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IV Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture Forum “Culture as a Factor of Growth”
On November 18 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, NDPC Forum "Culture as a Factor of Growth" was held, gathering representatives from the cultural and creative industries, tourism sector, governments and local communities from Russia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Latvia. 

This year's forum was particularly dedicated to cultural tourism development and regeneration of places thanks to creativity and culture. Cultural tourism is seen as an effective tool for managing intercultural dialogue and social partnerships, a mechanism for the region inclusion into the world cultural markets - in other words, there are reasonably high expectations for this sector as a booster for territorial development. What makes a project sustainable? How can various creative initiatives contribute to the sector development and sustainable growth? How to go global? How to influence local cultural policies? Or, perhaps, it is time to take active part in their design? All these questions were covered within The Forum discussions.

The first plenary session, aiming at overviewing the region in the whole, focused on projects with the potential to shape new cultural routes and unite various cities and districts through common projects, as well as mechanisms of interaction between all participants of this sector, and tools to make local products competitive both locally and internationally. The second plenary session was dedicated to the cultural specialization of smaller cities. Specific local cases shoed creative potential of various districts, needs, challenges and ways to meet them in order to contribute to the economic growth and raise the quality of life in districts. The Russian project Altourism gained specific attention at the Forum: the project aims to develop small towns and villages through active particiaption of local communities and development of social entrepreneurship initiatives. At the end of the Forum, the participants had a chance to participate in a business game and generate solutions for future projects based on a given methodology, as well as exchange contacts and build partnerships.

The Forum was organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation along with the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture under the auspices of the VI Saint-Petersburg International Cultural Forum.

Creativity week radi!2017

From September up to December 2017 Creativity week radi!2017 has been celebrated all over Latvia, especially creative and rich in various events aimed to highlight ideas, talents, achievements, as well as the potential and interaction of creative and cultural industries with other sectors. More than 20 events were held in Riga and regions. In addition, this was the first time that events took place also outside the borders of Latvia, bringing together representatives of creative industries and promoting international exchange of experience. The final closing event on design in state branding is expected in December.

radi!2017 tackled such topics and activities as the development of partnerships, the transfer of interdisciplinary competences, the use of design thinking methods in different processes, the development of urban environment and architecture, generation of creativity and ideas, co-working, revitalization of abandoned places, promotion of visual understanding processes, the study of decorative arts and culinary heritage, the involvement of the regions of Latvia and their inhabitants, minorities and young people, as well as the interaction of the latest technologies with the creative industries. The program was enriched with such events as design in public sector, including workshops on applying design thinking methods in public services design, design in entrepreneurship and design in education. radi! also went regional bringing design knowledge to tackle local challenges.

During radi!2017 weeks, representatives of different sectors were urged to ask themselves "Is Latvia a user-friendly country?", which allowed to once again think about what has already been achieved and what should be improved in the future, making the surrounding environment more understandable and comfortable for people. The ideas generated are already being targeted and will continue to evolve in the future when planning next year’s radi! events with an emphasis on longer-term activities in the regions. In total, more than 40 partners announced their events for radi!2017 program this fall, many of which have been actively supporting and diversifying radi! activities for several years already.

This year Creativity week radi!2017, organized by the Ministry of Culture of Latvia with a wide range of cooperation partners, was supported by NDPC, helping to bring Northern Dimension expertise to radi! events. More information:, Facebook and Twitter.

NDPC  28th Steering Committee meeting

In connection to the IV Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture Forum “Culture as a Factor of Growth” the NDPC 28th Steering Committee meeting took place, discussing the issues of upcoming Legally Binding Agreement on establishment of the International Secretariat of NDPC, the NDPC St. Petersburg Forum as well as the possible Partnership’s activities in 2018. Representative of the Northern Dimension Institute took part at the meeting, presenting the idea of Northern Dimension Future Forums in 2018, to be co-financed by the European Commission, the NDPC will work to define the focus of a Future Forum for culture.

NDPC takes part at the Fifth Northern Dimension Parliamentary Forum
The current Chair of NDPC David Ek of the Ministry of Culture of Sweden and NDPC Senior Adviser Ilze Gailite-Holmberg took part at the Fifth Northern Dimension Parliamentary Forum Conference in Brussels, European Parliament on 22 November. Mr. Ek presented the work, strategic developments and future plans of the NDPC to the Conference. The Conference discussed the current status and situation of the Northern Dimension partnerships and outlined the future development. Completing its work, the Conference produced a Statement, stressing the important role of the Northern Dimension policy, work of the Northern Dimension four partnerships and further international collaboration in the Northern Dimension area, including the work of NDPC embracing the wide aspects of the culture and creative industries.
Baltic Sea Tourism Forum
NDPC Senior Adviser Ilze Gailite-Holmberg and Piaa Heliste from the Northern Dimension Institute and Aalto University presented the Interreg BSR programme Seed Money supported project CreaDigiTourism on creativity, digital innovation and tourism at the Baltic Sea Tourism Forum, held on 3 November in Turku, Finland. The aim of participation and the presentation at the Forum was to introduce the project to tourism operators and institutions, and to attract potential partners.

Third call for project applications in the Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme

Applicants are requested to submit a project idea form by 15 January 2018 at the latest as a prerequisite to be invited for a consultation. Only after a consultation lead applicants can obtain access to the online application system where they can submit a complete project application not later than 9 April 2018.  More information can be found here.
More information on NDPC and culture and creative industries news and events on NDPC website and Facebook: NDPCpage
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