New ways in innovation management for sustainable value creation capacity: findings from Italian firms

A growing number of initiatives focus on the collaboration between cultural and creative industries (CCI) and companies from traditional business sectors. The underlying motivation behind this engagement is to uncover the hidden innovation potentials linked to the collaboration between what are considered unlike-minded businesses and practices.

A number of studies primarily focus on the macroeconomic effects of collaboration between CCI and other businesses. Empirical insights into the processes on the level of the individual firm are however still rare. A mini-study from C2C’s Italian project partner Prof. Dr. Giovanni Schiuma from the University of Basilicata and the Innovation Insights Hub in London shall therefore bring more light to the integration of artistic and creative practices into the innovation processes of companies from other business sectors. Together with his colleague Antonio Lerro (Arts for Business Institute), Prof. Schiuma selected a sample of 24 Italian firms and analysed them with respect to their level of integration of artistic and creative practices into their organizational processes and their impacts on business performance.

The report confirms that relationships between CCI and companies from traditional business sectors hence “do not respond to a planned strategy, but are rather the result of singular and sporadic links” and “are not part of a specific innovation management strategy.“ However, Giovanni Schiuma and Antonio Lerro identify and investigate a range of practical examples of how companies engage with creative industries in value creation partnerships. The authors observe that companies mainly establish relationships with CCI in order to respond to challenges in the realm of Corporate Social Responsibilty (CSR), marketing, branding and communication and new values for products and services. Little attention is given to the role that culture and creativity can play as drivers for organisational development and particularly as managerial approaches to support human resource development and engagement.

The findings of the report also point to a deficit of innovation support: even though there is a growing awareness of the need to collaborate with partners from the CCI, there is a huge lack of knowledge about how this kind cooperations can be stragically integrated into internal innovation management processes. The starting point for developing initiatives seems to be the commitment of the entrepreneur and/or the top management of companies as they are considered the most enabling factor for the development of effective relationships between businesses and CCI.

Download the full report 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.

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:

Creative collaboration in Brandenburg! A review of the C2C Barcamp

Creative collaboration in Brandenburg! A review of the C2C Barcamp

What happens if you put a group of experts on creative industries from five different countries and a variety of professional backgrounds together for a whole weekend? Add some post-its, a lot of coffee, a dash of sunshine and spoons full of open-mindedness … and you’ll get: creative collaboration!
This is what we experienced during the two intense days of the C2C-Barcamp last weekend in Brandenburg/Havel.
“How does a smart financial ecosystem for creative industries look like? How do we pave the way to a creative economy? What are the features of strong networks? What are smart approaches for cross sector collaborations? What is radical innovation? …” 
 were only some of the many questions we discussed  with our partners and other experts from Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Estonia and Germany. Their dedication and open contribution helped us gain important insights and we would like to thank them all!
The complete official
More detailed results of the 15 different workshop sessions will be published here in the following days. For now, we let the pictures speak for themselves …
A warm welcomeAny idea?Good morning! So, who are you?Morning pitching sessionMorning pitching sessionWorking on the schedule ...The pitched topicsThe schedule!Robert Karlsson and Gerda Hempel hosting a workshop sessionSome first results ...© by Marie Jacobi (© by Marie Jacobi (© by Marie Jacobi (