Business Models and the Creative Indutries

Blog post by Dr. Nicola Searle

In the age of digital, the creative industries have been transformed as new technologies, formats and platforms introduce a dizzying array of possibilities. One of these possibilities is the concept of new business models – that is, new ways of structuring businesses in the creative industries to take advantage of the new opportunities.  However, business models in the creative industries have been remarkably stable.

As part of a research project funded by CREATe at the University of Glasgow, Dr. Nicola Searle (Goldsmiths) developed a meta-analysis of business models in the creative industries based on five years of research by the centre. Her findings are surprising – business models have largely not changed as a result of the digital era. Instead, firms in the creative industries have largely stuck to what they have always done – selling products and services to their clients.

A business model, “describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value.” (Osterwalder & Pigneur, 2010) 1  A well-designed business model should help a business take advantage of their existing assets, and develop strategies for long-term survival. Business model innovation, the process by which new business models are developed, is something we would expect to see in the changing landscape in the creative industries. However, Dr. Searle’s research suggests that is not the case as the core value capture – selling goods and services – is stable.  While some of the bigger players in the creative industries, like platforms such as Spotify, are introducing new business models, the typical firm in the creative industry has not changed its core proposition.

You can read more about Dr. Searle’s findings in her CREATe working paper here. The report also includes a policy analysis, detailing the interaction between business models, Intellectual Property (IP) and UK government policy. This work is part of Dr. Searle’s on-going research and is currently being expanded to capture a wider sample size for the meta-analysis.


1 Osterwalder, Alexander and Yves Pigneur (2010) Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers


Photo caption: Dr. Searle launching the report, “Business Models, Intellectual Property and the Creative Industries: A Meta-analysis” at the Digital Catapult Centre earlier this year.

Everyday Legend

Report on London Workshop 18th October 2017

The workshop opened at 14.00 with Chinese drumming and dancing provided by performers from the Confucius Institute for the Performing Arts. This was followed by welcome speeches from Annie Guo (Director of Confucius Institute and Co-Director for the Asia Centre) and Gerald Lidstone (Director of Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship).

The workshop was opened at 14.20 by Jiang Jiehong (Birmingham City University) with an introduction to the project. The first speaker was Oliver Moore (Groningen University) who provided an analysis of the artistry of craftwork in Shanxi Province. He also explored how the sage, Mozi, (ca. 468 – ca. 391 BC) had been interpreted over time in relation to craft production, though little was known of the details of his life. He also flagged up his research on the history of Chinese photography.

He was followed Ouyang Ningming who gave us a background of his work in sculpting and modeling and is views on the future prospects for Chinese crafts. He explained that Chinese today lived in a fast moving and disposable way of life in which crafts were not centrally placed and the need to enthuse younger generations and to find ways of conserving knowledge. Hui Man Chan provided a very precise translation.

After a refreshment break, Michael Hitchcock (Goldsmiths) talked about some of the theoretical debates in Sociology and Anthropology on authenticity within the context of tourism and related this discussion to the situation in Shanxi. He also considered issues relating to creativity and economic viability in relation to craft production.

The last speaker was Jiang Jiehong who provided an overview of his experience in curating contemporary Chinese art and what might be usefully applied in the context of crafts in Shanxi. His talk was followed by a long discussion which covered a variety of topics but coalesced around the link between contemporary art and traditional crafts. There were noteworthy interventions from Kelly Meng, Mike Featherstone and Tomoko Tamari from Goldsmiths, and Luise Guest from White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney, as well as Nan Nan of the New Century Art Foundation.

After the closure of the workshop, the group was taken on a guided tour of Goldsmiths College visiting, in particular, heritage buildings such as Deptford Town Hall.

New documentary film released in Brazil by Cecilia Dinardi

New documentary film about artists, creative economy and urban regeneration released in Brazil by Cecilia Dinardi






How are culture and the arts transforming contemporary cities? What is the role of artists in urban regeneration and gentrification? How are the cultural and the creative economy fields related? Dr Cecilia Dinardi, Lecturer in Cultural Policy and Arts Management at ICCE, addresses these questions in her recently released film, ‘Bhering, the making of an arts factory’, her first experience in producing, directing and editing a film.

The film is a short research documentary about artists, creative economy and urban regeneration in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which draws on Cecilia’s previous postdoctoral fieldwork about creative cities in Latin America, looking at Bhering as a case study – a former chocolate factory that has become one of Rio’s main creative hubs and is currently entangled in urban redevelopment projects affecting the city’s central and port areas.

The documentary was presented at a public screening event organised last month at Conexão Rio in Bhering, the very place where it was shot. The film screening was part of the wider monthly event ‘Arts Circuit’, which artists and other creative workers organise, and attracted thousands of visitors in the August edition. There was a heated debate following the film; among the audience were members of the general public, artists, creative economy entrepreneurs, local residents, researchers and policymakers.

A video of the event is available here

As a local resident put it, ‘The memory of a place lies not only in its past, but also in what’s been going on in the present. [Cecilia] portrayed a living and active arts scenery, despite the difficult moment of Bhering and its surroundings nowadays’.

