural and Creative Industries in Practice“ itself presents various methods for supporting creative industries in a very hands-on manner. It is structured into the main themes


Still many things to do in creative industries support

  • Management and strategy
  • Building a network
  • Physical environment
  • Co-production
  • Knowledge development
  • Brand building
  • Professional development
  • Business development
  • Methods of measurement

and provides the reader with real hand-on practices. In short: a useful tool for  those who want to become supporters of creative industries, who already are and who want to improve their activities.


As a handbook is still a handbook, it obviously cannot cover all aspects of creative industries support. The authors are thinking about expanding the handbook’s scope to a European dimension. One of the pending issues that will have to be addressed in the future is definitely the internationalization aspect that especially small CCI companies struggle with.

Further information:

Information about the Skåne office in Brussels

On Strategies for Creative Industries at city-regional level see e.g. Jo Foord (2008): Strategies for creative industries: an international review, Creative Industries Journal 1(2), pp. 91-113.

On international opportunities for the creative industries in the Dutch case see the final report “International opportunities for the creative industries” by Rob Aalbers, José Mulder, and Joost Poort for the Agency for International Business and Cooperation (EVD) of the Duth Ministry of Economic Affairs. (PDF)


Research Trip to Denmark in January, Day 2: art students and their entrepreneurial trouble

Research Trip to Denmark in January, Day 2: art students and their entrepreneurial trouble

Holmen in Copenhagen is not only a film location for Danish crime series like Ørnen but also the place where the Danish art schools are clustered since the beginning oft he 1990s. At Holmen, the morning of our second day brought us insights and inspiration in the person of Pernille Skov from CAKI. With her, we could discuss a topic we had not covered yet in the course of our previous research.

Among the core cleavages within creative industries are without doubt the ones between artistic creativity and economics, between diversity and duplication as well as the need for appreciation by peers and necessary pricing.


Art students are artistically highly qualified when they leave art schools. Yet many suddenly face the challenge of an existence as freelancer or independent artist for which they are not prepared for in the course of their studies. To adress this gap, Denmark’s art schools decided to establish the Center for Applied Artistic Innovation (CAKI) that operates as a center under the wings oft he ministry of culture. The art schools are member organizations of  the center.

CAKI complements the artistic professionalization at the art schools not in the pure business sense: they rather focus on the structural framing of the artist’s practice.

In its everyday business, CAKI counsels individuals and groups, offers workshops and seminars and gives grants for projects. CAKI supplies a range of entrepreneurship activities for the arts students at CAKI’s member schools. Through CAKI, students can participate in workshops and courses like BUSINESS BEHIND THE TALENT, FUNDRAISER WORKSHOP and SPRING. CAKI has also published ENTREPRENEUR a series of easy to read, Danish publications that give guidance on different aspects of working as an artistic or cultural entrepreneur.

At the moment, CAKI considers to establish an incubator because they realized that the students need spaces between graduation and the first real job. We will follow this development and wish Pernille all the best for the great work she does with her seemingly endless energy.

Further Information

CAKI (2012) Memorandum On Entrepreneurship in arts education (PDF)

Art Schools in Denmark

The Royal Danish Academy of Music
The National Film School of Denmark
The Rhythmic Music Conservatory
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
The Royal Danish Schools of Architecture,Design and Conservation
The Danish National School of Performing Arts
Academy for Untamed Creativity (AFUK)
Textile and Handicraft Design/UCC
Performance Design/RUC
Copenhagen School of Design and Technology

Research Trip to Denmark in January, Day 1: Collaborative spirit with European horizon

Research Trip to Denmark in January, Day 1: Collaborative spirit with European horizon

Our first research trip in the new year takes us to a cold but sunny Copenhagen. In terms of terminology, there could not have been a better place than Café Europa in the heart of Copenhagen to meet our first interview partner Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning. He is both director of the Danish Center for Cultural and Experience Economy (CKO) and also well known for his activities on the European level within the European Creative Industries Alliance (ECIA). He explains that support schemes for creative businesses can obviously look quite different. CKO focuses on the demand side: the core of the center’s activities is to make businesses from other sectors aware of the innovative potential of collaboration with companies from the creative industries.

CKO is also active in

  • creating a network (CKO’s network today consists of around 1.200 companies)
  • creating a knowledge base through reports and reviews
  • engaging companies
  • and giving advice to authorities and programs like KreanordECIAFAMECI factor and others.

Since 2008, CKO has funded 20 projects in which a creative industries company or freelancer and a company from another business or the public sector worked to together. As the funding scheme expired in 2012, CKO is now promoting the methodology about how companies from other sectors can use CCI-input for their innovations and growth. Fostering these kinds of cooperations is definitely among the top issues that supporters of creative industries will have to take into considerations in the future.

Further information