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.

The C2C final conference – check out the programme and register!

The C2C final conference – check out the programme and register!

It really is hard to believe, but the project creative capital conference is coming to an end this spring! As you can imagine, we have gathered many many useful and revealing information and now is the time to share them with you.

Our final conference will take place on Tuesday, March 25th in Potsdam from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and we invite everybody who is interested in the future trends of creative industries support to come by and join us for an exciting day, packed with interesting insights.

We will present our project findings and you will have the opportunity to meet experts from Brandenburg and other regions in Germany, but also from Sweden, Denmark and Italy.

Check out the programme flyer for more information on the speakers and if you wish to attend, please remember to register by sending an e-mail to our project manager Noémie Causse (nc@c2conference.org)


Creative regions Brandenburg (Kreative Regionen Brandenburg)

It is no secret that the resources and potentials of rural regions in Brandenburg (and elsewhere) differ substantially from those of urban and metropolitan areas: Rural areas are structurally weak and suffer form demographic change and the migration of large parts of their population towards economically more attractive regions.
On the other side, rural areas offer numerous natural resources and regionally rooted companies which allows for completely distinct approaches.
One indispensable precondition for the development of such approaches is a functioning network for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and practices.
As C2C is not only a research project but also aims at testing (and developing) formats, which could be suitable for Brandenburg, we set out – against the previously described backdrop of challenges and potentials – to develop a model for strengthening the regional economy and innovative strength, through connecting local companies and universities, their know-how, resources and technologies within the framework of very hands-on formats for research and development.
As the model served the open source project Grüne Werkstatt Wendland, based in the very rural western-German region called Wendland, mostly famous for the anti-nuclear protest movement (read more in this earlier blogpost or go directly to their website).
Marc Piesbergen, the former project director of this very successfully running project, who had already contributed to the 3rd regional workshops of the project wrote a concept for us, which we discussed in detail with a group of interested people from Brandenburg institutions and projects in an intense workshop at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam (Fachhochschule Potsdam). Read the full documentation (in German) here.

Marc Piesbergen giving his input

Marc Piesbergen giving his input

At the core of the whole concept lies the so-called local „Projektbörse“, a kind of project pool containing unsolved problems, undeveloped ideas and the like which are fed into the pool by the companies for students from different disciplines (such as e.g. design, engineering, cultural tourism and the like) and different regions to be worked on in close collaboration with the companies.
The connection of the universities and the oftentimes unidentified know-how of the local companies harbors the great potential of being able to refine existing business models and products in an innovative way, to test approaches which have not yet been taken into consideration and to identify focal points, which are content-wise and technologically new.
This attempt shall be pursued beyond the borders of the individual regions of Brandenburg, building a network to which each university and business location can contribute with their own individual knowhow and competencies – the network of the „Creative regions Brandenburg“.
In addition to the “Projektbörse” we also discussed the following formats:
  • interdisciplinary project weeks
  • cross-sectoral innovation camps involving different universities
  • an open and very practical format involving vocational colleges and similar educational institutions
  • a temporary regional display window
  • a creative business competition with jury and prize, e.g. a creative business cup
Workshop situation 1

Workshop situation 1

Workshop situation 2

Workshop situation 2

Our guests discussed each format with regards to their own experience in the field, the resources and contact at their disposal and developed some of the ideas further.
Of special interest were the questions as to which university disciplines to involve and on how to start (involve the whole “Land” or start with a smaller group of one or two pilot regions).
The participants also agreed that the building upon already existing structures and involving already active players in the regions would be key.
They discussed if yet another competition was necessary and how this format could maybe be developed further in order to create something new and unique which stands out against the other existing competitions and really helps the winners. For example it might be useful if the winners would not receive a prize but the support for realizing the idea for which they submitted a concept.

Workshop situation 3

Workshop situation 3

The participants also developed the temporary regional display from something nonmotile to an interactive and mobile format with potential for involving the local population and creating a real buzz in the media and visibility for the whole region.
A working group was not formed out of the meeting, but the individual participants are already discussing next steps. We will try to keep track of the developments ans write about them here …

Wrap-Up Session

Wrap-Up Session


First results of our survey on the demand for coworking in Brandenburg

In the beginning of March we hosted a workshop on coworking at the “Schaufenster” in Potsdam, which triggered a lot of intense discussions on which we will keep you posted as soon as we know more.

To follow the subject and to find out about the need for coworking also in other regions of Brandenburg, we have designed a survey with 10 questions, which is still open for participation (see post from March, 15th).

Up to today, 57 participants have answered the questions. The answers have been compiled in a document (in German language) that you can access and download here: Causse (2013) Bedarfsanalyse_Coworking im Land Brandenburg_Stand24.04.2013

We will constantly be updating the results over the course of the project and try to keep you informed about all developments in this matter and are also always open to feedback and suggestions!

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: http://www.pnn.de/potsdam/730055/


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: katja.dietrich-kroeck@zab-brandenburg.de) 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.