The DISCE Final Event “A call for more Inclusive Creative Economies” was a success!
The DISCE – Developing Inclusive and Sustainable Creative Economies - project is coming to an end in June 2022. On the 3rd of March 2022 DISCE Final Event took place in a hybrid format. The event summarised and presented the project's findings and discussed preliminary policy recommendations with the EU officials and other stakeholders.
The event was developed around three panels and was started with welcome speeches by Rickard Bucksch from the European Commission and Jarna Heinonen, the Principal Investigator of DISCE from the University of Turku. After that Tiffany Fukuma (Trans Europe Halles) discussed in the panel 1 with Jonathan Gross (King’s College London) and Birgitta Persson (Olivearte Cultural Agency) the co-creation activities in DISCE. Stakeholder engagement through active co-creation and interaction has played an important role throughout the project.
Panel 2 “A call for reshaping research, policy and practice for more inclusive creative economies” was built around the work packages of DISCE and presented the respective research findings. Leaders of WP2 Alessandra Faggian and Alessandro Crociata from Gran Sasso Science Institute concentrated on CCIs Identification, mapping and statistics. They pointed out the need for improving the quality and the harmonization of cultural statistics. Leader of WP3 Roberta Comunian from King’s College London continued with the main results of Work Package 3 that focused on the skills and education of creative workforce. WP3 looked at how individuals can have access to sustainable creative work during the different life stages and identified opportunities and barriers they face to contribute to their local creative economies. For example, when entering a creative profession enabling factors can be specific schemes or initiatives, access to affordable housing/workspaces, advice on employment rights, financial management, connecting with wider support networks, but also a supporting family (or friend/colleague). Inhibiting factors, on the other hand, can be work practices relying on unpaid labour or exploiting the inexperience of people entering these careers.
Work Package 4 concentrates on business models, value creation and innovation. Leader of WP4 Ulla Hytti from University of Turku noted that the creative freelancers and entrepreneurs do not identify strongly as entrepreneurs but based on the findings are entrepreneurial in many ways. However, the sustainability of their entrepreneurial activities is questioned by the taken-for granted ‘creative deal’, a set of institutionalized practices (attitudes, ways of action, norms, rules) such as working for no or low money, using household-money or doing everything by oneself. Challenging the unsustainable creative deal calls for changes already during the creative education but also wider attitudinal and systemic changes in the society. Finally, Nick Wilson and Jonathan Gross from King’s College London presented the key results of the Work Package 5 that has aimed at understanding what the growth of creative economies can consist of and why and how such growth is valuable. WP5 introduced a Cultural Development Index that is a new policy framework and tool to be used at local and regional city level.
The event concluded with a Panel 3 – a policy roundtable – where experts discussed the policy implications stemming from the research carried out within the DISCE project. The panel 3 was moderated by Ignasi Guardans (CUMEDIAE) and the panellists being Xavier Troussard, Head of the New European Bauhaus Unit – Joint Research Centre at the European Commission, Barbara Stacher, Senior Expert at European Commission, DG EAC, Anita Debaere, Director at PEARLE* – Live Performance Europe and Annick Schramme, DISCE Advisory Board member and Academic Director of the Masters in Cultural Management at the University of Antwerp together with Jarna Heinonen (UTU). The vivid discussion touched upon various topics such as education, tension between entrepreneurship and creativity, the value of creative work, general income and the role of digitalization and innovation in the creative work, and gave us many valuable insights to be considered when finalising the policy reports in the coming months.
You can listen the recording of the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3VzsSWbTKs
The final research reports of DISCE will be published at https://disce.eu/ by the summer 2022. Furthermore, discussion continues in some selected, forthcoming conferences and in academic journals. Stay tuned!
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More information: PI Jarna Heinonen and project coordinator Elisa Akola