After several weeks of teleworking and attending webinars organised by several institutions and organisations, it was EURADA’s turn to take the front seat and participate in a webinar it will be hosting. This happened on the 14th of May when EURADA co-organised a webinar together with the Artisans of Innovation entitled “How the creative, cultural & digital industries can lead the new post-COVID innovation economy”. Hosted by EURADA’s own Tessa Anné, the webinar aimed to explain the current context of culture, creative, digital industries and their link to innovation, and future directions after the COVID-19 pandemic. Before having access to the webinar, participants were required to answer a few questions related to the creative economy. The results and answers to these questions helped frame the talks of the speakers. Three experts from the Artisans of Innovation led the discussions on the topic and later answered several questions from the audience which added value to an already informative session.

The webinar opened with Ms Johanna Suo, a founding partner of the Artisans of Innovation and a specialist in cultural strategy, culture in external relations and cooperation, transfer of skills & perspectives from creative sectors to business sectors, creative economy development and innovation. She emphasised how viewing certain aspects from different perspectives across sectors can facilitate a clearer understanding of the situation and perhaps lead to innovation. In this way, innovation can be seen as a product of connections made from the discoveries of viewing and working with things in a holistic manner instead of in isolation. Applying this mindset to the current situation means that in order to achieve innovation post the COVID-19 crisis, narrow-minded visions in the business sector must be re-invented or re-imagined and the creative, cultural and digital industries (CCIs) can help do this. Ms Suo acknowledges that the creative and business cultures are very different from each other, meaning challenges may occur to overcome these differences but at the same time, both these sectors can complement and help each other. Governments should look into offering financial and support incentives through their policies so as to encourage cross-sectoral collaborations and discover the economic value of CCIs as well as the opportunities and social impacts they present.

Mr Peter Rudge, a specialist in the development of creative economies in developing & challenged regions, meanwhile highlighted several issues such as how the finance sector can help the CCIs and the widening of the creative industry’s geographic scale. In this regard, he mentioned that although CCIs can be urban-centric, recovering from the pandemic sees the involvement of more rural to semi-rural areas. He discussed the role that universities play in understanding what innovation means in terms of creative industries and facilitating an ecosystem wherein knowledge transfer between stakeholders can occur. He stressed that in building this ecosystem, regional development agencies have a key role to play in mediating between the creative industry and universities so that each party can understand what they bring to the table and work together better.

To contextualize the term “digital” in terms of cross-sector innovation for CCIs, Prof. Khawar Hameed, a specialist in information systems, digital strategy, digital innovation & transformation and digital leadership, talked about the fusion of technology with human-centric elements and across different sectors. Using this logic, he discussed how technology without application is meaningless. In fact, the products of the 4th industrial revolution we are experiencing shows how technology connects data and humans to make sense of the advancements we have today. This connection will, of course, continue to develop and shape the future generation. 

The second half of the webinar continued with a question and answer portion which allowed participants to share their thoughts on the points mentioned by the experts. For instance, examples on the kinds of measures RDAs can implement to help or stimulate collaboration with CCIs were mentioned. Additionally, ways by which CCIs can work with different sectors to leverage the value of data were discussed.

The ideas mentioned here were some of the knowledge and information exchanged during the webinar. The full version of the discussion is uploaded and can be watched on YouTube and Zoom (in this platform can be also downloaded) while the content and presentation of the speakers are summarised in the executive report given by Artisans of Innovation, where they give also an answer to some of the most relevant questions made during the Webinar by the attendants. 

Executive Summary
Opinion Survey
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