A Harmonious Path for Cultural and Creative Organizations? EU Cultural Policy and Business Model ‘Innovation’


Bethany Rex’s LDoc Post-Doctoral Fellowship focuses on situating the Creative Lenses project within the context of a transnational policy environment increasingly dominated by ‘creative industries’ or ‘cultural economy’ discourses where the cultural and creative sectors are addressed as one. One of the specific objectives that has accompanied this discourse at EU level has been the emphasis on ‘business model innovation’, positioned as a route to the financial sustainability policy it is assumed cultural organisations lack and desire to obtain. The Creative Lenses project emerged as part of this agenda, with a remit to facilitate and observe organisational change while raising questions about the negotiation of professional values and ethos in an environment where culture is increasingly seen as a saleable product and a key aspect of regional and national competitiveness strategies.


This study has two separate but related aims: first, to test the potential of visualization techniques drawn from design research to allow collaborative critical reflection on specific policy ideas, with an emphasis on its omissions; second, to apply this method to ‘business model innovation’ in order to bring to the surface the assumptions and normative preferences underpinning this concept.