Cultural Engineering Group

Services & Ressources en ingénierie culturelle

Pier Luigi Sacco: Culture 3.0 (pt. I) A new perspective for the EU 2014-2020 structural funds programming

In his study the Milan professor Pier Luigi Sacco shows the historical development of what we know as « Culture ». By analogy with the fast development of the internet and its incarnations, Sacco sets out that there was a pre-industrial Culture 1.0 that evolved over a long period of time and reigned for several centuries. The industrial revolution turned it step by step into Culture 2.0. With the digital revolution and the invention of the internet it gradually grew into Culture 3.0 by now.

What does that mean for Culture today? How does the policy framework of an integrating Europe react to this?

LABKULTUR.TV features Sacco’s study in a small series each Friday.  

Preliminary remarks

In spite of the multiplication of successful examples of culture-led local and regional development across Europe and elsewhere (e.g. Sacco et al., 2008, 2009), there is a widespread perception that the role and potential of culture in the overall European long-term competitiveness strategy is still seriously under-recognized (CSES, 2010). This reflects in the difficulty to bring cultural policy issues at the top ranks of the broader policy agenda, and consequently explains why the share of structural funds devoted to culture badly fails to match the share of cultural and creative sectors in total EU value added.

Knowledge based economy


Region of Lombardy building, Milan

Region of Lombardy building, Milan

This situation is mainly the consequence of a persisting gap in the conceptualization of the role of culture in an advanced, knowledge based economy as it is the European one nowadays. For many decision makers and policy officers operating outside the cultural realm, the cultural sectors are at best a minor, low-productivity branch of the economy, largely living on external subsidies, and which is therefore absorbing economic resources more than actually generating them. Not surprisingly, as a coherent consequence of this wrong conceptualization, cultural activities are one of the first and easiest targets of public funding cuts during phases of economic crisis.


Culture led development

There has been in fact a long record of cases of successful culture-led development policies of cities and regions (and sometimes even countries) from the late 80s and early 90s onwards, which however have mainly been regarded as exceptional (or even exotic) by the common sense of policy making. The impressive figures that have emerged from first attempts at measuring the economic size of cultural and creative sectors in Europe (KEA, 2006), which are by the way likely to be underestimated (CSES, 2010), have certainly made a cases and have attracted much attention. Consequently, more and more administrations at all levels, including ones that never paid real interest to these issues, have henceforth begun to devote more energy and resources to culture focused development policies, but the overall awareness at the European level remains scarce and scattered, so that much is left to be done. In particular, awareness and policy activism at regional and city levels is at the moment far superior than that at the country level, and thus there is the possibility that in the close future uneven culture-related development patterns may be found across the EU, and that some countries are at risk of lagging behind.

Rush Hour in Brera, Milan

Rush Hour in Brera, Milan

In order to prevent this from happening, in view of the next 2014-2020 round of structural funds programming, a more appropriate formulation of background principles and target objectives for cultural and creative sectors in the wider context of EU’s competitiveness and cohesion policies is badly needed. The aim of this short paper is to provide some fresh inputs in this direction.


Background concepts: from Culture 1.0 to Culture 3.0


Milan everyday business

Milan everyday business

The misconceptions about the role of culture in the contemporary economic framework can be traced back to the persistence of obsolete conceptualizations of the relationship between cultural activity and the generation of economic (and social) value added. To illustrate this point, it is necessary to pin down a very basic narrative of the evolution of the relationship between the two spheres, of course keeping in mind that it is by necessity very sketchy and omits many aspects that would have primary relevance in a more comprehensive account (such as for instance the role of popular and grassroots culture, regional differences in public policies, and so on), which would however largely exceed the space limitations and scope of the present paper.

Culture 1.0 was a patronizing culture

For a very long time (centuries, indeed), such relationship has been structured according to what we could call the Culture 1.0 model, which basically revolves around the concept of patronage. The Culture 1.0 model is typical of a pre-industrial economy. In this context, culture is neither a proper economic sector of the economy nor it is accessible to the majority of potential audiences. The actual provision of culture is secured by the individual initiative of patrons, namely, people with large financial possibilities and high social status, who derived their wealth and status from sources other than cultural commissioning in itself, but decided to employ some of their resources to ensure that cultural producers could make a living, thereby getting the possibility to enjoy the outcome of creative production and to share it with their acquaintances.

Patronizing culture, of course, may be an effective means for further building the patron’s social status and reputation. But it is clear that this is made possible by the availability of resources that are gathered outside the cultural sphere, and that cultural production here entirely lives on subsidies and could not survive otherwise. In the patronage relationship, the wage of cultural producers tends to be regarded not as part of a market transaction, but rather as a sort of symbolic, mutual exchange of gifts between the patron and the artist – a practice that still survives in some cultural realms (e.g. Velthuis, 2005), and finds intriguing applications in new, culturally-mediated social platforms (Bergquist and Ljungberg, 2001). Clearly, this model can support only a very limited number of cultural producers, who entirely live upon the discretional power of the patron, and very limited audiences. Both the production of, and the access to, culture are therefore severely limited by economic and social barriers.

to the references

Source : Labkultur

Teaser Photo Tangled mind © olly –

Filed under: Analyses, Expériences, Gouvernances, Ingénieries, Politiques culturelles, , , , , , ,

Votre commentaire

Choisissez une méthode de connexion pour poster votre commentaire:


Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Déconnexion /  Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Connexion à %s

Principaux clics

  • Aucun

Audience stats (year nine)

  • 406 452 page views

Network map today : 3020 experts members and contributors

Rejoignez les 3 793 autres abonnés


Action artistique et culturelle Aménagement du territoire Architecture Art dans la ville Art et espace public Arts sciences et technologies Billets réflexifs Capitales européennes de la culture Coopération culturelle Coopération internationale Creative cities Création contemporaine Création numérique Cultural Engineering Group Culture et développement territorial Culture et innovation Dialogue interculturel Diversité culturelle Démocratisation de la culture Développement culturel Développement des territoires Développement durable Développement soutenable Economie créative Economie de la culture Equipements publics Ethique Europe Evaluation des politiques culturelles Financement de la culture Finances publiques Gouvernance culturelle Industries créatives Industries créatives et design Industries culturelles Ingénierie culturelle Ingénierie de la connaissance Ingénierie touristique Innovation Innovation sociale Interculturel Marché de l'art Marketing culturel Marketing des territoires Musées Musées et nouvelles technologies Mécénat Métropoles créatives Nouveaux médias Nouvelles gouvernances Nouvelles technologies Patrimoine Patrimoine numérique Politique culturelle Politique des territoires Politique européenne Politiques culturelles Politiques de l'innovation Politiques des territoires Politiques européennes Politiques publiques Politiques publiques et PPP Polémiques Prospective RGPP Réforme de l'Etat Réforme des collectivités territoriales Réformes Soft power Soutenabilité Tourisme Tourisme culturel Tourisme culturel et nouvelles technologies UNESCO Urban planning

Member of The Internet Defense League

%d blogueurs aiment cette page :