Last week ECBN partnered on a workshop looking at the opportunities for creative industries and sustainability in Brussels. We found that high-level commitment hasn’t yet meant practical support for the sector.

The event was led by Julies’ Bicycle, with partners (and ECBN) members the Knowledge Transfer Network and Het Nieue Instituut.

Here are our three takeaways from the event.

First, there is clearly high level commitment in Europe to addressing issues around environmental sustainability. For example, we know there is a 35% target for Horizon 2020 funds to address this issue.

But, second, this hasn’t yet translated into the credible calls that the creative industries might like to see. For example, one of the attendees was ID&T who run some of the largest festivals in Europe, including Mysteryland – the longest running and largest electronic music festival in the Netherlands. They clearly have a sophisticated and committed take on sustainability, but when we reviewed the funds, it was hard to see where the support was to help them push this agenda further.

So third, the big issue is where are the calls for these organisations? The calls we identified are too big, or too small, to be of much use (another “valley of death”). There are no Creative Europe calls relevant to the sector. The CCIs have a big role to play in using their influence to encourage behaviour change, amongst other things, so this is a missed opportunity.

So the event finished with a call to action. Julie’s Bicycle will bring together the discussions into a Manifesto that ECBN will take an active role in promoting. More soon.

My slides from the event are online here. I also talked about the eCreative project as an example of best practice.



Banner image: Juan Maureira, on Flickr Creative Commons