Sunday | 14 Jul 2024

Exploring Global Trends in CCI: CREACT4MED’s 3rd Regional Alumni Network Event held in collaboration with MENA Women’s Business Club

On the 12th June 2024, CREACT4MED held its third Regional Alumni Network Event on the exciting and critical topic of global trends in the cultural and creative industries. In an era defined by rapid technological advancements and disruptive innovation, the cultural and creative industries stand poised at the intersection of tradition and transformation. From the advent of immersive experiences to the integration of AI and blockchain, these sectors are witnessing a revolution fueled by cuttingedge technologies. The webinar brought insightful examples from all over the US, to Kenya, to Tunisia, to Denmark to help participants gain an understanding of the key global developments in CCI and the spaces to watch.

Opening the event, María Ruiz de Cossío, Senior Project Manager at EMEA and CREACT4MED Coordinator, gave an overview of the CREACT4MED project, and how its activities are pushing the boundaries in new technologies and methodologies by supporting innovative entrepreneurs and trainees in a variety of sectors, including virtual reality, VFX, and online community platforms. María then gave the floor to Dr. Ayah El-Arief, CEO, Waard for Information Technology, coordinator of the CCI Accelerator, coordinated by MENA Women’s Business Club who welcomed all participants of the accelerator, graduates of the CREACT4MED Training Academy and other CCI stakeholders taking part in the event.

The event was moderated by Theo Edmonds, Culture Futurist®& Directing Co-Founder CU Denver’s Imaginator Academy and Creative America, and EMEA Advisory Board member. To set the scene, Theo gave an overview of developments currently trending in the US, touching on the idea of wonder and the CCI as a form of self exploration and expression.

He then gave the floor to Bilel Billeli, Tech Lead at Innovation Lab, DigiArtLivingLab-DALL by 3D NetInfo. Bilel gave an informative presentation on the ongoing work at the LivingLab in Tunisia including the recently launched Africa Metaverse which presents an incredibly innovative approach to e-commerce and community engagement in the industry. He explained some of the LivingLabs previous projects such as the African Game Dev, supported by Epic Games, conducted enitrely online for young people across 8 African countries.

Following Bilel, Millie Abila, Strategic Communications & Public Relations Manager at AfriLabs, gave her insights into the latest developments happening right now in Africa. She touched on digital platforms and marketplaces, blockchain for authenticity and rights management, NFTs, VR/AR among other topics. She demonstrated that AfriLabs showcases the best of African innovation and supports entrepreneurs to network, enhance their skills, and look for financing for their projects.

Next, Chaymaa Ramzy, Executive Director of Shelter Art Space, discussed visual art and the ways in which artists are benefitting from her fresh and innovative methodology. She first gave an overview of Shelter Art Space, and the stakeholders in her network such as innovation hubs, artists, students, and investors. She highlighted that the space became a place for storytelling and to allow artists to fully engage with their audience. This is in part due to the fact that Shelter follows an impact-based investment model based on production instead of consumption, meaning the model is slow and allows for tranquility and full expression of each artist.

Finally, Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning, Managing Director at Creative Hubs Network, discussed his work in Denmark and how he connects with other CCI actors across the world. He also highlighted a distinction between market values and non-market values and what makes something cultural or not. Many successful businesses have both, such as the Cirque du Soleil which was financed by the Canadian Arts Council for 11 years before it became profitable. It was considered a cultural initiative to begin with but has now become a profit-making star show and best practice. These cultural and creative products are infused with another kind of value. These aspects are worth pursuing and will forever be integrated in global trends.

The event ended with a Q&A moderated by Theo Edmonds touching on the future for the CCI and providing inspiring words for the entrepreneurs. The webinar can be watched at the CREACT4MED YouTube.

The third Regional Alumni Networking Event was co-organised by the CREACT4MED lead partner, the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association – EMEA, in collaboration with the CCI Accelerator 2024, co-ordinated by MENA Women’s Business Club.