Seeing each other through the arts.






Creative Economy and Cultural Skills

Creation as transformation


Brazil has an extraordinary ability to produce from nearly nothing and people don't feel discouraged by this. Imagine if they had more means, what they would be able to achieve. – Cláudia Toni, Gestora Cultural


According to the Creative Economy's special edition Report elaborated by UNESCO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNPD) in 2013, one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy, not only in terms of income generation, but also in job creation, is the Creative Economy. "There is an urgent need to find new pathways that encourage creativity and innovation in the pursuit of inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth and development”, says the report, and points out the creativity and the human innovation as the true wealth of the nations in the XXI century.


As a goal to create a network of Brazilian and British artists and entrepreneurs focused on the sustainable growth of the sector, the program Transform launched a series of projects in which Brazil and the United Kingdom exchange experiences and learn from the specificities of this growing economy.


of enterpreneurs who received our training are already selling their products and services


young professionals signed up for the 20 spots of the Backstage to the Future workshop in 2016


of projected and estimated growth rate forecasted by participating enterpreneurs

Luiz Coradazzi
Director of Arts, Brazil

Márcia Mansur
Arts Project Manager, Cultural Skills

Inspiration is just the beginning

The concept is wide and still in development, but, broadly, while the traditional economy includes product manufacture, agriculture and commerce, the Creative Economy deals with creative goods and services, that is, those based mainly on the knowledge and the creativity that generates work and income. Its management model involves all of the productive chain, since creation, production, diffusion, distribution to the consumption of creative goods and services. Therefore, when we face with something genius, we have to remember what Thomas Edison, inventor of the electric lamp and many other things: "1% inspiration and 99% transpiration", because all good ideas demand a colossal amount of work until it's done.

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With that in mind, the workshop Backstage to the Future was created, and will be conducted during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio 2016 catering to young professionals on technical areas of artistic production in Brazil. Illustrious theatre director and former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare, Sir Michael Boyd, will offer two masterclasses during the event, one for professional actors and the other for the programme's participants.  For twenty days, professionals will exchange experiences about their field of work and will receive on hands training in lighting, sound engineering, stage management, backstage accessibility and digital marketing offered by British production company Walk The Plank together with Brazilian professionals from local arts and performing schools.

At the end of the course the students will be given the opportunity to work in the production of big spectacles performed by The Scottish Dance Theatre and Graeae during the Games. Two months before its execution, the Backstage to the Future had more than 500 applicants for its only 20 spots. "I think this indicates a strong demand in training within the performing arts sector", says Marcia Mansur, Project Manager at the British Council.

Knowledge is Power

Besides training – there's still a lot to learn about the subject of Creative Economy. To answer this demand for knowledge, British Council launched a series of debates in partnership with Brazilian and British organisations, and with the BNDES' sponsorship (Brazilian National Development Fund), which offered an opportunity for reflection and inspiration for creating new projects and policies adapted to the Brazilian market. The series of debates took place in Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Recife and São Paulo, with themes ranging from design, innovation in urban regeneration and public policy. The events are the result of a series of three publications published by the British Council in 2014 which compiles all Creative Economy Dialogues between Brazil and the United Kingdom, with the curatorship of economist Lidia Goldenstein. These publications are also available for download, here. With the sponsorship of SEBRAE, Transform also counts with Nesta-British Council Training for creative entrepreneurs, using a method developed by the British agency Nesta (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) to help creative entrepreneurs to plan, develop, and communicate their business ideas.

Through this programme, Brazilian and British producers, technicians and artists will work together to understand Recife and its problems and seek interventions, products and actions that make the city more playful and find solutions for real needs of the city.

Carla Costa, Porto Digital

Collaborative Solutions

Another important project in cultural production is the Recife: The Playable City, a partnership between British Council, Porto Digital and Watershed, with the support of Arts Council England. The programme offers artists, producers and technologists of Pernambuco a creative residency in England where professionals from both nations create innovative and ludic solutions for collective spaces and city services. "Through this programme, Brazilian and British producers, technicians and artists will work together to understand Recife and its problems and seek interventions, products and actions that make the city more playful and solve any really necessary issue of the city", says Carla Costa, from Porto Digital. Since it's first instalment, this project already unfolded in different parts of the world, including Lagos, Nigeria and Tokyo, Japan.

Photographers, video makers, architects, writers, audio professionals and also students were able to participate in the workshop with the British collective Marshmallow Laser Feast in the project Dividing Lines, in an exploration through the city of São Paulo in search for contrasting and coexisting images. The photographs were made in 360°, scanned with a Lidar panoramic scanner and processed in open source and common software, transformed into true journeys through the captured sites. The workshop's final work will open on September 30th at the SESI gallery in the heart of São Paulo.

Considering Brazilian's ability to create wonders from very little, we can expect nothing but an even richer and more intense exchange in the years post Transform, with our continued support to strengthen our existing relationships. This legacy will be seen not only in the form of great creative outcomes but also as lasting transformations, benefiting everyone.


Transforming Conversations

“Art is a language."
Lidia Goldenstein

Lidia Goldenstein, phD in Economy and researcher for Creative Economy projects in Brazil and abroad, talks about her curatorship work with the British Council for the Creative Economy Dialogues project.


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“Art is a language."
Lidia Goldenstein