Francisco Gómez Durán - “It’s Important to Promote Cultural Industries”




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Oct 16, 2013
by Oscar Tollast
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Francisco Gómez Durán - “It’s Important to Promote Cultural Industries”

Participant at Young Cultural Entrepreneurs session reaffirms value of cultural sector Francisco Gómez Durán sitting in on a brainstoring session at Salzburg Global

An associate expert at UNESCO has praised Salzburg Global for its strategy session on ‘Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs: Planning for Success’.

Francisco Gómez Durán, who works in the promotion of cultural and creative industries in developing countries, attended the recent session alongside 27 other leading thinkers.

Mr Gómez Durán has developed cultural initiatives and coordinated international cooperation projects with the United Nations Development Programme.

He described cultural entrepreneurship as an “essential part and component” in the promotion of cultural and creative industries.

“Always keep in mind that cultural and creative industries are drivers of economic development [and] social inclusion. We should be tapping into the available resources.”

During the three-day session, participants discussed the qualities of a cultural entrepreneur and the programs needed to support the work of these people and how to empower them.

They shared their experiences and thoughts for the benefit of designing a new program evolving from the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum.

Whilst differing definitions were aired, participants agreed on a set of qualities cultural entrepreneurs shared regardless of the institution that they worked for.

Mr Gómez Durán explained his role and his latest project working for UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity.

“We support non-governmental organizations and governmental authorities to develop policies, strategies and action plans that develop cultural and creative industries.

“We are, for example, developing a lot of mapping studies that are coming up with very interesting and relevant information that was somehow hidden or not available to relevant stakeholders.

“We think that it’s important to promote cultural industries and give operators the means to further develop their activities.”

Mr Gómez Durán has also worked with the Spanish International Development Cooperation Agency in India, Malaysia and Brazil.

He revealed to Salzburg Global some of the challenges the cultural sector faced in developing countries.

“I think there is a big need for tools and for mechanisms in order to allow development in developing countries.

“There is a lack of information, a lack of data [and] a lack of resources in order to professionalize the sector.”

Mr Gómez Durán said cultural organizations needed access to higher education and tailor-made programs to strengthen their capacities.

“We need to convey the message why culture is important and why culture is a driver of development and social economic development. We need to work more on that.”

Making his first appearance at Salzburg Global Seminar, Mr Gómez Durán was keen to take away ideas to relate to his work at UNESCO.

“I think the best thing that I will bring back to Paris is the possibility of meeting all these amazing people, working at different levels, coming from different backgrounds and organizations.”

He described the strategy session as “unique” due to the diversity of participants attending and suggested the richness of ideas and opinions will help develop Salzburg Global’s program within the next 10 years.

“I think it’s very important what these different actors have to say, what is their vision, their needs and challenges, [and] expectations.

“We are here together, exchanging different ideas, experiences, [and] points of view that I think are going to be very relevant in our future work.”