The Forum d'Avignon Ruhr is based on a French-German partnership between the think tank Forum d'Avignon and ecce. The aim of the cooperation is to culturally contribute to future-oriented policies by bringing together Europe's business leaders and experts from the economy, politics, media, science, and culture.

© Forum d'Avignon Ruhr (Ruhr.2010)/Manfred Vollmer



The first Forum d'Avignon Ruhr took place on 8/9 March 2012 in Essen.


On 8 and 9 March 2012 the first Forum d'Avignon Ruhr entitled "Creating Progress. Building Strategic Partnerships Between Culture and the Economy" took place in the SANAA building on the premises of the Zollverein World Heritage Site in Essen. 175 guests from 22 countries came together at Zollverein to discuss the roles of art, culture and creativity in the age of globalised markets and digitalised networks. The FAR 2012 started with a tour of Zollverein World Heritage Site and found its peak in a conference day dedicated to the topics "Considering Culture and Economy in One Thought", "The Art of Creative Change" and "Copy and Paste Successful Models".


Famous urbanist Charles Landry has conducted a comparative study on six creative European cities and their factor of success for this year's Forum d'Avignon Ruhr. The study points out different strategies of cultural policies on how to increase the attractiveness and economic growth factor of a city, by using the examples of Bilbao, Bologna, Krakow, Liverpool, Lille and Ruhr. It is analyses in how far integrative strategies between culture, economy and digital technology can influence the transformation of cities and which role art, culture and creativity plays in this process.


From intuition to decision: Who decides who invests in culture? How is the decision to invest in cultural projects and equipments made? What are the criteria and triggering factors behind it? What are the justifications offered to favor and promote cultural projects? How do the different key players position themselves: artists, institutions, firms,...? What are the underlying "strategies" at the origin of a project? These are the questions answered by the study realized by Kurt Salmon for the Forum d'Avignon 2011.


Europe 2020 is the EU's growth strategy for the coming decade. In a changing world, we want the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. These three mutually reinforcing priorities should help the EU and the Member States deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. Concretely, the Union has set five ambitious objectives - on employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy - to be reached by 2020. Each Member State has adopted its own national targets in each of these areas. Concrete actions at EU and national levels underpin the strategy.

Further Information

The Venue: The SANAA-Building at Zollverein

The Forum d’Avignon Ruhr 2012 took place on the premises of the Zollverein World Heritage Site in Essen. Zollverein is both a testimony to the past and a place where contemporary art is arising. It is considered a symbol of change through culture and thus an ideal venue for the forum. The central point of the event was the impressive SANAA building. With its four maintained shafts, underground facilities, the central coking plant, transport facilities and workers’ housing estates Zollverein is exemplary for the coal-producing industry of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 2006, the first new building in 50 years has been constructed on the terrain of Zollverein in a totally new and unique architectural style, the SANAA Building. Since January 2010 the SANAA-Building has been used by the Folkwang University of the Arts and it will become the official seat of the Design Faculty.

SANAA Building at Zeche Zollverein during FAR12
© Forum d'Avignon Ruhr (Ruhr.2010)/Manfred Vollmer

SANAA Building at Zeche Zollverein during FAR12

Zeche Zollverein während des FAR12
© Forum d'Avignon Ruhr (Ruhr.2010)/Manfred Vollmer

Zeche Zollverein during FAR12