Social Innovation Platform for the Cultural and Creative Sectors (CCS) — Last Tour and ALC

Practice Lab

An extreme situation, such as the one we are experiencing due to Covid-19, has reminded us once again how relevant the Cultural and Creative Industries are. As the pandemic began to paralyze our daily life, many people started to make crafts, read books, watch series and movies, connect to digital concerts… This was the best way to escape from reality, connect with yourself or with others even though we were alone and miles away.

The Orange Economy and Cultural and Creative Sectors (CCS) have been hit hard by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and now they face a great challenge. To accelerate new opportunities, support for innovation and experiments will be crucial. The crisis has illustrated the power of the CCS to be(come) a substantial partner in the EU’s commitment to implement the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda. Indeed, the year 2021 was declared by UN the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.

In a post-Covid scenario, a new space for collaboration within the cultural sector has been opened between Last Tour –one of the leading companies in the Basque music industry– and ALCK. Both have promoted a Social Innovation Platform with the aim of co-designing a new portfolio of interconnected prototypes based on the narratives of artists, producers, administration, private companies and citizens, that will redesign the Basque cultural landscape.

At the end of 2020, a collaborative process was initiated to implement the Platform, which led to the development of some phases –mapping, listening and collective interpretation–, as well as a joint proposal for future ways of working.  

The Open Innovation Platform is conceived as an accelerator of collaborative processes between sector agents, public entities and companies in the CCS. It is based on listening and co-creation methods, which constituted the basis for developing a portfolio of initiatives (interconnected prototypes) at 5 levels of impact: (1) community initiatives, (2) small-scale social entrepreneurship projects, (3) large-scale public-private interventions, (4) new public services and (5) experimentation in new regulations. 

Our differential element is that we build new community listening tools, we co-design the process together with the main actors involved, we propose the creation of a portfolio of interconnected initiatives instead of isolated projects, and we aim to build a true open innovation ecosystem in a specific territory that will address socio-economic and cultural challenges from a complex system perspective.

In this case, we worked mainly on a deep listening and collective interpretation processes, where we incorporated new tools that allowed us to know what is happening and what is the evolution of social demands around the CCS in real time. Initially, ethnographic interviews were conducted, in addition to other multiple listening channels, through which we were able to collect the narratives operating in the sector. This information was analyzed (identifying challenges and opportunities) and segmented into patterns of perception, resulting in 8 profiles –profiles represent unified perceptions (repetition and similarity) that constitute ways of thinking and behavior–. At the same time, we carried out a mapping of existing initiatives that allowed us to consider how these initiatives respond to certain profiles.

All the information gathered and analyzed during the listening process must be contrasted with the actors in the sector, as it brings high added value and opens up a participatory space with a diversity of voices. It also enables us to validate our analysis and get new approaches, making the participants feel part of the process, as well as strengthening their own network.

On June 10, we held a collective interpretation session, where new initiatives and ideas at 5 levels of impact emerged, responding to the profiles presented.

The general objectives of this collaboration are:

  • To promote an alternative focus to the current strategies in the field of CCS in the Basque Country, taking advantage of Last Tour’s capacity as a driving force
  • To better understand and extend internationally the added value of these industries in the Basque Country

And as more specific objectives:

  • To promote a portfolio of interconnected prototypes in the CCS that reinforce the differential value of the territory
  • To create a network of public and private actors linked to the platform
  • To attract potential funding partners

Sector: Culture and Language Recovery

Location: Basque Country

Year 2020-2021