The second CREACT4MED Annual Conference took place on the 28th and 29th November 2022 in a hybrid format, live streamed on the CREACT4MED Facebook page from Sant Pau Recinte Modernista in Barcelona. The conference invited over 40 members of the CREACT4MED community including project beneficiaries and expert speakers from across the world to showcase the project’s achievements to date, set forth goals for the coming year, and provide a space to discuss innovative ideas for programmes, policies, and financial models to support CCI entrepreneurs and businesses in the Southern Mediterranean.
The conference was opened by Prof. Rym Ayadi, President and Founder of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA), lead partner of the CREACT4MED project, and Ambassador Veronika Stabej, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia. On the second day, we were joined by Kristina Prunerová, Programme Manager of Civil society and Culture at DG NEAR Neighbourhood South, European Commission, who gave a welcome address highlighting the importance of the CREACT4MED project for the Mediterranean region.
The keynote speaker of the event was Seda Röder, Founder and CEO of the Sonophilia Foundation, who emphasized that creativity is much more than the arts and design, rather it is everywhere and necessary across industries and is vital for societal progress and human wellbeing.
In addition to the keynote, we were joined by a guest speaker Hannah Drake who shared an excerpt of her poem Dawn, and discussed the importance of creativity from her perspective as an artist and activist.
Across 6 panel discussions, participants explained the progress of the CREACT4MED project so far including the launch of the CCI Data Observatory, available on the Resources page, and the progress of the incubators working with selected entrepreneurs. We also explored funding opportunities for CCI projects in Europe and the Mediterranean, bridging the gaps to access CCI industries, and supporting the development of creative and cultural hubs with organisations from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia, and the US.
In a closed session, the conference provided the space for CCI cultural hubs and CREACT4MED project incubators to present their work and discuss collaboration. They explained the specificities of their cities and regions and how mentorship for creative entrepreneurs can be improved.
The conference also included a visit to the Fabra i Coats Art Factory in Barcelona, a space that brings together artistic creation and experimentation for Cultural Hub representatives.
In the close of the conference, Prof Rym Ayadi highlighted that “CCI must become a priority vector of economic development to create economic, social and community value essential for healthy, flourished, and resilient societies.”
The conference was organised by the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) in collaboration with CreativeForum.si, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, and MedWaves.
CREACT4MED is a project funded by the EU through the EuropeAid Programme, and seeks to strengthen CCI ecosystems in the MENA region and unleash the full potential of CCI to create empowered and flourishing societies. It aims to support entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs, create jobs, and foster sustainable economic growth in the Southern Mediterranean, with a particular focus on young people and women.
It is led by Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) (Coordinator), with the partners Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (iED), European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises (BUSINESSMED), Redstart Tunisia, Confédération méditerranéenne pour le développement (MED Confederation), Beyond Group, Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta (LUMSA Università), Association of Organisations of Mediterranean Businesswomen (AFAEMME), Positive Agenda Advisory, and Womenpreneur.