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International Initiatives

The following initiatives are international projects working on cultural value.

The European Union
The ‘Scientific Council for Government Policy’ (WRR), Holland

The Euopean Union

The EU has recently shown an increasing interest in cultural value and its policy implications. For instance, the EU Culture Forum, which was run by the Commission in November 2013 identified three ‘thematic pillars’ that chime with the Commission’s own interests:

  • Measuring the true value of culture and the functioning of the cultural eco-system
  • Funding culture in the digital era, looking at new funding models based on developing loyalty and building communities of followers, as well as institution centred models, such as corporate sponsorship, co-production and artistic interventions in business or public services
  • Audience development and making cultural participation a reality, looking at holistic, 360° strategies, reaching non-audiences, participatory art, and partnerships and synergies with other sectors

The Commission has also recently released a report on access to finance for cultural and creative sectors based on nearly 3000 respondents from over 30 countries who were surveyed through an online survey. The analysis of this data was complemented with in-depth interviews and an extensive literature review.

The Commission states:

This study provides a much-needed in-depth review of the market potential of the EU's cultural and creative sectors. It analyses the sector's structure and disproves oft-heard clichés about its supposed lack of profitability. On a more detailed level it charts the specific financial needs of Europe's creative entrepreneurs as well as their difficulties in accessing private financing. Its results indicate that the new Creative Europe Guarantee Facility will provide a much-needed source of relief.

Other relevant studies published by the Commission can be accessed here.

The 'Scientific Council for Government Policy' (WRR), Holland

This is an independent advisory body for the Dutch government ( whose main task is to advise the government on issues that are of great importance for society and central to the Dutch policy agenda. The WRR is not tied to one policy sector, so its reports cover all areas of policy and their aim is to provide evidence for policy makers thus providing a sense of direction to government policy for the longer term. One of these reports, to be published in 2014, will be on the future of cultural policy. The WRR are interested in the British case, and the research team was in England on a fact finding mission in January 2014. They met with key cultural policy figures and academics to establish what lessons can be drawn from the British case, where debates around cultural value have been a feature of policy discourse for over 10 years.


UNESCO's United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published in 2013 a special 'Creative Economy Report' on 'Widening Local Development Pathways'.

This follows two Creative Economy reports from 2008 and 2010. The first reports identified a 'sizeable, strong and valuable productive sector of which cultural resources and activities form the core' across the globe, and 'showed that investment in the creative and cultural sectors can be a powerful development option'. The more recent, special issue from 2013 identifies (still on a global scale) pathways to widening participation and growth of creative economies, with a particular emphasis on work at a local level (and in particular cities). The report reads the creative economy 'not as a single superhighway, but a multitude of different local trajectories', and it adopts a specifically holistic approach to culture to promote these.