In January, we hosted international experts from the Goethe Institute, with whom, during two-day workshops, we analyzed the cultural and creative potential of Bielsko-Biała and shared ideas on various methods and tools in the field of the city's international cultural development.
The workshops were organized as part of the Cities Ahead Academy, which is part of Cities Ahead, a program of the Goethe Institute addressed to Creative Cities. As part of the program, the Institute cooperates with European cities that want to make the most of the existing potential of local cultural and creative industries for positive development and establishing international networks.
"Creative City: Building Ecosystems of Creative Cities" was the topic of the first workshop, conducted by Charles Landry, a publicist and urban planner known for the "Creațive City" concept, co-founder and president of the Creative Bureaucracy Festival.
The goal of Charles Landry's work is to combine culture, creativity and urbanism into a holistic process. He has acted as a leading global expert on urban development since the 1970s.
Together with Cities Ahead Academy participants, Landry analyzed Bielsko-Biała's potential as a cultural and creative center and provided valuable tips.
The second workshop entitled "The creative potential of art and culture for sustainable urban development" was led by Dr. Ralf Weiß, a cultural and economic scientist who advises numerous cities, cultural administrations and cultural institutions in their reorientation towards global sustainable development goals. Weiß is managing director of the research office for innovation and change REFLEXIVO, chairman of the Sustainable Development in Art and Culture Network (2N2K Deutschland ev) and member of the European Expert Network on Culture (EENC).
In his presentation, Dr. Weiß pointed out how cultural institutions and cultural and creative industries are the basis and driving force of innovation for cities and municipalities. The presentation identified development potentials, taking into account national and international experiences, and developed specific areas of action and cooperation opportunities.
The last workshop was conducted by Valentina Montalto, who has been active in research, project management and policy analysis for over ten years. His work focuses on the potential of culture for economic and social well-being at local, national and European levels. Montalto worked at the Joint Research Center of the European Commission, where she was responsible for developing the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor 2017 and 2019.
The workshop "Culture matters: myths, measures and methods - European benchmarking in the cultural development of the city" raised the issue of the importance of data and rankings for the national and international visibility of the city and the development of the local cultural sector. The workshop aimed to help define and measure the importance of culture in our city as a main element of identity and ambitious transformation activities. The workshop was also an opportunity to analyze currently used data collection methods and identify encountered challenges and possible solutions