booksprint

A review of the final conference

A review of the final conference

On march 25th, 2014, around 50 international guests and cultural and creative industries (CCI) experts from Brandenburg, Sweden, Denmark and Italy gathered at the premises of the ministries of the region of Brandenburg in Potsdam for the final conference of the transnational research project Creative Capital Conference (C2C).

The core mission of C2C had been to write a toolkit for the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Women and Family of the region of Brandenburg, containing recommendations for the design of support programmes for the  CCI for the current funding period 2014-2020.
After almost 20 months of intensive research, numerous workshops in Brandenburg and the other European regions, a Barcamp and a Booksprint, the final conference was dedicated to the presentation of ideas for the toolkit, of four selected EU-Good practice cases from the regions, as well as to an outlook into the possible future of CCI support in Europe under the motto “Moving on – improving competence, connections and contexts”.

The afternoon started with a keynote on new perspectives on coaching for the CCI by Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Müller, scientific co-director of the project. His speech was followed by presentations by two of the booksprint authors – Prof. Dr. Carsten Becker and Steinar Valade-Amland – who gave inspirational speeches on the cross-sectoral character of the creative indutries. The conference concluded with a panel discussion with the transnational project partners, which was opened up to a rather interactive discussion, because if there is one thing we have learned from our work, it is that: “If you want to make other people move, you have to move yourself!”

Read on for more detailed recounts of the presentations, which can also be downloaded here as PDF versions:

I. EU-Good Practice

Debora Voges, The creative plot, Lund (SE)

The creative plot is an incubator for creative projects and entrepreneurs in Lund which is situated right within the Ideon Science park, a hub for technology-oriented businesses. It is also a pilot project aiming at answering the question, whether the typical incubation methods also work for creative businesses.

The incubatees benefit from a very intense program comprising infrastructure and work spaces (which are shared with “non-creative” businesses), regular networking events and counseling for professionalization. Another very smart feature of the creative plot is the “backstage”, an offer for all those who do not make it into the incubator (which is limited to 5 businesses) but can this way still stay connected to the network, stay informed, exchange ideas and participate in activities. You can read more about the creative plot in our previous blog post from 2012.

Since then, however, the first pilot round has been completed and the project has been evaluated by Prof. Dr. Daniel Hjorth from the Copenhagen Business School (CBS). The evaluation can be downloaded here.

Debora Voges presented the main findings of the evaluation which have been very appropriately put into the short imperative of “Don’t sit on it!”, meaning that what we need from now on are not more incubators, but ‘excubators’, institutions or frameworks which actually allow the businesses – creative or not – to grow and fly on their own.

The characteristics of such an excubator are:

  • externally oriented processes and resources
  • business model innovation
  • less standardization, more entrepreneurship
  • creates space for innovation
  • dialogic learning culture
  • entrepreneurial team
  • responsive needs of start-ups

For more information, you can download the presentation here.

Dr. Antonio Lampis, Cultural department of the city of Bozen/Bolzano (IT)

Dr. Antonio Lampis and his exceptional marketing campaign for cultural consumption and audience development in the province of Bolzano was one of the most intriguing cases of the C2C research. Thus, we invited him to the final conference, because we think that this strategy could also be applied to creative services and might serve as inspiration for place making and the building of a profile also in Brandenburg, a field discerned as crucial within the transfer toolkit.

In order to increase people’s cultural consumption as well as to include those segments of the population which are traditionally not so interested in culture, the northern Italian province of Bolzano has applied a strategy based on continuous experimentation with non-traditional marketing. This included techniques of paritetic and direct marketing as well as an alliance with the small local shops. Furthermore, there was a strong focus on proposing culture as an alternative activity for people’s typical spare time activities, such as sports and TV. The direct marketing which was modelled after the famous “Avon” ladies knocking on people’s doors proved to be very successfull as more and more of the potential customers became “promoters of culture” themselves. Other activities of non-traditional marketing included cultural flash mobs and theater trailers in the local street markets (watch the video here).

Through the involvement of both the inhabitants of the city as well as the mayors of the surrounding villages, this strategy appealed to a sense of ownership, responsibility and identity and has contributed to a concrete change of lifestyle and different use of leisure time.

For more information, you can download the presentation here.

Pernille Skov, project manager of CAKi, Copenhagen (DK)

CAKi is the Center for applied artistic innovation and the contact point for all art students in Copenhagen in need of counseling, advice or support in whichever way when it comes to starting a project or establishing a business.

Pernille Skov is CAKi’s project manager and we met here during our first research trip to Denmark (read the blog post from 2013). We invited her to speak about her experience as many of the interviews and workshops we carried out during the project showed that an artist’s reputation “in the scene” depends primarily on original and non-commercial work. Based on this observation, it seems sad that self-marketing by artists and creative people or collaboration with business is still seen as slightly dirty. Pernille Skov shares our view that entrepreneurial skills are crucial for artists as well.

CAKi’s focus lies on interdisciplinarity, artistic innovation and entrepreneurship. Their aim is to complement the skills gathered at art schools, help the students in their artistic innovation, increase their professionalization and to expand their employment opportunities. What is important to note is CAKi’s view on artistic innovation which to them creates new societal value and does not necessarily have an economic value.

Pernille Skov gave a short intriduction into the courses CAKi offers. One of the most interesting ones is called “Business behind talent”: it is set up in 3 steps, each of which deals with specific questions:

  1. Reflection: who are you?
  2. Construction: what do you need?
  3. Professionalization: how do you do it?

and in a second step lead to

  1. Action
  2. Context
  3. Self-efficacy

For more information, you can download the presentation here.

