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5 August 2022

In July 2021, on the occasion of first G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting in Rome, the Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali, with the support of the Italian Ministry of Culture, proposed to help building an international G20 network of all the training institutes committed to foster education in the field of cultural business management. The Fondazione’s proposal was accepted and officially included in the Rome Declaration.

Among all the institutes working in the field of cultural business management in the G20 countries, the Fondazione has identified some public and private professional organisations, universities and research centres, and gathered all those who were interested in collaborating with other international partners in a programme of exchange and co-design of education activities. This process started with some interviews aimed at identifying common interests, both in terms of education activities and in the field of cultural diplomacy, and a series of topics to collectively discuss in future working sessions. The second step of this process leading to a creation of an international network consisted in the organisation of a series of working tables whose aim was that to identify a series of concrete actions to realise within the newborn network.

On the 25th, the 26th and the 29th of July 2022, the representatives of the selected institutions gathered online and formed three working tables, each focusing on one of the key topics identified earlier with the above mentioned interviews. These topics were: culture and sustainable local development, community engagement for sustainable cultural heritage, creative industries and entrepreneurship in the cultural sector.

On July the 25th, the director at the Robert de Sorbon Foundation and professor of cultural policies and international relations at the School of Public Affair, Sciences Po (France), David Fajolles coordinated the works of the first group, focusing on culture and sustainable development. Additionally, the professor shared with the group an unpublished article on sustainable development from the point of view of the ESG (environmental social governance) and of the risk evaluation processes in the cultural heritage field. Seen from the perspectives of cultural managers and of those educators who are expected to offer to the managers of the future new competences and an interdisciplinary approach, such a urgent and pressing topic allowed a collective understanding of the need to better address social sustainability in all the education programmes of these institutions. Consequently, for the next steps of the project, the group agreed on proposing the organisation of a panel on the different approaches to sustainability and on how such approaches could merge into a unique model.

On July the 26th, the second working table focused on the topic of community engagement for a sustainable development of cultural heritage. Working under the direction of Prof. Mary Mc Bride, director of the degree course Creative Enterprise Leadership (CEL) in the Arts and Cultural Management e Design Management department at the Pratt Institute (USA), the group used the C.A.L.M. method to investigate what it means to foster civic engagement through cultural activities, both digitally and in person, and how to promote cultural heritage as a space where to collectively build a truly inclusive and sustainable world. Each of the representatives of the involved institutions also exchanged experiences on how they engage with local communities in their different countries, and agreed on the fact that such communities should be much more included in the processes of conservation and valorisation of their culrural heritage, particularly for that which concerns the promotion of  touristic activities and touristic facilities related to the promotion of local culture. Reflecting on such topics, the group agreed on the need to collectively work on the best practices to follow in the field of cultural tourism, and to put the role of local communities at the hearth of these new ways of working.

The third and last working table took place on July the 29th. Under the coordination of Dr. Sevay Ipek Aydin, director at the IEU+KREA_Creative Economy Research Application Centre, Izmir University of Economics (Turkey), the representatives of the institutions involved in the network focused on the role that cultural industries and cultural entrepreneurship play in contemporary societies. Emphasising the importance of culture as a tool for a much more inclusive environment and for the amelioration of the relationships between different generations, the participants discussed the different education activities and training courses their institutions offer to foster cultural entrepreneurship. Eventually, the group suggested to realise a cross-analysis of all the training activities currently held by the institutions part of the network, in order to properly assess the similarities and divergencies of such programmes and build a realistic proposal for future collaborations.