Cultural activity is characterised by the high level of social influence, as it contributes to creating new skills and improving the communication and dialogue between communities; it is also an effective tool of regional and social urban policies. Creative industries “organise” the urban space of cities (they often co-define their metropolitan functions, increasing the cities’ settlement and investment attractiveness) and integrate local communities. This has been confirmed by the research commissioned by the European Commission (the results were published in two reports “The Economy of Culture in Europe” from 2006 and “The Impact of Culture on Creativity” from 2009) which points to the direct and indirect factors influencing the development of cultural and creative industries and their impact on the achievement of the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy such as:

• increasing the importance and role of culture in socio-economic development;
• treating the spending on culture as an investment; defining culture as a factor stimulating social development (for example through creativity and critical thinking);
• defining culture as the capital stimulating the development of creative industries.

Thus, one of the most important tasks is the creation of a support system for the broadly defined creative sector and enterprise in culture, which includes, for and foremost, promoting the activities of artists and culture animators, supporting enterprise and experimental projects in the cultural and creative sectors.

This will make the change in the stereotypical perception of culture as an elitist, niche and an unprofitable area (the perspective still common in Poland). On the other hand, the development of the two sectors and the creation of innovative products and services  depends not only on the skills and talents of individuals but also on the inspiring social environment.

The openness to innovation and new ideas, the ability to take a risk and the readiness to apply creative solutions are the most fundamental conditions for the efficient utilising of creative potential, this is why it is essential to build an environment favouring creativity, tolerance, openness and mutual trust. What is also of great importance is disseminating among artists and people involved in cultural activities the skills and competence necessary for proper functioning on the labour market and for enjoying both unhindered creativity and profits not only of a financial nature. There is the necessity to adjust the curricula of art universities to the needs and challenges of the labour market so that they include such areas as enterprise or law (especially copyright law). Another important issue is the cooperation of the cultural sector with other entities.

Additionally, we should introduce mechanisms which will make it easier for persons operating in the cultural and creative sectors to start their professional careers, which will also result in the creation of a favourable climate for the enterprise in the creative sector on the local, regional and national level and for the development of the broadly defined creative potential. The creative atmosphere, artistic freedom and openness to novelty are the prerequisites for technological development and innovations and are regarded as the key mechanisms of change and development in the contemporary economy.

Unfortunately, in Poland, culture and creativity are not considered valuable developmental resources so we need to enliven the public debate on creativity and culture, their social functions and the development of broadly defined social relations that favour creativity; we should also not neglect such fundamental questions as legal, institutional, economic and technological solutions (including copyright that provides the protection of authors’ interests, but also such legislation that encourages the widespread participation in cultural life, the creation of non-governmental organisations and a proper environment for their operations). What is especially important is the fact that the cultural and creative potential cannot be ascribed to just one area of life, art, science or technology but has the capacity of linking them together.

The systems of relations between culture, technology, market and education generates phenomena of great social and economic value.

Anna Ochmann, president of Foundation ARTeria