350 policy makers, stakeholders and civil servants in the Cultural Creative Industries met in the former Finnish cable factory and Nokia production centre Kaapeli from September 10 to 11 2019 for the 9th European Creative Industries Summit (EICS) and dinner of the Finnish EU-Presidency.

Hanna Kosonen, Finnish Minister for Culture and Science, set the wider frame for the Summits´ debates about what the real impact of CCI is and how it is achieved: „Creative Industry is here for Happiness and Well-Being.“ She gave an example for a holistic policy approach by combining the Finnish EU-Presidency focus on competitiveness in the cultural creative industries (CCI) with overall societal aims such as the citizens´ quality of life. Download full speech here

Kai Huotari, Managing Director at Kaapeli, welcomed the audience with a wider view on history and future: „Kaapeli is a place of innovation – formerly technology based with Cables and later Mobiles, today knowledge based with cultural creative services – from Design Weeks to Slush. With this history Kaapeli is not only a place, but a symbol of the change our societies in Europe are undergoing.“

The current policy debate and its impact on cultural creative entrepreneurs

This integrative approach of quantitative and qualitative values of the CCI impacts meets undoubtedly the expectations of most stakeholders in the CCI. But will this be really reflected in the policies and programs starting 2021 that are currently debated in EU-Parliament and Member States, in the Trilog negotiations?

Ahead of the European Creative Industries Summit the consultation on the impacts of Horizon Europe was online, just running up to September 8th, one day before ECIS started. The consultation relates to „Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan implementing the research and innovation framework programme Horizon Europe“. For the newly established Cluster 2, „Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society“ it outlines

actions (that) will help tackle social, economic and political inequalities, support human capital development and contribute to a comprehensive European strategy for inclusive growth. This also involves understanding and responding to the impacts of technological advancements and economic interconnectedness with a view to social resilience.“


This strategic plan seems to put the social resilience on top of all aims, making technological and economic impacts serving the inclusiveness of society, giving quality impacts the lead over quantitative impacts.

The ECIS´ call:  Put an end to the Impact Paradox !

The 9th ECIS was the opportunity for the cultural creative industries to debate as much as show case its actions, especially its innovations and potential impacts in the current European debate in the Finnish EU-Presidency. The ECIS 2019 was the place to participate in making of policies and programs from 2021 to 2027.

In his opening welcome Bernd Fesel, Managing Director of ECBN, pointed out that an evolution of the research agenda is urgently needed. While the impact of cultural creative industries is inevitable on the one side – within the first hours of each morning everyone consumes culture and creative products: dressing, reading the papers, listening music, opening a laptop, taking a coffee and sitting down in an building, maybe even a modern office: fashion, newspaper, music, IT, design and architecture ! One can go to work without a car, but not without cultural creative goods and services  !

But while this impact is inevitable, it is almost impossible to measure: „The cultural creative industries face an impact paradox“. ECBN calls for a newly balanced research agenda by starting a new research focus on the evaluation of qualitative impacts while continuing to measure quantitative effects.

Now in 2019 the econonmic weight of the Cultural Creative Industries has a newly established relevance – MEP Dr. Christian Ehler, May 2019: “The Cultural Creative Industries are now recognized as an industry by the European Institutions along with health; security; digital industry and space; energy, climate and mobility.” Putting an end to the Impact Paradox is the necessary requirement to unleash this relevance of innovation and impact driven by Cultural Creative Industries.


Making Impacts – Best Practices from the Sector

Marko Ahtisaari, Helsinki Festival

The „nordic lesson“ to understand cultural creative impacts is about focus and „synchronization“ leading to silence, to the ability to experience impact again – beyond the noise of the day and the addiction to digital tech. He presents best practices from festivals – such as sleep performances – and from technologies, such as to techplegde.org, helping to free behavior from digital addictions.
Review the presentation here


Anna Valtonen, Aalto University

Impact is about actions as much as hope, citing Guy Julier: „Design opens up new imaginaries of the possible, be these material innovations or the infrastructures for new social relations.” In her presentation she presents the development of the Aalto University itself as an example of impact as much as robot service in care or design solution for in water management.

Download presentation here


Marco van Hout, Digital Society School, Amsterdam, and Mary Wharmby, Los Angeles.

Transforming a global organization with more than 300.000 employees is one of the impact urgently needed to make visions such as smart and inclusive growth really happening. Special strategies, tools and also procedures are necessary to do so – it is more than buzz words of design and design thinking. How to reach a tipping point for change in organizations ? How is the infusion of design helping to reach tipping points of change ? What soft skills are necessary to educate thousands of embedded „transformers“ in a global organisation ?
Download presentation here

Dr. Christian Ehler, MEP,  Co-coordinator for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)

The European Parliament has realized already years ago that Creative industries are at the heart of the European economy, as Dr. Ehler points out in his statement: „knowledge-intensive, based on individual creativity and talent, they generate huge economic wealth and preserve European identity, culture and values. …

While the 2014-2019 has seen important legislative developments affecting the CCIs as part of the Digital Single Market strategy of President Juncker and CCIs now feature amongst the priorities of all relevant funding programmes, Europe’s Creative Industries will continue to be at the centre of important legislative and non-legislative files.“
Download full statement here



Bart Ahsmann, CLICKNL, Eindhoven

Innovation today is about solving wicked problems and this new dimension of problem solving calls for a new dimension of tools and competences as well. Bart Ahsmann presented the CLICKNLs approach for „transitions“ – instead of just „change“. CLICKNL analysed what it takes do bring about systemic change, that is transitions, and framed these elements as a tool set

  • behaviour & empowerment
  • participation and co-creation
  • value creation and scaling

All this needs however a common vision – and most important a visualisation to unify and grasp as a whole a complex, multilayer solution for a wicked problem
Download presentation here

Caroline Norbury, CEO Creative England

Making an innovation today is about values and value for the next generation. How do we this so that your children can be proud ? Norbury calls on society to overcome the Schumpeter ideal of destructive innovation – and its high costs to society. Today in the world of climate change and social disruption today we must minimize the costs and maximize the benefit of innovation.

Caroline Norbury focuses „innovation by looking at the power of creative ideas and the importance of supportive institutions that help shape and spread then: how, together, these institutions can enable creative industry innovation to deliver good, inclusive, economic growth.

These innovation can deliver positive impacts beyond the creative sector. Health is another example: local health authorities are prescribing creative programmes to people facing mental health problems or chronic pain. They’ve seen a 37% drop in doctor consultations and a 27% cut in hospital admissions. This is saving the NHS of £576 per patient, but more importantly it’s dramatically improving the quality of life of everyone who takes part.

Creative England f.e. has piloted a programme that combines creative thinking and technology to deliver innovation in health care too. Our Create Open Health project links young people with a great idea to creative, digital and health professionals so they can develop new products or services designed to help to improve mental health. So creative innovation is a powerful force for both economic and social good.

“By mobilising our institutions – large and small – to direct it, we can work to minimise the creative destruction of past revolutions and work to reduce, not exacerbate, inequality.“
Download full statement here

Michal Hladky, CEO Creative Industries Kosice

Concluding the European Creative Industries Summit he points to typology of breakthroughs – in nature or in societies. In three billions of years the development of bacteria did not lead to breakthroughs for complex life organism, that just happened 500 Millions years ago, in a 24 hour perspective that would be at 9.15 pm !

This non linear history of human development might be a clou also to the turning point for cultural and creative industries. Michal Hladky calls on all stakeholders to keep on going, standing up and working for the CCI breakthrough – until it is – so to speak – 9.15 pm.


Hanna Kosonen, Finnish Minister of Science and Culture