Jean-Baptiste Cuzin - "We Need New Schemes of Innovation"

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Oct 22, 2013
by Oscar Tollast
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Jean-Baptiste Cuzin - "We Need New Schemes of Innovation"

Figure from French Ministry for culture and media highlights value of Salzburg Global's work Jean-Baptiste Cuzin speaking at Salzburg Global's recent strategy session

A unit head within the French Ministry for culture and media has praised Salzburg Global’s sessions on cultural entrepreneurship.

Jean-Baptiste Cuzin, head of the international and multilateral unit within the French Ministry for culture and media, recently attended Salzburg Global for a strategy session on ‘Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs: Planning for Success’.

Joining a number of leading thinkers at the Seminar, Mr Cuzin discussed the potential of young cultural leaders and the environment needed for cultural entrepreneurship to flourish.

“I’m very satisfied to see after [nearly] 10 years the Salzburg Global Seminar is beginning to have a long-lasting approach on the issue of cultural entrepreneurship.

“We drew conclusions that to be emerging leaders of innovative culture entrepreneurial skills for innovating and for helping the projects to come out doesn’t mean necessarily being entrepreneurial in the sense of being your own chief executive officer.

“You may also be entrepreneurial, engaged, and directly working for a non-profit or commercial company in the field of culture.”

Mr Cuzin previously attended Salzburg Global in 2004 for a session entitled ‘Cultural Institutions in Transition’.

He joined participants at the 2004 session, which included artists, cultural entrepreneurs, and policymakers to discuss the need for cultural policies in Central and Eastern Europe to be reformed.

In his position, Mr Cuzin is involved in programs allowing high level professionals in the field of culture and cultural policies to be invited to France for seminars and training courses based on peer-to-peer exchanges.

He joined the French Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, in 1998 as junior officer, before moving to the Ministry for culture and media as officer in charge of European affairs.

This led to his appointment as deputy head of the cooperation section of the French embassy in Bucharest, Romania, being responsible for bilateral cooperation programs in the field of public policies and managing the French cooperation network.

Mr Cuzin revealed some of the discussions between participants at this year’s strategy session centered on sources of funding for the culture sector, highlighting the changing proportions of public and private financing.

“In France we changed our legislation more than 10 years ago in order to give very huge incentives for companies and private philanthropies who want to invest in culture.

“We already began 10 years ago to anticipate the need for having a more diverse scheme of financing for arts and creation.”

Mr Cuzin suggested an approach of working from the bottom up was needed at a national and local level to ensure innovation and creativity could foster.

He tied the future of innovation in the field of arts and creative industries with global issues such as justice, sustainability and economic innovation.

“What’s obvious is the fact that for taking advantage of all the new opportunities for arts and creative industry in the digital age, we need new schemes of innovation.

“These schemes of innovation are linked with abilities for cultural entrepreneurs who not only have technical skills, who not only have relationship skills, but also have a global overview about connections that exist between culture and global issues.”

Mr Cuzin, however, reaffirmed the need for cultural entrepreneurs to have the right conditions to succeed, pointing to property law, fiscal law, and public policy.

“The responsibility of the public policymakers is to understand what the cultural entrepreneurs – either independent or non-independent – need for their projects to grow.”

He maintained that Salzburg Global provided two key elements of added value that promoted discussions of cultural entrepreneurship and strengthened the vision of a 10-year program evolving from the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum.

Mr Cuzin suggested the idea of a 10-year program provided an opportunity for potential participants to look outside the box and learn from others on a global scale.

“We already have some key elements for ensuring a new dynamic and for ensuring the possibility for incoming players – not only to network – but also to work together in an innovative way in following new schemes of reflection.”