European Creative Hubs Forum

Invited facilitator/speaker at European Creative Hubs Forum in Lisbon, January 2015. 

What a great way to start the year – over 300 creative hub leaders from all over Europe (from Transylvania to the Isle of Eigg) and further afield meeting for a 3 day intensive session; there was a lot to discuss!

The diverse and packed programme covered areas such as different types of hubs, finance and leadership; we also got the chance to visit Lisbon’s creative hubs. For me, the importance of the ‘soft infrastruacture’ of hubs was overwhelmingly key – trust, open-ness and the value of having a shared vision with your community/tenants – were hot topics of discussion.


For this reason I’m particularly interested in the personalities of creative hub leaders – as although hubs may differ in scale, shape or location, effective hub leaders must be able to relate to their community; and often act as a mediator between the community and policy/decision makers.

We briefly touched on what Creative Hubs might look like in the future and what services they might provide. I hope that at the next Forum ‘what’s next’ can be the main focus, to allow us to consider more innovative business models.

It was also a useful reminder to note that context is everything – some creative hubs have been grown from the ground up, whereas others have had support from cultural/business organisations or educational institutions. Whilst there is no right or wrong, the contextual conditions create differing hub models and this should be remembered when giving the more generic term, hub. This creative hub mapping survey work should be critical in helping define hubs at policy level in future.

The Creative Hubs Forum was organised by British Council, ADDICT, and Lisbon City Council, in the incredible city of Lisbon – it was an incredibly valuable trip and I look forward to the continuing discussion on #creativehubs


Amazing graphic scribing below of the Forum by Joel Cooper

More info on the project:

Photos from the Forum.


Graphic scribing by Joel Cooper