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Celestino Spada: "Towards a better governance to build the future of culture"

While the 2012 edition will take place in Avignon on 15th, 16th and 17th of November, the Forum d'Avignon interviewed Celestino Spada, editor of the quarterly review 'Economia della cultura' and vice-President of the Italian Associazione per l'Economia della cultura, around the question "How does Culture give you a reason to hope?"

Does culture / creative imagination give you a reason to hope ?

The Forum d’Avignon

The Forum d’Avignon aims at strengthening the links between culture and the economy, suggesting subjects for reflection at global, European and local levels. The Forum d’Avignon was created after the ratification of the UNESCO convention on cultural diversity, and since its beginning, has been backed by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. Each year the Forum organizes, with its partners, international meetings which provide opportunities for unique discussions and exchanges between actors from the worlds of culture, the creative industries, the economy and the media.

Each year the Forumd’Avignon publishes new studies highlighting the essential links between culture and the economy, on themes suggested by its Advisory Board. 2012 edition will focus on “Culture: reasons ton hope. Imagining and passing on”

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This is funny that this question is being asked in a country and in an European Union which should be embarked since 2000 (Lisboa Declaration) on common strategies, shared goals and outcomes monitoring : so, on the building of an economy and of a society based on knowledge. A “strategic objective” , that was the highlighted word, which thirteen years after widely stayed wishful thinking, letting us face a reality in which the power brought up by Henry Bergson replaces the absence of administrative and political action. But, who in the modern society is supposed to embody the ideas and aspirations of philosophy ?

Who embodies it the best ?

The OECD is the institution that has embarked the most and the best in a perspective of continuity in the last decade, on analysis and documentation of the situation and the problems related to education and development of cultural and social skills of the new generations, as well as adults.

What would be the personal initiative / project / work that embodies your reason to hope ?

Through its annual reports, its comparative evaluations and the benchmarking of the excellent results of institutes and training courses, the OECD periodically renews and spreads, in the European union and at the national level, an information flow which allows families, students, trainers, politicians, public administration, private company managers who work on schools and universities, to follow the concrete effects of their choices and their actions. Millions of people devote a considerable amount of their “economic resources” , their professional lives and their aspirations, to the improvement of the destiny of younger people, the level and the quality of their job opportunities.

How would you like to pass it on to future generations ?

Celestino Spada worked in Rai, the Italian public service broadcasting, from 1968 to 1999, as TV program producer and lately, 1991 to 1999, as editor and publisher of studies and researches on program quality. Between 2001 and 2008 he gave courses on television economy at the faculties of sociology in Florence and Roma-La Sapienza universities. He is the author of studies and researchs on media economy (firms structure, employment, products markets) published in Italy and other countries. He is at present managing editor of the quarterly review ‘Economia della cultura’ and vice-President of the Italian Associazione per l’Economia della cultura.

We must build the future from the present. Television and radio constitute today, in all countries, at least in Europe, the most popular ways of communication. Simultaneously, the mobile phone and the social networks in the internet are the technical resources and the communication tools to which the young people devote most of their time and attention. In parallel with training courses and education, we should multiply the chances to socially promote them, particularly in the most popular forms of communication and within a play framework, favoring competition, cultural skills of the individuals and their ability to exercise them. This is already occurring on grand public television channels for music and singing (i.e the international program X-Factor) or for dance and theater (i.e some programs on Italian TV channels). It might be useful to promote other talents and abilities, also related to new technologies and to resources used by the young people, with new programs in which (young) authors, scriptwriters, directors, game creators, would have new opportunities to emphasize their “creative imagination” .

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