Around a hundred professionals from Turkey and Europe, who carry creativity to their work, have gathered for Creative catalyst Conference in Kayseri.
The second international conference of ConnectforCreativity Project was held on 5-6 December 2019 at Abdullah Gül University in Kayseri. In the Creative Catalyst Conference the role of universities for the establishment of creative industries was discussed over many aspects.
The conference started with the opening speech of Prof. Dr İhsan Sabuncuoğlu, Rector of Abdullah Gül University which is one of the partners of Connect for Creativity Project. Claire De Brakeleer, European Council Art Director of the British Council, as the lead beneficiary of the Project, made a speech about the importance of creative hubs. Following that, Nurullah Yavaş from Yunus Emre Institute, the implementing agency of the EU-Turkey Intercultural Dialogue Programme shared information on Intercultural Dialogue and the work of Yunus Emre Institute.
An important pillar of the ConnectforCreativity Project was a 5-month survey on the role of creative hubs in developing intercultural dialogue. Creative Economies Team of the Cardiff University, UK has conducted the research with the participation of directors of creative hubs, their members, academicians and private and public stakeholders from Greece, Serbia, United Kingdom, and Turkey.
In the first session of the conference, main findings of the research were shared with the participants. While 75 percent of the respondents stated that creative hubs directly contribute to intercultural dialogue and even facilitate it, the report states that while creative works form the basis of creative hubs, the creativity of the society facilitates intercultural dialogue.
Later in the conference, participants had the chance to listen to stories of creativity and innovation from different voices.
Basak Saral, Business Development Consulting Network and Partnership Leader of the Viveka, founded in 2010 in Ankara as Turkey’s first private, independent accelerator center, shared the overall operation of the central structure. Then, Rachel Turner, founder, and general manager of MADLab, one of the leading creativity centers in the UK, touched upon their projects in social studies. Different stories from the establishment of a new system in Manchester that provides homeless people with a residence address, to projects encouraging entrepreneurial women’s wider integration to society in Pakistan won the admiration of the audience.
Theo Anognostopoulos, founder and general manager of SciCo, who pioneered many different projects in the field of science in Greece, gave information about the Project “MindtheLab” that bring Athenians and scientists together in metro stations, and the Science Festival of Athens to make science more popular among young people.
The conference then continued with a panel on the skills that will be needed in the future in higher education. Rozina Spinnoy from the Belgian Design Council; Nana Redonkovic of Nova Iskra, one of the ConnectforCreativity project partners, and Vasilis Avdikos, lecturer in the Department of Economic and Regional Development at the University of Panteion, Greece, talked over how the education system and economic sectors can work together for creativity from different perspectives. They also highlighted the important power of creativity that unites sectors
In the afternoon, the University of Cardiff and representatives of Rabble Studio, one of the main creative hubs in the UK, shared Ymlaen! Project as a best practice example for cooperation. In this case study of Ymlaen!, graduates of Cardiff University receive mentoring support at Rabben Studio and have the opportunity to create a roadmap to start their own business or work freelance with a focus on creativity.
At the last session of the Creative Catalyst Conference, a panel called redesigning higher education for the future business community was held. Prof. Dr İhsan Sabuncuoğlu, Rector of Abdullah Gül University, Ecmel Ayral, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of İstanbul Bilgi University and Zeynep Dereli, founder of Technology and Human Colleges took the floor as speakers.
On the second day of the Conference, 6 December, a series of workshops were held in a variety of topics with a focus on creativity.