2011-07-12

Europe needs a Wharhol Economy

Europe needs a Warhol Economy instead of a war economy said European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, at the opening of the ENCATC-UA debate on managing the impact of the financial crisis in Europe.
Organised by ENCATC, the leading European Network in Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Education, in close partnership with the University of Antwerp, the European debate Opportunities of crisis: Managing the impact of the financial crisis in Europe, designing innovative strategies and forecasting possible futures took place in Brussels on the 7th of July 2011. The purpose of this event was to debate what the crisis ultimately means for policy-makers, leaders and managers in the cultural sector, and how cultural organisations can best adapt in this new changing environment.
Karel De Gucht, the European Commissioner for Trade, opened the debate with a keynote speech on the Europe 2020 strategy of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as a tool for confronting global economic challenges. The timing of this conference is certainly faultless: with the pressure in Greece over the last few days mounting sky high and nerves in financial markets and European capitals on edge, managing the financial crisis in Europe has been a topic almost too hot to handle. The feeling of crisis was as strong as ever. Turning it into an opportunity is what we need to do next. But we all realise it is an enormous challenge, whether for governments, companies, citizens, creative and cultural institutions, all operating in awfully difficult budgetary circumstances explained Commissioner De Gucht at the ENCATC-UA Debate. In a time of strict budgetary constraints, the Trade Commissioner agreed that cultural organisations need to prove more than ever how and where they guarantee value added and what they're worth in economic terms. The classic public goods problem with which the cultural sector is however faced is demonstrating in economic terms the invaluable and intangible contribution which culture makes to society at large. As the cultural sector is increasingly pushed to seek new ways of financing, Commissioner De Gucht emphasized the importance of necessary investments in the creative field. Maybe we should not think of ourselves so much as a war economy, but as a Warhol Economy to use the term of American researcher Elisabeth Currid. For a city like New York, she provocatively argues, creative and cultural industries are as important as all Wall Street firms combined: they both directly account for about 5% of local jobs.
The keynote speech was followed by a round table moderated by journalist, Chantal Pattyn, where a series of cultural experts from across the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors engaged in a lively debate. Panelists in the round table included various high profile personalities including Jean-Pierre Baeyens, holder of the Marketing Chair, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management; Jan Briers, President, Federation of Music Festivals in Flanders; General Manager, Flanders Festival Brussels-Ghent; Franšois Colbert, Chair in the Arts Management, ICHEC Montreal; Anita Debaere, Director at Pearle*; Fabio Donato, ENCATC Board member, Lecturer, University of Ferrara; Paul Dujardin, General Manager, Centre for Fine Arts of Brussels; Julek Jurowicz, Managing Director, SMartBe; Anne Krebs, Head of Studies and Research Department, Louvre Museum; Sylvain Pasqua, Administrator, DG Education and Culture, Culture Unit; and Pierre-Jean Benghozi, Head of Research at the CNRS.
For more information: ENCATC The Leading European Network in Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Education: www.encatc.org
Learn more about the Universiteit Antwerpen/Antwerp Management School, Master Cultuurmanagement:
Commissioner De Guchts speech can be found on the ENCATC website. A full report, a bibliography as well as videos from the debate will also be made available soon: http://www.encatc.org/pages/index.php?id=207

ENCATC The Leading European Network in Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Education
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