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Umeå Conference

On 17 February, UNIC took part in the second day of the “Free to Create - European Union Conference on Artistic Freedom and Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs)” which was hosted by the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Umeå, Sweden.

The day started with an opening from Martin Sahlin (creative director at Secret Hut), who spoke about the public good that can be achieved through creation. This was followed by the first plenary session on the role of CCIs in the EU.

The plenary session began with a video address by Maryia Gabriel (Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth). In her address, she highlighted her support for the conference as well as the importance of the freedom of the arts.

This was followed by a presentation on the New European Bauhaus: scaling ideas from the ground up by Michela Magas (designer and member of President von der Leyen’s High Level Round Table for the New European Bauhaus).

The presentation was followed by a talk on Creating impact: CCI governance in flux given by Inga Wellmann (Head of the Arts and Creative Industries Unit, Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media), on how the city of Hamburg has benefited from consulting and promoting CCIs.

The first-panel discussion ended with a quick talk on how to make culture and creativity go hand in hand with sustainable place development given by Fredrik Lindegren, City of Umeå director for culture and Anna Olofsson, City of Umeå marketing manager followed by a metal music performance by Pavel Lindegren, a local music student.

After the first panel discussions, all the participants had the chance to attend two break-out sessions. UNIC attended Aspects of CCI and Design presented by Per Strömbäck, spokesperson at the Swedish Games Industry trade association and EIT Culture & Creativity – an ecosystem for European transformation presented by Jannike Åhlgren (vice president of Prototyping Societies), Johanna Hallin (RISE EIT C&C Coordinator), Bernd Fesel (CEO EIT Culture & Creativity), Ambra Trotto (design and research director of d.centre/RISE).

The panel discussions were followed by the conclusion of the conference with a final panel discussion on key policy needs for a creative and competitive union with Kieran Long (Director of the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, ArkDes), Tobias Nielsén (Inquiry Chair, National strategy to promote the cultural and creative industries, 2022, CEO of Volante Publishing), Per Strömbäck (spokesperson at the Swedish Games Industry trade association), Michela Magas (designer and member of President von der Leyen’s High Level Round Table for the New European Bauhaus) and moderated by Stefan Ingvarsson.

Concluding remarks were given by Karin Svanborg-Sjövall (State Secretary to Minister for Culture Parisa Liljestrand).

The full program of the conference can be found here.

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