First UNESCO World Forum on Culture and the Cultural Industries

In cooperation with the Italian Government, the Lombardy Region and the city of Monza, UNESCO organized the First UNESCO World Forum on Culture and the Cultural Industries, which took place at the Villa Reale in Monza, Italy from 24 to 26 September, 2009.

In the spirit of previous high-visibility operations undertaken by UNESCO in the field of heritage protection, the Organization launched this novel initiative which brought together decision-makers, creators and the private sector to discuss the role of culture in and for development.

Conceived as a platform for bringing people together to share ideas on specific topics varying from one edition to the next, the Forum’s objective was to illustrate the potential of the creativity, innovation and excellence that nourish the cultural industries.

The dynamism of the cultural sector is measured not only in terms of its contribution to GDP, but also its power to transform societies. The new millennium has witnessed the growing strength of the cultural industries. Accordingly, a new approach to development strategies based on creativity as a source of competitive advantage is now at the forefront of discussions.

For this first edition, UNESCO has chosen the theme “Creativity, Innovation and Excellence: From Crafts to the Design and Fashion Industries”. The participants will explore the connections between crafts and the design and fashion industries. In their capacity as a driving force for constant renewal, as vehicles of identity, values and meaning, and as the fruit of creativity and innovation, crafts can perhaps form the basis of a new kind of development which can guarantee the long-term survival of special know-how.

Designed to encourage debate and stimulate fertile, interdisciplinary and innovative thinking on these themes, the Forum provided a unique opportunity for decision-makers, creators and the private sector to exchange on the subjects related to economic performance and artistic excellence, while also underlining the central role of culture in sustainable development.

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