ecce - european centre for creative economy

Forum d'Avignon Ruhr 2014

The Forum d’Avignon Ruhr is based on a French-German partnership between the think tank Forum d’Avignon and the european centre for creative economy. The cooperation’s aim is to contribute to modern, future-oriented policies for the future by bringing together Europe’s business leaders, movers and shakers, from the economy, politics, media, science, and culture. The 3rd edition took place on 11 and 12 June 2014 in the city of Essen.


THE ProgrammE

In 2014 the programme of the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr focused on passion as a cultural phenomenon and immaterial resource. How important is it in all sectors of society? What conditions must we create in order to bring pioneering ideas and innovation into the world – whether this is in the areas of art and culture, science and business, politics and society? How can we pin down the successes of such immaterial soft skills better than in the past? And in doing so which effects should we measure – economic, social or cultural? What would be the consequences for cultural and business policies, even innovation policies, if new measurement techniques could document the importance of immaterial value-creation factors?

These questions are also of outstanding importance for the Agenda Europe 2020 which will be focussing on a broad definition of innovation. But it is still open to debate as to whether this will promote innovation and how it can be included in the programme for the next European Union funding period. Defining precisely the conditions favourable to innovation will thus be given a new topicality and overall social significance. This is why the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr 2014 focused on this decisive impulse in creative and economic processes from different perspectives.

Top personalities from the worlds of culture, business and science were putting forward their definitions and visions of passion. Starting from these examples there were discussions on the conditions, significance and parallels in passion as a factor in innovation in business, culture and society, as well as on its connections with culture itself. This was followed by a discussion on the tasks and challenges politicians have to face.

The discussions and talks did therefore outline the current status of the culture and creative economy and – partly building on the theme of spillover effects from the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr 2013 – the interplay of effects with other branches. This gave rise to new insights into quantitative and qualitative aspects and introduce evaluation and research as themes.

The afternoon presentations of successful examples and the discussions with their makers made things clearer and easier to appreciate. The Forum d’Avignon Ruhr 2014 closed with a high-quality debate on synergies and tensions between cultural and business innovation.

Workshops with selected project makers from the Ruhr Region and Europe took place in the run-up to the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr 2014. They put forward theses on what framework conditions can best support creative work and innovations. The theses were then included in the debate on the day of the conference.




Photo © Vladimir Wegener