Innovation Day 2020: Creativity as one of Slovenia's cross-sectoral priorities during its Council presidency
Today, Slovenia's leading conference on innovation “Innovation Day” took place in a virtual format under the title “Symptoms of Creativity”. This year’s event was organised for the first time in partnership with the Creativeforum.si platform launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It brought together over a thousand participants from more than 50 countries, for a lively discussion on the pivotal role of creativity as an international societal driving force and the potential of cooperation between traditional industries and creative sectors. “Supporting creativity and innovation is one of the pillars of Slovenia’s foreign policy, and creativity will be one of Slovenia’s cross-sectoral priorities during its presidency of the Council of the EU”, stated State Secretary Stanislav Raščan in his opening speech.
“How well and how quickly we get out of the current crisis, will mostly depend on our creative intelligence and capacity to innovate across different domains. Today’s event is the preview of the agenda of Slovenia’s presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of next year. We also welcome the motion of the United Nations that declared the year 2021 the International year of creative economy for sustainable development”, continued the State Secretary.
Strong creative sectors play an important role in international development by strengthening intercultural understanding and social cohesion, supporting the green transition and efforts to ensure international stability and security, and by promoting economic growth as well as creating jobs. Cultural and creative industries sustain 30 million jobs worldwide, while in the EU, 8% of the workforce is employed in these sectors, generating around EUR 500 billion of the EU’s annual gross domestic product (GDP).
The conference attendees included Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek, Portuguese Minister of Culture Graça Fonseca, high-level representatives of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the network of European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), prominent international experts in cultural and creative industries, entrepreneurs, and creatives.
The participants underscored the key role that the cultural and creative sectors play in the economy, international relations, education, science, health, and other segments of society. Governments and international organisations should therefore provide stronger financial support for activities in these sectors.
They also stressed that cooperation between traditional economic and cultural and creative sectors leads to substantially different and better innovations. In business innovation, it is of the utmost importance to shift from product innovation towards service and business-model innovation, focusing on the consumer.
Last but not least, art also plays an important role in the innovation process, as it not only brings curiosity and empathy, which science and technology might have already lost, but also provides some key tools and methods for tackling the uncertain future that lies ahead.
The Creativeforum.si platform was launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with numerous national and international partners. It is the only foreign policy creative forum in the region, recognising the role of the creative sector as an international driving force of social and economic progress, green transition, international progress, stability and security.