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Networking

The Networking pilot aimed at developing cooperation among cities through the cooperation of partners, policy makers and stakeholders by enhancing the synergies and underlining the need of more interdisciplinary collaboration on the different aspects of the cultural and creative development.

  • Partners Involved: Treviso – Bremen

  • Stakeholders involved: Spazio Paraggi – Klub Dialog

 

Overall task of the pilot

Treviso Tecnologia, as per one of its main purpose, is connected with the most diverse innovative and creative sectors of the territory, in order to give new impulse to the business sector of the city, and make creative people understand that creativity can become a business. The reason why it decide to undertake this action is to create an active connection among the different creative milieus. The informal and “fresh” attitude that Klub Dialogue puts in the creation of interactions among different sectors is an innovative approach that, beside the formal one used by institutions, could bring interesting results in terms of connections, business interactions and exchanges of ideas. Help is needed in understanding how to decline this approach to our local and social attitudes and organizational dynamics. Spazio Paraggi Cultural Association was chosen as the perfect actor thanks to its various creative network developed during their activities in the city. 

Actions Undertaken

After some meetings with the participation of the Pilot Partner Treviso Tecnologia and the local creative actor “Spazio Paraggi” to better understand the right formula to be used for developing this pilot action, the started with an initial event in April, in order to initiate the cooperation with the main creative actor, Spazio Paraggi cultural association, and to begin to catch interest on stakeholders and other creative actors on this kind of networking event. In this occasion the participation of a local public business incubator (Fondazione la  Fornace di Asolo) and testimonial of two successful creative start-ups gave the right kick off for a cross – thematic even and put into contact one of the main creative actor of the city and the most important local public creative incubator. The  second event in June was focused on the theme of  publishing and poetry, in order to exploit the publishing knowledge and background of Spazio Paraggi and the good interest showed by the city of Treviso toward this topic. This event hosted also  with the participation of Klub Dialog, which in the aim of the pilot action will become the first event of a series of event focused on young poets and creatives, that will take place from September. The main frame in which this kind of event was planned was to create an interaction among different creative milieus, and this interactions started to work properly right from the first meeting.  The feedback received was positive. The brilliant approach of Klub Dialog has given lot of inspiration to Spazio Paraggi and a lot of good advices about how to approach properly the audience. In particular, Spazio Paraggi understood the importance of creating a strong and recognizable association image, as well as the necessity of focusing on a couple of significant topics instead of creating event on a wide range of themes. Also, the economical aspect, which is not supported by any public fund, is an important bottleneck to solve. The idea of Spazio Paraggi is to have an initial private investment (also partially from the publishing house which owns the venue) for the purpose of creating a space where young creatives can gather and use the spaces for their laboratory and exhibitions. After creating a certain interest it will become easier to arrange further services to the audience, and get some revenues from the activities, that will permit the sustainability of projects.

Overall consideration:  

Purpose and scope was clearly defined from the beginning? Overall mission achieved? The overall scope of creating an interaction among different creative milieus has been reached, even if the timing was very strict to see if the results of increased interest will endure also in the future, and if it will be necessary to find a channel where this exchange could become more “formal” and effective for generation also of business idea and new concepts. The Treviso Design Platform, one of the output of the project could be used as the base for an interactive exchange of input at a local and international level, as creative production and distribution increasingly rely on information and communication technologies and creative professionals all over the world participate in joint projects, networking becomes an integral part of the creative value chain.

The proper target group has been identified? The partnership identified a range of good practices in relation to networking but we must consider that the concept has not yet been fully recognized by policy makers at regional or European level. So the purpose of the pilot action has been delineated and adjusted after the start of the pilot, in order to keep the possibility open to all channel of communication and interaction. Consequently, also the target group has been maintained as wide as possible, since good inspiration can come from the most different sectors of the creative life. The events were indeed attended by a mixed audience, who had the possibility to understand how creativity has a real value and a substantial impact on the economic growth.

Any budget matters? No problem with the budget occurred during the development of the pilot action. Nevertheless the problem of budget is foreseen in the coming months, if we would like to keep the activities developing also after the end of the project. Supporting strategies are fitted for “traditional” business and creative sector companies may not know about them or may not have the resources to afford going through onerous application processes designed for large corporations.

The Risks foreseen have occurred? How they have been managed? The Involvement of local policy maker has been really poor since they do not still understand that exists a lot of evidence that the cultural and creative industries are vital to economic recovery, to job creation and to competing on a global scale. Their importance to further economic recovery and growth all across Europe therefore should be recognized and promoted, but local policy maker are indeed paralyzed in their initiatives on creative policy making field.

The activities has been carried out and reported anyway to local policy maker, in order to keep a trace of what has been made, and the importance that this interaction among cultural and business milieus in the development of new interactions. It remains to be seen whether these issues will be addressed in the upcoming months.

Possible further cooperation with municipality? We need to bring again the attention to the necessity of give more assistance to young creatives. We should give spaces where they can meet and express their creativity. The results cannot be on the immediate but it is necessary to “risk” an initial investment that may come out with nothing for many years but that could bring a new conception of leaving the city creative life. Spazio Paraggi is very interested in the possibilities of give free access to its venues. Nevertheless this action will imply extra costs for the maintenance of the location. They should find therefore a way to increase the incoming, or find a sponsor for this kind of activities. The Municipality or the Chamber of Commerce could be the perfect testimonial in this first phase, so we have to convince them that the creation of an open space and a series of creative events could bring new life also to the commercial and economic sectors of the city.  The first step we can suggest is therefore to focus on examining how support policies have to be re-designed or to better facilitate creative growth. After a first period of testing and after the natural creation of a group of people involved and interested in the activities proposed, we can therefore think of “inventing” some new policies opportunities for the creative industries. 

18 Sept 2012