Friday, March 12, 2010

Creative Athens - a 2 day open conference on the creative economy

Friday 26 and Saturday 27 March 2010. At the Benaki Museum (Pireos Street)

The importance of creativity and innovation for the survival of an industrialized economy in the globalized, extremely competitive economic environment of the 21st century cannot be overstated. More than ever, during this period of economic turmoil, there is an ever growing recognition that a large proportion of the new economy will depend on creativity and innovation. New circumstances demand new solutions and creativity and innovation will be keys to finding a way out of our economic and social troubles.

The proposed event aims to take a closer look at the both the British and Greek experience and share knowledge and best practice between the two countries. It will bring together experts from Greece and the UK and from various fields of science, technology, humanities and the arts, as well as real-life innovators, to discuss and exchange ideas on the subject of innovation and creativity. What are the barriers and how can we overcome them in order to jump-start a creative economy? What are the different facets of creativity and how do they come together in meaningful and socially beneficial ways? What is the role of technology and technological culture - for instance, web-open-collaborative culture (in the spirit of “We-Think”) - and how do they influence economic development, empower grassroots creativity in solving local and global problems? What lessons can be drawn from the British experience that could be applied in Greece and vice versa?

The event will aim to address these questions and many more, as well as engage in debate the invited speakers and the interested communities of businessmen, artists, engineers, technologists, social entrepreneurs and others who will comprise the audience.

Day 1 – Friday 26 March 2010

Topic A: The Creative Economy: the role of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in the 21st century

The question: How do innovation and technological creativity, entrepreneurship and culture (artistic and cultural creativity) interact and interplay in establishing a sustainable creative economy?

Creative economy is defined by the integration of innovation and technological creativity, entrepreneurship in business and social activities, as well as artistic and cultural creativity. Policy-makers and experts discuss the interplay of those dimensions, as well as the importance of the creative economy in terms of competitiveness vis-à-vis the global economic environment, job creation and social mobility. Speakers include Prof. D. Bourantas, B. Wicksteed, Ass Prof G. Klimis and Shelagh Wright. Facilitator: Prof Dimitris Potamianos, Panteion University

Topic B: Fostering Innovation by means of public policy

The question: Can government aid creativity and innovation?

Policy-makers and academics discuss issues of policy, including government intervention in education, research and business incentives, with particular emphasis on successes and failures and lessons learned. How does the EU compare to the USA in terms of their different approaches towards innovation (“more” versus “less” government)? Speakers include Prof. T. Giannitsis, A. Mistos, J. Newbigin, Ass Prof B. Tsakarestou. Facilitator: George Zarkadakis, novelist and publisher

Day 2 – Saturday 27 March 2010

Topic C: Innovators

The question: What makes an innovator?

Real-life innovators (businessmen/women, designers, engineers, architects, etc.) discuss their stories and their experiences. Where do novel ideas come from? How do successful innovators sustain their “ideas factory”? Creative individuals, creative communities, creative networks discuss their stories and experiences. Speakers include S. Connif, G. Tziralis, S. Karagos, Theodora (Theia) Provopoulos. Facilitator: George Zarkadakis, novelist and publisher

Topic D: Rethinking the city: urban innovation and community-building

The question: How should we reinvent our cities and our civic values in order to foster creativity and innovation?

In today’s world of pressing environmental and demographic problems we need to adopt a new urban behaviour and new development models for our cities. Experts discuss the effect of the urban environment in kindling the creative mind, as well as social innovation for the benefit of urban communities. What social, technological, institutional, physical and urban investments, policies, institutional and organizational changes are needed for “creative ecologies” to emerge?Topics to be discussed may include urban farming by means of efficient and attractive vertical growing systems, greener and more fertile urban landscapes, re-building/renovating public spaces, stimulating creativity and arts through green design and architecture, green fashion, new food models and active lifestyles. Speakers include M. Fillipides, E. Tsirtzilaki, D. Kaponis, D. Barrie and J. Tsakonas. Facilitator: Associate Professor Betty Tsakarestou, Panteion University.

The conference is organised by the British Council in collaboration with the Department of Communication, Media and Culture at Panteion University, and Ianos Publications.

The conference will stream live on Twitter channel at @creativeathens

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