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Peter Benz
Peter Benz

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Mapping Creativity

An Academic Workshop held at Academy of Visual Arts on 25/26 March 2019


The significance of processes and practices of the creative industries for other fields (economic, socio-cultural etc.) has long been established in theory and practice; yet, many stakeholders in politics, administration and the wider business community are still not fully aware of the sector’s impacts. Existing structures, policies, regulations and protocols continuously prevent and obstruct unconventional, disruptive and innovative initiatives that are at the core of the creative economies. This raises the question, how new perspectives for governance at the intersections of policy making and creative economies could be achieved?


For our investigation, we need to open various black boxes: What do we mean by value creation? What values are created in the creative economies, and for whom? How do we measure these values? Which (entrepreneurial) strategies are needed to mediate between the actors of the creative economies and those who set the framework conditions? What would suitable experimental approaches and corresponding supportive creative/academic/administrative/institutional structures be? How may we deal with uncertainties that are a necessity of the creative process? How may “risky projects” be realised in such experimental settings?

We believe, that a basis for a new understanding of the creative economies in Hong Kong should be a Hong Kong Creative Economies Report drawing on experimental statistics, mappings and the latest international thinking. To build on and further extend the work of previous reports and to create new impacts, we need to collect a comprehensive overview of the current situation “on the ground” (e.g. through direct input of representatives of the creative ecologies), and review international practices and approaches (in terms of experimental statistics, visualisations or narrative techniques). These approaches may be most effective in making the positive effects of creative activity accessible for a broader public, and establish stakeholders, procedures, and protocols to sustainably move our agenda forward.

The international workshop “Mapping Creativity” will explore, how narrative structures / strategies for the creative economies may be developed and articulated, which knowledge and skills could be used, and the areas that should be focused on. These considerations will become the starting point for a draft prototype creative economies report intended to boost the strategic development of the creative and cultural industries in Hong Kong and beyond.

The workshop is informed and supported by the CreativeEconomies research venture of Zurich University of the Arts and the Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, that are currently preparing a prototype of a new European Creative Economies Report, to be presented in Berlin in 2020.

‘Mapping Creativity’ was acknowledged as an associated partner programme of Art Basel Hong Kong 2019.

Co-Curators:
Peter Benz (Academy of Visual Arts), Christoph Weckerle (Zürich University of the Arts); in collaboration with Hazel Wong (Academy of Visual Arts)

Speakers (in alphabetic order):
Christoph Backes (Competence Centre of the German Government for Cultural and Creative Industries)
Géraldine Borio (Department of Architecture, HKU)
John Davies (NESTA, the UK’s Innovation Foundation, London)
Laurent Gutierrez (School of Design, HK PolyU)
Desmond Hui (Department of Social Science, Hang Seng University of Hong Kong)
Michael Leung (artists/designer)
Kingsley Ng (Academy of Visual Arts, HKBU)
Roman Page (CreativeEconomies Research Venture, ZHdK/Statistical Office Canton of Zürich)
Ada Wong (Make a Difference Institute (MaD))


A summary/review of the workshop may be found here.