Culture is future »


Newsletter March 2012 - Forum d’Avignon-Ruhr and special feature on Culture and attractiveness of territories


March 2012

The Forum d’Avignon is a think tank dedicated to the dialogue between culture, the economy and the media. It publishes innovative studies on cultural economics and the media. All year long, its website, 'culture is future', analyses and develops three themes : Culture and attractiveness of territories : Culture, financings and economic models, Culture, digital and innovation. Studies, interviews, articles are daily realized with the collaboration of actors from the cultural, the economic and the academic sectors. When sense research and technologies appropriation are always questioned, it is crucial to associate and renew the points of view for a constructive dialogue between disciplines.  


Forum d’Avignon-Ruhr : Creating Progress: Building strategic partnerships between

culture and the economy starting today !

The first ever Forum d’Avignon-Ruhr will take place in Essen, Germany, on 8 and 9 March 2012.  Building on the 2011 Forum d’Avignon on ‘Investing in Culture’, this year’s Forum d’Avignon-Ruhr – the inaugural edition of this international event – will examine opportunities for local economic development through innovative cultural investment strategies cutting across the public and private sectors.

‘We are pleased that the crucial issue of local cultural development – particularly as a part of post-industrial rehabilitation – will continue to take centre stage at Forum d’Avignon-Ruhr’, said Forum d’Avignon Managing Director Laure Kaltenbach. ‘While the Forum’s recent work has concentrated on demonstrating that investing in culture and cultural infrastructure is good for economic development and social cohesion, this year’s event will provide a unique opportunity to show us how a region like the Ruhr has actually made culture a part of its own development strategy. Culture will be a key challenge for future generations, and Europe-wide cooperation is vital. Our political and cultural institutions and businesses must work together – starting today’.


Kurt Salmon’s study to serve as a basis for discussion for this two-day event

Kurt Salmon’s study ‘Cultural undertaking & investment: from intuition to decision making’, carried out for the 2011 Forum d’Avignon, looked at the role and impacts – both qualitative and quantitative – of cultural programming. The past 25 years of cultural alliances and investments in cities like Bologna, Bilbao, Krakow, Lille, Liverpool, and those in the Ruhr region have shown that culture is an integral part of local ecosystems; culture exerts an influence that extends to other sectors; and culture can and does drive economic development.


Investing in culture at the local, regional, and national levels

The two-day Forum d’Avignon-Ruhr will include three panel discussions based on Charles Landry’s study ‘Creativity, culture and the city: a question of interconnection’. The panels will examine issues like making culture and the economy part of a common strategy, the art of creative change, and success stories and best practices.

To go further:


Presentation, by Dieter Gorny, Managing director of European Centre for Creative Economy
Our cultural values are changing - on the one hand in respect of access to and the use of art and culture - and the other hand regarding its role in society. Furthermore the economic production process is also going through a transformation at the same time. The central question here is: What can and what must be done to keep Europe capable of meeting the future and of remaining competitive in the area of conflict of globalised economies and technological innovations as well as of cultural traditions and experience?

(…) Economic and societal transformation will not be possible without interdisciplinary cooperation and integrative strategies. The future may no longer be a challenge only for individual sectors or a matter for national top-down solutions but requires new symbioses in policy, economy and culture.

Read the article

CULTURE IS FUTURE – last articles

Culture, financings and economic models

03.05.2012 Always further - Team Culture 2012: “Europe’s financial crisis is also cultural”

The mobilisation of energy and expertise is completed all around Europe to think and build the way out of the financial crisis which could paralyse hope of generations. Since its beginning, the Forum d'Avignon and its international surveys claim that investing culture will provide new ...


Culture, innovation and digital

03.06.2012 Always further - new magic: between dream and reality

The show off continues. After circus’ metamorphosis that marvel us (LINK) and – at last – does not scare us anymore with its sad clowns, it is now time for traditional magic to renew itself. Initiated by Raphaël Navarro (Compagnie 14:20), the concept of « new magic » is not just a set of...


Culture and attractiveness of territories

02.20.2012 Always further – When architects-artists forge ties

«  In Art, we understand physically what happens, without needing words ». This statement of Olafur Eliasson , a Danish architect-artist, professor of fine arts in Berlin and director of the Institute of « Raumexperimente » ( Institute for space experimentation) leads to a...


