The first UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries which was attended by representatives from 50 nations with a great success. Officials of the Italian and regional government of Lombardy, where Monza is located, created a magnificent event. Denise Bax of UNESCO played a key role in the success of the Forum. The Forum was held in the Ville Real, a beautifully restored 18th century palace which was the perfect setting for a gathering around culture and creativity.
The UNESCO Director-General, Mr. Matsuura, opened the World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries with insightful comments on how globalization can also work in the favor of cultural enterprises. The Italian Minister of Culture, Mr. Bondi, gave a stirring speech about the importance of culture in Italy. He pointed out that Italy has over 80,000 cultural enterprises. Clearly the Europeans understand that culture plays a huge role in economic development. Most countries have a Minister of Culture, and important budgets to support their activities. We do not have such a cabinet position for the USA except in New Mexico where we have a Cabinet Secretary for Cultural Affairs. Continue reading
There were many memorable moments at the UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries. It is clear that cities and regions are focusing on cultural clusters which means they are gathering cultural enterprises into close proximity to each other to promote synergy between them. From Milan to Zenchen City outside of Hong Kong, cities and regions are very dedicated to supporting specific cultural clusters. It seems the current thinking is that the best investment of public funds is in the culture clustural approach, which allows for innovation to flourish, synergy can occur and networks are created. It is a strategy for of us involved in building cultural clusters to consider.
The Fundacion Prada and the Hermes Foundation were present. The foundations are supported by luxury goods companies who to this day employ highly skilled artisans. What is significant to me is that both of these foundations promote culture and cultural industries.
What is a cultural entrepreneur?
New fields of development begin with ideas and then need the practical applied. With the practical comes the need for definitions. Over the last couple of years my definition for a cultural entrepreneur has evolved and I would like to share it with you now.
Cultural Entrepreneurs are cultural change agents and resourceful visionaries who organize cultural, financial, social and human capital, to generate revenue from a cultural activity. Their innovative solutions result in economically sustainable cultural enterprises that enhance livelihoods and create cultural value and wealth for both creative producers and consumers of cultural services and products.