What does 2024 hold in store for us?

What does 2024 hold in store for us?

As the curtains comes down on 2023, KEA finds itself both reaping rewards and sowing seeds for the year to come.  As we stand on the threshold of KEA’s 25th anniversary, the last few weeks and days of 2023 feel less like an ending and more like the opening chapter of a new book. 2023 was a year of events and activities, enriching our experiences and unlocking exciting possibilities for the year ahead. We therefore invite you to see this summary as more than a wrap-up. It is a preview of future stories and the ventures of the coming months.  

Transforming Society Through Culture and Sport 

Metaphors abound: culture is an instrument, a driver, a catalyst, a lever and a spark. We (as society) frequently conjure up images of culture’s power. In 2023, KEA has been a main player in transforming words into action. Based on developed expertise and in-depth research, we updated the Market Analysis of the Cultural and Creative Sectors in Europe for the EIF’s CCS Guarantee Facility, helping the EU’s work in supporting cultural and creative sector micro-businesses and SMEs in accessing finance. KEA also worked as scientific and public affairs coordinator on the SHARE (SportHub: Alliance for Regional development in Europe) initiative, aiming to promote the role of physical activity in regional and local development. Staying within the realm of sport, KEA organised webinars exclusively for EPSI, the European Platform for Sport Innovation, increasing participants’ chances of securing funding for their projects. Finally, KEA has mapped out skills gaps in Cultural Management for C’MAN, an international project focusing on methodology exchange between partners.  

Appreciating and Understanding the Value of Culture  

Culture is still very much a ‘prejudiced’ sector: it is seen as less valuable than other sectors due to difficulties measuring its impact as well as lack of awareness and knowledge gaps. Addressing this under-valuation has been a particular focus of KEA’s work in 2023, a year which saw the closing of multiple Horizon Projects. Back in October 2020, we announced the launch of Artsformation, a three-year research project aiming to understand, analyse and promote the ways in which the Arts can reinforce the social, cultural, economic and political benefits of digital transformation.  KEA was a key contributor to the CICERONE research, to provides policymakers with a unique and innovative perspective to understand the creative and cultural economy through a Global Production Network Approach. A highlight from the project is the development of the CCS Observatory Pilot, a tool aimed at collecting better data on CCS. Finally, 2023 marked the end of the MESOC (Measuring the Social Dimension of Culture) project, designed to propose, test and validate an innovative and original approach to measuring the societal value and impacts of culture and cultural policies. Promote a better understanding of the CCS is at the core of KEA’s mission.  

Work hard, play hard  

From delving into the intricacies of game-making practices to exploring the economic, societal and cultural dimensions of Video Games, 2023 witnessed KEA’s comprehensive immersion into the multifaceted realm of gaming. The year begun with the launch of EPIC-WE in March, a EU-funded project aimed at empowering young people by engaging them in cultural game-making activities to inspire and invite their cultural, creative and civic participation. The journey reached its culmination with the release of the final report from the European Video Games Society, marking the first comprehensive study on the Video Games sector within the European Union.  

Cultural policy beyond borders 

In 2023, KEA reaffirmed its steadfast support for Ukraine by actively moderating and co-hosting the Policy Labs, a series of seminars orchestrated in collaboration with the ERSTE Foundation and the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture. These Policy Labs serve as a powerful testament to the desire to foster culture-driven recovery and shape impactful cultural policies in Ukraine. As this transformative initiative gears up for its fourth iteration, it is evolving into a vibrant hub championing creativity, resilience and forward-thinking, solidifying its role as a catalyst for positive change in the Ukrainian cultural landscape.  

Moving to the other side of the ocean, 2023 brought KEA to Mexico and Saudi Arabia to share our experience in cultural cooperation and policy strategies.  

Radical Creativities  

Towards the end of 2023, we unveiled an exciting venture that signal our commitment to collaborative innovation beyond borders. Radical Creativities, a groundbreaking editorial project poised to ignite discussions on the future of culture and creativity. Positioned at the intersection of scholarly publication, art book and informative magazine, the journal seeks to amplify voices that view research, art and cultural practices as drivers of transformative action.  

And so, we bring this round-up to a close by turning to 2024, KEA’s 25th birthday. Stay tuned for a collection of celebratory highlights as well as the release of a third book, ‘Before the Storm: Culture as an Agent of Transformation’.  

We can confidently state that 2024 is expected to be a fruitful year for KEA, under the banner of collaboration and creativity. We look forward to seeing opportunities, events and projects bloom. In the meantime, we wish all of you a creative 2024!  

The KEA team. 


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