CUMEDIAE, as manager of virtual creative hub Culture Agora and represented by Director of Strategy and Projects Stefanie Thomas, participated in the first European Creative Hubs Network conference from Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th of April in Athens, Greece. The occasion, representing the evolution of what was originally a project funded by the European Commission, was a celebration and best practice for sustainability beyond the confines of a static funding model. Barbara Stacher, Policy Officer, Culture/Economy of Culture, European Commission eloquently captured the mood with her words in an address for the opening of the conference:  “Everyone worked together to make this new generation of the creative hubs network happen.” She also used the occasion to make a nod to the forward movements made and the development of inclusion of creative hubs in official policy documents.  “If creative hubs ever need validation it is clearly stated in many recent policy products of the European Parliament and Commission”.

Although, ECHN’s primary focus is on physical creative hubs, as a virtual hub, Culture Agora’s ecosystem in intricately adapted to provide a portal for multi-level collaboration, and further develop the visibility and integration of creative hub networks across Europe and beyond and look forward to actively contributing to the life and sustainability of this evolved network.

New Board Elected! 

It was a good occasion to welcome the newest members of the Board of Directors:

Charalampidis Vassilis, Bios, Greece – President
Almeida Santos Tânia, CRU Cowork, Portugal – Vice President
Şahin Atilim, ATÖLYE, Turkey – Secretary General
Lopez Garrido Ivan, Republikken, Denmark – Treasurer
Piškorič Luka, Poligon, Slovenia  – Member
Kühr Wolf, Volumes, France – Alternate member 1
Kolp Ben, The Living Room Coworking, Spain – Alternate member 2

Launch of the FLIP Project 

The event also involved in parallel the Opening Conference of the FLIP Project (Finance, Learning, Innovation and Patenting for Cultural and Creative Industries), a pilot EU funded project for Cultural and Creative Industries. The general objective of this pilot project is to define and test policies and actions for sustaining and developing cultural and creative industries and to generating cross-sectoral benefits and spill-overs in the different areas and sectors the CCIs interface with. Stefanie was able to directly contribute to the various interactive sessions on innovation, improved access to finance, value recognition, and capacities to capture value from IP.  These sessions served to provide benchmarks for further activities within the framework of the project. 

More generally, it was an occasion to share news, exchange ideas and talk about the future steps of the network, and we are happy to be part of this community that aims at supporting the development and growth of the creative and cultural sector all over Europe, enhancing the creative, economic and social impact of hubs.