Creative Cities and Industries Conference

Katowice, 16 June 2018

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The Creative Cities and Industries Conference is a supplementary event for the 12th Annual Meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. It is scheduled for June 16, 2018 in Katowice – the City of Gardens (plac Sejmu Śląskiego 2, 40-032 Katowice). The conference is free and open to the public, particularly the local audience including professionals, practitioners and academics.


9:30 – 10:30 Keynote Speaker

Zuzanna Skalska „Post-Creative City”

10:30 – 10:45 Coffee Break
10:45 – 12:15 Panel “Cultural policy development for the Agenda 2030 and New Urban Agenda. Opportunities and challenges for municipalities and regions in adaptation and implementation of the Agendas.”

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity endorsed by the international community through a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly adopted on 25. September 2015. It outlines a vision for a more sustainable future, as one that is equitable, inclusive, peaceful, and environmentally friendly. Its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets provide guidance for policy design and imple­mentation at the local, national and international level.

The New Urban Agenda on the other hand is an action-oriented plan to build a more sustainable urban future, adopted at the conclusion of the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III, Quito, Ecuador, October 2016) and endorsed by a resolution of the UN General Assembly on 23 December 2016. The key commitments made by the international community echo the SDGs, providing a foundation and a roadmap on how to achieve them.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network specifically seeks to develop international cooperation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor in the realization of these abovementioned goals as well as urban and regional sustainable development. Practically, how do municipalities relate to these goals? How should they be incorporated into the fabric of city policy? What are the best examples of successful local implementation or reference to these two global agendas? How is international and cross-cutting cooperation used as a helpful tool for this purpose?

Terri Dollar, Joey Hendrickson, Jordi Pascual

Damian Valles

12:15 – 12:45 Lunch/concert by Hengelo
12:45 – 14:15 Simultaneous Panels 

  1. Digital Culture and Media in Cities 

A digital city harnesses the possibilities of new media, interactive platforms and open data. Digital services in the city and media policies can affect progress on the economy and innovation, community development and civic participation, culture and entertainment, transport, digital literacy and environmental practices. How can cities incentivize digital solutions? What are best practice standards for developing digital access, proficiency and infrastructure? How do local cultural, social, environmental and creative institutions adapt to the fast-paced development of interconnectivity and digital platforms?

Paulina Ahokas, Gregory Fox, Christine Merkel, Elwira Wojtunik, Mark Roach.

Karol Piekarski

  1. Protecting Human Rights and Freedoms of Expression 

Supporting basic freedoms and rights is at the core of UNESCO, the Agenda 2030, New Urban Agenda and the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. In the context of the refugee crisis, mass migrations, continued discrimination and inequalities, municipalities must address their responsibility in providing equal access to cultural participation, goods and services; creating deeper linkages between the arts and human rights issues; putting forth solutions to fundamental imbalances; and supporting educational programming that leads to an empathetic and democratic society.  What steps can cities take to advance not only the cause, but also to deliver concrete actions that safeguard these protections not only for inhabitants but also communities experiencing persecution for their artistic and creative output?

Helge Lunde, Carles Torner, Wim Wabbes, Sara Whyatt 

Sandy Mahal 

  1. Urban Design and Sustainability 

Sustainability and innovation are arguably the most ubiquitously used terms in the field, and yet, with booming urbanization, the depletion of environmental, ecological and cultural resources, they are continuously relevant for the question of how to address the most pressing issues for the future of cities. When we say that culture and creativity need to be integrated into planning processes, what are the best, practical methods for a city to take? How does cultural and natural heritage conservation factor in?  How can culture contribute to more resilient and adaptive city planning? What urban design advances quality of life, support for revitalized and greener cities and positive community development? 

Sofia Kolonias, Hassan Radoine, Guilio Verdini

Ellie Schnieder 

  1. Board of 14 Debate 

In February 2018, the Cities of Krakow and Katowice implemented the Board of 14 Debate project, a series of roundtables and stakeholder debates. Local representatives of the literature, music, film, media arts, gastronomy, design and crafts and folk art sectors met in working groups over the course of three months to debate on how their respective sectors address the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The Work Groups selected 6 out of the 17 goals to address. The 12th UCCN Annual Meeting marks the half-way point in this year-long programme. During this dedicated panel, we will hear back from the Chairs of those thematic groups about not only their experience in integrating their sectors around the Agenda 2030, but also about the preliminary conclusions of their debates, opening new horizon for future discusses.

Bogna Świątkowska

14:15 – 14:45 Coffee Break/concert by Zośka
14:45 – 16:15 Panel “Access to the artistic and creative expressions: developing active cultural participants.”

