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The “Meet the Zebras” initiative kicked off on Friday 2 April. Organised by the Luxembourg Creative Industries Cluster, which is managed by Luxinnovation, the series of webinars aims to highlight and promote the key role played by the creative industries in the national economy, including in the particular context created by the COVID pandemic.

This will be an opportunity to discover all those “zebras” who are off the beaten track and who, in a way, “stand out from the herd” by their creativity.

“The mapping figures presented by Minister Delles show that the creative industries are still there and that the sector has retained a certain stability,” comments Marc Lis, manager of the Luxembourg Creative Industries Cluster. “This is rather good news!”

During his speech, the Minister for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Lex Delles, revealed some figures from the first national mapping of the creative industries sector, carried out by the Market Intelligence department of Luxinnovation. This sector represents some 2,419 companies employing over 14,000 people.

“Business needs more curiosity”

More than a quarter (27%) of the companies belong to the architecture sector, 18% to marketing/communication and 15% to audiovisual activities. “The creative industries are therefore clearly identified as a source of jobs and growth with huge potential,” said Minister Delles. “Some sectors are emerging, with young companies, such as gaming and design. It is also worth noting that the themes of digitalisation and sustainable development are omnipresent and are becoming more and more important.”

This notion has not escaped the notice of the Minister for Culture, Sam Tanson, either. “Culture is not ‘only’ creative. Culture is also an important element of our economic development and therefore has a position to defend,” she explained, recalling how much the creative industries are involved in the Esch2022 European Capital of Culture project, for example, which places great emphasis on multidisciplinarity and innovation. “17% of the projects revolve around architecture and design,” she said.

This kick-off session was marked by the intervention of keynote speaker Cris Beswick, a specialist in strategy, leadership and innovation culture and a pioneer in the field of measuring the innovation maturity of companies. The co-author of the best seller “Building a Culture of Innovation” emphasised the position of creativity at the intersection of culture, economics and innovation. “What happens if we try something different that we haven’t done before? What we need in business is more curiosity,” he explained.

Over 150 speakers and 20 keynotes

Between 15 and 21 April, the “Meet the Zebras” initiative will highlight all the facets of the professions that make up the creative industries*. They will be presented and contextualised through the interventions of more than 150 speakers and some 20 keynote presenters.

“In preparing this series of webinars, we realised how often creatives feel a bit alone or isolated,” says Mr Lis. “This makes it very hard for them to remain creative! They need to share their inspiration and to get closer to others. These four days of exchange come just the right time. They will be able to find out what others are doing, join in and contribute to the discussions, explain how they are facing the crisis and what their development prospects are.”

More specifically, on 15 April, the focus will be on the ecosystem surrounding the creative industries and the range of services, financial tools and other infrastructures on which they can rely to start or develop their businesses. “Everyone will have their say and it is important that everyone participates, in order to shape the future of the creative industries,” explains Mr Lis.

The other three sessions (19, 20 and 21 April) will highlight each of the branches of the creative industries and show how the transversality and variety of skills is beneficial for the whole economy.

“Creatives, by definition, think out of the box. They have great potential to contribute ideas and solutions to other industries,” explained Sasha Baillie, CEO of Luxinnovation. “They can benefit tremendously from the experience and expertise of companies from other sectors in the way they operate and generate value. Hence, we want to encourage partnerships between the creative industries and other sectors of our economy.”

 

 

* architecture (engineering/urbanism), crafts and manufacturing, visual arts, film and audiovisual, design, fashion design, gaming, marketing and communication, literature, digital media and media publishing, performing arts and music

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