The Forum d’Avignon, Bilbao Metropoli 30 and the european centre for creative economy (ecce) make call for cultural and creative actions to become drivers and catalysts in urban development. This one year transnational network, called CATALYSE, is financially feasible thanks to a European Union Culture Program’s grant. 

As the ‘strategy 2020’ European Union is interested in culture and creativity as drivers for change, the three partners Forum d’Avignon (France), Bilbao Metropoli-30 (Spain) and the European Centre for Creative Economy (ecce) (Germany), created a European network Catalyse to enhance the contribution of culture and creative industries and what they 'catalyze' for the future of European territories. This collective work will continue until April 2014 - through the realization of studies, concrete proposals and International Meetings : Forum Avignon Ruhr (June 2013, 27th & 28 th), Forum d’Avignon (November 2013, 21 th ,22 th, & 23 th), and Forum Avignon Bilbao (March 2014, 5th to 7 th) and model urban actions in order to showcase how culture and creativity can concretely push and catalyse the future of territories.

This European network and cooperation project is meeting the three specific objectives of the EU Culture Programme:  to support the trans-national mobility of people working in the cultural sector, to encourage the trans-national circulation of artistic and cultural works and products and to encourage intercultural dialogue.

=> More information about the Catalyse call : Catalyse project presentation 

Catalyse Agenda 2013-2014

June 2013, 27th & 28th.  Forum d’Avignon Ruhr at PACT Zollverein in Essen. Under the motto “Europe 2020 – Culture is the Key”, 220 top representatives engaged in the economy, politics and culture from 15 countries dealt with spill-over effects from culture to other economic and social areas. A first research study about “Spillover” effects in the Ruhr Area drove to learn who supports these projects and how they can be supported in a better way in the future.=> More information

Labkultur's White card : all articles

October 2013, 21th to 23th.  RAW ESSEN a three-day working session led by ecce in Essen City-North focused the question “How do investments in culture and creative industries spillover in the urban space?” from a practical case corresponding to the theoretical results of the study titled "Shaking Hands".

=> More information : RAW days Agenda – Order of events - Intro B Fessel 

=> More : Participation strategies for sceptics: Impetus to urban deelopment. From “Shaking Hans“ to Shaking hands 

November 2013. The Forum d’Avignon launches its Hackathon on ‘Inventing a new cultural urban space’.  As  in Essen and next year in Bilbao (2014 March, 5th ), it is not research about practice, but with practice. Its results are thus not just texts and new theory, but also a proposal for a project implementation, for a new practice.

=> Catalyse Hackathon : Inventing a new cultural urban space

November 2013, 21th to 23th.  The theme Culture &Power: No politics without culture" of the Forum of Avignon 6th edition aims to highlight - through the many powers of culture – political, diplomatic, economic and aesthetic or even private – the messages of peace and economic growth that the culture holds.  

The Catalyse project has been driven under two formats: a Forum session dedicated to the ‘Should we seek to establish a European cultural policy?’, and an Hackathon Session and ManifestoInventing a new cultural urban space’.       

=> The 2013 program – Manifesto Culture &Power: No politics without culture

=> Final press release : The Agenda 2014 of the Forum d'Avignon : Culture at the heart of politics

More :

=> Louvre Alliance study ‘Culture, territories and Powers - The spirit of Atlas’. On a prospective tonality, in an international perspective (European, and perhaps global), the study highlights tendencies both likely and desirable on the governance models, depending on the diversity of powers and territorial scales of culture (geographic, economic, alternatives)

=> Catalyse at the Forum d’Avignon

December 2013, Culture is the key, the full study commissioned in accordance with the CATALYSE program, will be published. The study completes ecce analyses under the direction of Dr. Bastian Lange within the context of a research study “Spillover effects” of culture and creative industries in the Ruhr Area, which was presented at the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr in June 2013.

March 2014, 5th.  The Research Action Workshop in Bilbao, will treat the cities potential to serve as cultural ecosystems, comparative analyses and interventions of public and private representatives, urban planners, artists, and students.

=> For more information: 

March 2014, 5th to 7th.  Forum d’Avignon Bilbao ‘The city as cultural ecosystem’ is organized by the City of Bilbao at the incomparable venue of AlhóndigaBilbao ( It will explore on March 2014, about the cities potential to serve as cultural ecosystems, based on the conclusions of the Research Action Workshop in Bilbao, held on 5 March, comparative analyses and interventions of public and private representatives, urban planners, artists, and students.

=> For more information: 

April 2014. Catalyse Manifesto – New territorial foundations based on culture.  The Catalyse project partners – Forum d’Avignon and its partner branches in Ruhr and Bilbao, will publish a proposal on culture’s ‘spillover effects’ affecting economic and social fabrics, in hopes of promoting cultural and creative actions as motors and catalyzers for urban and territorial development.

Culture is the key interviews. : Interview with Amit Sood, Director, Google Cultural Institute in Paris : Culture is the key interviews: Pedro Ruiz Aldasoro and Betty Martins : Nesta: Creative Credits - A randomized controlled industrial policy experiment : Androulla Vassiliou’s welcoming speech opens 2nd Forum d’Avignon Ruhr : Culture is the key interviews: Deborah Carter and Piotr Borys : Culture is the key interviews: "Most people underestimate the meaning of culture in their lives" - Martin Krammer : Forum d´Avignon Ruhr: Is art free? : Creative Quarter Essen City-Nord: A process that has just begun : Culture is the key: "Culture reflects the values, dreams, and failures of a generation"