Paolo Campagnano, founder and CEO of The ImpactHub Rovereto, Rovereto (IT)

The ImpactHub Rovereto is a network and coworking space and part of the internationally operating network of by now 60 spaces on 5 continents with 7.000 members worldwide. Rovereto, a small town of only roughly 38.000 inhabitants, located in the North of Italy in the region Trentino, is as such, the smallest municipality hosting an ImpactHub in the world.

We invited Paolo Campagnano to tell us about how such an urban concept as coworking can function in a rural and non-metropolitan area.

The ImpactHub Rovereto opened in September 2010 with only 20.000 Euro as starting capital as the first coworking space in Trentino. Today, it counts 70 active members. The team is composed of 7employees, the cooperative composed of 11members.

Paolo Campagnano highlighted the following challenges:

  • financial sustainability
  • the entrepreneurial approach and private initiative which was not widely known in the region → Trentino has not an intense entrepreneurial attitude
  • the coworking model was not known and had to be explained
  • there is a low attitude to mobility from the local population
  • the low population density

After three years, however, the hub is still open and running and has succeeded in becoming an intergral part of the town life. According to Paolo Campagnano, the main learnings have been:

  1. that it is possible to import the coworking/pre-incubation model in not metropolitan areas,
  2. although the simple coworking model is not financially sustainable in not metropolitan areas
  3. → as this type of environment offers good connections between people working in different economical sectors (private, public, school, non profit)
  4. and that it is possible and vital to create a local community strongly connected with a global community.

For more information, you can download the presentation here.

II. Keynote: “PERSPECTIVES FOR THE ROLE OF COACHING IN CREATIVE INDUSTRIES. Structures, targets and methods put to the test”

Under the motto “Improving competence”, Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Müller held an inspiring keynote speech on new perspectives for coaching within the CCI.

One of his main arguments is that the personality of creative founders should be in the focus of all support initiatives and that the persistant insistance on the business plan as a prerequisite for access to support should be abandoned.

You can download the entire keynote here in English and German.

III. Inspirational speeches on CCI as cross-cutting issue, presented under the motto “Improving connections” by two of our booksprint authors:

Prof. Dr. Carsten Becker, Managing partner and research director GIB – Gesellschaft für Innovationsforschung und Beratung, Berlin

Prof. Dr. Becker presented the main insights from his booksprint chapter on “The dual role of CCI: innovator and innovation driver”.

His presentation began with an introduction into the developments in innovation research, followed by an elaboration of the CCI’s role as innovator and innovation driver and closed with a presentation of the challenges and impediments they are faced with today.

For more details, you can download the presentation (in German) here or his booksprint chapter here in English and German.

Steinar Valade-Amland, Consultant, Founder and CEO of Three Point Zero, Denmark

Under the title “Design in a value chain perspective: from anecdotal to systemic”, Steinar Valade-Amland’s chapter of the booksprint showed how design is much more than aesthetics, form and function and how it has become a method pervading every segment of society. This can be seen as either a good development, since design can help improving living conditions and making the world a better place to live in (“Design is the more attractive way of solving problems”), or as a risk, since the DNA of design might get lost on the way. In his chapter as well as in his speech, Steinar Valade-Amland depicted the challenges and opportunities of design, described the development of design since the 1950s up until now and called for a renewal and revitalization of its original virtues. He then elaborated on the major challenges this renewal is faced with, such as structural barriers, and presented opportunities not to be missed.

For more details, you can download the presentation here or his booksprint chapter here in English and German.

We proudly present… the Booksprint!

We proudly present… the Booksprint!

In the course of our research, we came across challenges which creative industries and their support systems are faced with and which can hardly be dealt with within one single project or programme. This assessment, in conjunction with the perception that these kinds of issues need a more innovative approach also from the support and research side, formed the basis for our motivation to initiate a booksprint in September 2013.

Six months later, this experimental adventure has now come to an end. Today it arrived fresh from the printing press: our collaborative publication “Creative Sprint – A collaborative view on challenges and opportunities in the creative sector”!
Many thanks again to our expert authors Carsten Becker, Emma Estborn, Giorgia Boldrini, Steinar Valade-Amland and Carsten Busch (click here for more information on their chapters), as well as Martin Schüngel for his great layout and Marie Jacobi for the illustrations!

 

Booksprint Stapel               Table of content

About the booksprint:

A booksprint is a collaborative writing process in a very limited period of time which culminates in a finished publication. The concept originated in the Open Source movement, as did the format Barcamp, for example.

Booksprints offer a way of harnessing collaboration and communal feedback to develop ideas and visions that a single author working alone probably would not come up with. The result of the co-creation process is, aside from a text that is typically of a high quality, an increase in shared knowledge and sense of community. The process cannot be planned in advance and this spontaneity creates space for “genuine innovation”. The result is that booksprints are more than the sum of their parts.

In its usual form, a booksprint process brings together a group of (usually five) authors together in one place for not longer than one week, during which time they work on their contributions in an iterative manner, alternating writing and giving/receiving feedback on the accomplished work.

In our case, we decided to virtualize the format and had it spread over seven weeks during which we came together twice for a kick-off and for a final meeting. In the meantime, we “met” in weekly Skype meetings.

The process has been immensely interesting and exciting and we have all learnt a great deal about new topics and about working in a group.

CREATIVE SPRINT. A COLLABORATIVE VIEW ON CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE CREATIVE SECTOR ” will be publicly released in Malmö on March 7, 2014 in the course of the Conference on Creative Industries in Sweden, hosted by Region Skåne and our project partner Tillväxtverket – the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.

You can download it here.

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.