Culture: Interview

02.28.2012 Always further - Interview of Angela Mills Wade, EPC

The  European Publishers Council is working with partners from all across the media and creative industries via the recently formed Linked Content Coalition to implement an innovative twelve month project. Proposed originally as part of the  “Big Ideas” for the Digital Agenda competition...


The note of the Forum d’Avignon

03.02.2012 Note of the Forum d'Avignon - Will the Popes get back to Avignon?

A revolution at the Palace! Following the wish of Council President Mario Monti to delete the tax exemption of the Vatican, can the roman Church, choose, in reprisal, a better tax system somewhere else? And why not, find (back) asylum in the Palace in Avignon? Economists know, prove and do not stop...

Special Feature: Culture and attractiveness of territories
Since its creation in 2008, the Forum d’Avignon tackled the question cultural attractiveness of territories, producing every year, one or several studies and especially : analysis of the links between economic performance of a territory and its cultural and academic intensity, studies on employment, international benchmark of cities that chose culture in the framework of their attractiveness strategy, analysis of cultural public expenditure, case studies,…). All of the publications are freely available on the website. 

  • Videos
  • Analyses and articles culture is future
  • Studies


Video of the debate « Investing in Culture » Forum d’Avignon 2011
Video of the debate « An investment named desire » Forum d’Avignon 2011
Video INA « Defend the cultural places »
Video INA « Culture and the city »


‘Cultural undertaking & investment: from intuition to decision making’ by Kurt Salmon for the 2011 Forum d’Avignon.

This study – carried out through interviews with around a hundred public- and private-sector decision-makers, promoters, artists, creators, and experts − aims to obtain a better understanding of the decision-making models linked to an investment in cultural projects. The goal is to outline a useful framework for decision-makers and identify the various economic and qualitative factors taken into account.

Case studies : Centre Pompidou Metz, Festival of Aix en Provence, Digitization of royal library of Belgium, Design Fashion Architecture (DUTCH), Netherlands.

Read the study online

‘Creativity, culture and the city: a question of interconnection’, by Charles Landry for the 2011 Forum d’Avignon.

What do Lille, Bologna, Bilbao, Krakow, Liverpool, and regions like the Ruhr have in common? Creativity. And it is their creativity that is driving innovation. This is the theory Charles Landry puts forward to describe how innovation is helping these areas to thrive in the face of increasing global competition and attract scarce resources and creative talent, not to mention growth-promoting investments and tourism. Charles Landry also looks at the issue from another angle; that is, what do cities that choose not to invest in culture stand to lose? Failing to properly address these two important factors poses a threat to social cohesion, stunts competitiveness, harms businesses, erodes identity, and hinders future economic, social, and cultural development.

Read the study online

Culture and economic performance: what strategies for sustainable employment and urban development planning?’ Second barometer study on the cultural appeal of urban areas, by Ineum Consulting and Kurt Salmon Associates for the 2010 Forum d’Avignon.

This study examines the link between the level of cultural activity in a city and the city’s overall economic performance, based on an analysis of 47 cities around the globe. The cultural sector accounts for 3.4% of the jobs in these cities, and the study revealed that cities investing more heavily in culture tend to have lower unemployment rates. It also showed that the two key success factors of a cultural strategy are selecting the right channels for dissemination and close cross-sectoral cooperation. Cultural education and training programmes also proved to be an important competitive advantage, although not sufficient to ensure local employability.
Study cases : Abu Dhabi, Avignon, Bilbao, Bologna, Bombay, Brussels, Krakow, Florence, Lille, Liverpool, Los Angeles, Montreal, Nancy, Ruhr, Paris, …

Read the study online

‘Culture - A symbolic or economic success factor for urban development planning?’ Barometer study by Ineum Consulting  / Kurt Salmon for The Forum d’Avignon (2009)

This study investigates the correlation between the level of cultural and academic activity in a city and the city’s overall economic performance. The authors researched 32 cities around the globe, and also wrote case studies of the development strategies of Abu Dhabi, Nancy, Brussels, Montreal, and Bilbao.

Read the study online


Analyses and articles

credit: Blickwinkel-Stefan_Ziese-SANAA-Building