Creative Hubs: igniting innovation in cities

Tuesday 23 May 2017 -
14:15 to 15:30

Session slides

You can view Nguyễn Phương Hòa's slides here.

You can view Professor Andy Pratt's slides here.

You can view Walter Zampieri's slides here.

How can innovative multidisciplinary hubs support new links between creative businesses and universities to generate creative, social and economic opportunities in cities around the world?

Cities face multiple challenges of growing and ageing populations, climate change and resource security, health and wellbeing, skills and employment, poor and ageing infrastructure and social and economic inequity. On the other hand there are opportunities presented by new technologies, materials and human resources, especially digital.

Over the last decade, a dynamic ecosystem of creative spaces and communities has developed across the globe. These ‘hubs’ are places where people can design, test, scale and launch enterprising new ideas in the creative, cultural and tech sectors. The hubs might take quite different forms: temporary to permanent, digital to physical, local to global. They might be makerspaces, incubators, labs, hackerspaces or studios. Research reveals that hubs have become nests for freelancers and micro SME’s to gather, connect and share workspace and access experience, tools and investment. Hubs not only form communities, they also develop a structured serendipity that enables people to connect in ways they hadn’t before, inspiring new cross disciplinary collaborations, community engagements and modes of working.

This panel session will illustrate through the guest speakers, approaches to creative hubs around the world and the impact they have on their cities.  Through facilitated discussion amongst the audience we will consider how cities can and do draw on their creative talent through multidisciplinary creative hubs to innovate and generate creative, social and economic opportunities and solutions. We will identify the benefits and challenges for cities from investing in creative hubs, how to exploit creative capacity in cities and also consider the civic role of universities in this ecology of creative hubs and cities, and finally what next in terms of coalescing creativity and innovation for the benefit of cities in the next two decades 21st century.


  • Professor Rachel Cooper OBE, Professor, Lancaster University, UK (Chair) 
  • Nguyễn Phương Hòa, Deputy Head IDC, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam
  • Professor Andy Pratt, Professor of Cultural Economy, Director of the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries, City, University of London, UK
  • Walter Zampieri, Head of Unit - Culture and Creativity, European Commission, Belgium

See also