Audience development is a term that reached Central and Eastern Europe not long ago, taking off as the new buzzword in the sector. In particular, attention to socio-economic groups typically marginalized from cultural and creative activities has been growing steadily, with increasing opportunities being developed to reflect the needs of a diversifying public and moving beyond the basic question of how to increase audience numbers. With shifting demographics and increased mobility and globalized migration, how does the cultural and creativity sector react and ensure access to cultural goods and practices to all communities?  How do we engage civil society and strengthen their participation?

During the session, international practitioners and cultural events organizers will showcase outstanding examples and practices of community engagement and development of audience participation, especially among underrepresented and marginalized groups.

Ron DeMaio, Agata Etmanowicz, Andrew Firmin, David Ibáñez, M.A Papper

Gillian McDaniel

16:15 – 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 – 18:00 Panel “Measuring the Immeasurable”

 This session will be moderated by UNESCO with the participation of UCCN member cities and invited experts

 One major challenge for the contemporary cultural and creative sector is to capture and articulate its economic, social and environmental impact. In light of the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda, statistics, data and evidence of culture’s role on municipal, regional and national development in all its dimensions are increasingly necessary to further promote culture and creativity as well as to shape policies and strategies rooted in evidence-based approaches. These significantly help to not only expand already existing and important initiatives, but to also identify the potential and challenges in future development.

Over years, UNESCO has been spearheading two important initiatives, namely the Framework for Cultural Statistics and the UNESCO Culture for Development Indicators (CDIS). Building on these existing methodologies, UNESCO has engaged an initiative in 2017 to develop a framework of indicators to measure the contribution of culture to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda across the different SDGs, at both the national and local level. The framework is intended to be applicable in different types of contexts, including in countries with limited statistical capacities.

These pioneering initiatives aim to systematize effective and operational methods for measuring the contribution of culture across different policy areas, highlighting its major contribution to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. How can this research agenda be adopted for the municipal and regional level? How can we support statistical mechanisms by building capacity and targeting focus? How do we measure the seemingly immeasurable –   the impact of culture and creativity on social cohesion, community identity, individual freedoms, integration of sectors and more? What steps has the UNESCO Creative Cities Network taken to measure this impact and make it visible and communicable?

Following the discussions on this topic across different sessions of the 12th UCCN Annual Meeting, this session will bring together UNESCO representatives, experts and researchers, and ,  to present the most recent developments and to introduce good practices and case studies from cities around the globe.

Naima Bourgaut, Tom Fleming, Aleksandra Kołtun, Valentina Montalto

Olga Brzezińska


FULL DAY WORKSHOP | JUNE 16, 9:00 – 12:00 and  12:45 – 15:45, with lunch break


Join us for Re:Vision, a series of writing workshops during this year’s Creative Crossroads conference in Katowice on Saturday 16th June. These workshops are inspired by literature, music, visual arts and film, and will explore diverse contemporary issues, from migration to the smartphone. The aim of the workshops is to offer new opportunities for thinking and writing, both creatively and critically, about our changing planet.

There are 12 places available in each workshop; these are open to conference delegates and members of the public and participants may attend one or more sessions. The workshops are designed to offer a friendly and supportive environment and participants are not expected to have any prior experience of creative writing or knowledge of the field. However, all workshops will be conducted in English and participants will be required to have reasonable confidence in speaking and writing in English (B2).

This series is organised by the Critical Poetics Research Group at Nottingham Trent University (UK) in association with Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and ‘Krakowice’ Creative Crossroads.


Homeward: Locating ‘home’ in a Globalised World

In an increasingly interconnected world, what do we mean by ‘home’? How does the idea of ‘home’ change when we consider issues of migration and globalisation? In this session, writer and critic Amy Rushton will introduce a diverse range of literary texts, film and music from across the globe to inspire participants to reflect on what ‘home’ means to them.

Listening In: Telephony, Surveillance and the Mobile Phone

In ‘Listening In’, Sarah Jackson, award-winning poet and BBC New Generation Thinker, will explore the cultural legacy of the telephone and the impact of smartphone technologies on the way we communicate. During the session, we will also consider the fragile boundary between the public and the private in surveillance culture, drawing on examples from literature, sound art and film.

Earth and Sky: Rethinking our Environment

During ‘Earth and Sky’, poet and critic, Jo Dixon will explore the connections between the human and the non-human environment. Considering representations of the natural world across art forms, participants will be encouraged to re-imagine our relationship with our changing planet.

Deep Time: Exploring Nuclear Futures

Led by Daniel Cordle, expert in nuclear culture, ‘Deep Time’ will reflect on the cultural representation of nuclear technologies, and invites workshop participants to imagine their own nuclear futures.


The Creative Cities and Industries Conference will be held in English, simultaneously translated into Polish. Admission is free of charge.

Registration for participants, not taking part in Annual Meeting:

Registration for media, not taking part in Annual Meeting: