The UNESCO Forum aims to provide a platform for discussion and exchange on a specific segment of cultural industries, which are playing an increasingly important role in economic growth and development.
Some analysts estimate that the sector is growing at an annual rate of 10 percent, strengthening its position in the global economy as a strategic outlet for production, exports and job creation, and changing the balance of power in terms of cultural industries worldwide.
The first edition of the Forum will focus on fostering innovation and excellence in the craft and luxury industry. Corporations in the field along with small and medium-sized cultural enterprises, decision-makers at the ministerial, regional and municipal levels, culture professionals and creators, as well as development banks, will reflect on the role of cultural industries as a source of innovation, a dynamic force for society, and, above all, as a powerful economic engine.
The event will bring together some 250 international experts to discuss in plenary sessions and thematic workshops the environment sustaining the cultural production and the importance of sustained investment in innovation and culture. The question of how to strengthen multi-stakeholder partnerships will be at the core of the discussions. There is growing recognition that private sector support is most effective when channeled through multi-stakeholder partnerships, rather than established on a simple public-private basis. This broad-based approach is important to ensure that private sector contributions are more than a collection of fragmented interventions, and instead provide coherent and sustained support to national cultural industries.
The ultimate goal is to strengthen, in all countries, the capacity of cultural industries to produce and distribute goods and services and to help them gain access to national and international markets.
Italy, and specifically the Lombardy region – renowned for its cultural industries – and the city of Monza, have agreed to support the funding and the organization of the First Edition of the UNESCO Annual Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries.
Additional contributions to the Forum will come from the private sector. UNESCO hopes that this first meeting will become a regular event representing the global community openness to partnerships of all kinds for the financing of cultural sector.