The film collects different visions, opinions and dreams about the future of the factory and the city, and is an invitation to think about the opportunities and challenges facing the development of creative economies.



EUNIC – Siena Cultural Relations Forum

Rod Fisher, Associate Lecturer in ICCE, participated in the first Siena Cultural Relations Forum, organised by EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) and the University of Siena in Pontignano, Italy, from 11-14 June. The Forum, supported by the EU’s Creative Europe programme, brought together more than 40 cultural relations policymakers and practitioners, academics and researchers from around the world to build bridges between the theory, policy and practice of cultural relations. There was a risk that such a mix of participants might not have yielded any consensus, but in fact there was general agreement on the steps that needed to be taken to ensure the impetus for action was maintained.

The context for the Forum was the moves by the European Union to develop a strategic approach to the employment of culture in its external relations, and its desire to generate a new spirit of dialogue, mutual listening and learning, capacity building, co-creation and global solidarity. This was very much in line with the recommendations of “Engaging the World: Towards Global Cultural Citizenship”, the 2014 report of the Preparatory Action on Culture in EU External Relations ( to which Rod and Dr Carla Figueira from ICCE made significant contributions. The event also took place in the context of a new co-operation agreement between EUNIC, the European Commission and its European External Action Service to develop joint cultural activities in countries where conditions are favourable.

Kingston RPM: To Make a Record Exhibition

ICCE has just been joined by Claire Cooke who will lead the professional practice modules in BA Art Management. Below she discusses her recent experience curating To Make A Record  an oral history exhibition in Kingston Upon Thames

To Make A Record is the public exhibition of Kingston RPM: Records People, Music – an oral history project that documents local residents involvement with the music industry  as producers,  factory workers and consumers between 1942 and 1979.  As Heritage Lead on this exciting, multi-platform project I have been responsible for developing the initial idea to uncover and celebrate three key periods in Kingston’s music history:  the stationing of American Soldiers during  (and after) World War II  at Camp Griffiss and the music they brought with them,  the presence of  Decca Records and its processing plant in New Malden and the  network of pubs, clubs and venues that were home to innovators of jazz, r&B and rock ‘n’ roll  – including The Toby Jug where David Bowie launched The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars.

In order to chart an accessible path through these potentially disparate and  complex subjects  I decided to focus the exhibition on the vinyl record ;  as an item of entertainment and exchange for the American GIs,  as what was made and  developed at Decca (the British label pioneered the use and circulation of LPs) and as reflective of the growing ‘gig’ culture of 1950s-70s which offered  greater opportunities to make and see live music. It was also clear – working with oral history and therefore capturing memories  – that a focus on locality and site would bind together stories and events that may not otherwise have a public record.

Once we had agreed this theme,  the team set about collecting the oral histories on which the exhibition was based with a dedicated group of volunteers, an exhibition designer was engaged, memorabilia collected  and  practicalities discussed with the venue including  what physical space is available  – and what else will be there for the duration of the  exhibition? What are the opening hours? Who’s in charge of maintenance?  Audiences – how do we cater for both those  who  ‘stumble across’ it or make a specific journey to visit? What elements of the exhibition should be participatory ? All of these factors have an impact on the final show and its production . Press and marketing are also crucial to build that audience, as is an evaluation framework to gain feedback to develop future projects onsite.

Kingston  RPM has been  produced by Creative Youth  ( –   a charity which supports  youth people to reach their potential through the arts and are originators  the annual International Youth Arts Festival  (  – with funding secured through Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Royal Borough of Kingston.   The project was an opportunity to  bring  Kingston’s rich music heritage to  the fore and contextualise Creative Youth’s support of emerging artists, performers and musicians in the area.

To Make a Record is just one of Kingston RPM’s heritage outcomes:  we still need to collect additional oral histories, develop further our team of volunteers skills, ensure the  testimonies  are in an appropriate format for the Kingston History Centre to add to their collection and create an education resource.  There is also a record day, record fair and album release to come.

To Make a Record is open daily at The Rose Theatre Kingston  until September 9th

Record Day is 8th July @ The Rose Theatre. More info here:

Dr Brkic moderating a panel discussion at the conference on “Perspectives of national cultural policies development in the EU context”

Dr Aleksandar Brkic, Lecturer at ICCE, participated as the moderator at the international conference ‘Perspectives of national cultural policies development in the EU context: critical dialogues’ in Zagreb, Croatia, 17-19th of May 2017. Conference was organized by IRMO – Institute for Development and International Relations from Zagreb (, with two current Ministers of Culture and one former one actively participating in the debates (Mr Janko Ljumović, Minister of Culture, Montenegro; Nina Obuljen, Minister of Culture, Croatia and Corina Suteu, former Minister of Culture, Romania).

The conference intended to contribute to enhancing the knowledge about the relevant cultural policy processes at the European Union level addressing the pivotal question whether it is time for a paradigm shift in cultural policies and what are the possible ways forward. It will tackle different challenges for EU and national cultural policies through two keynote lectures addressing EU and national level issues of cultural policies; and four working sessions that will focus on the following themes:

  • Cultural policies and the crisis in/of European Union – how to achieve sustainable cultural development?
  • Strategies and tendencies of local cultural development in Europe: the role and impact of European Capital of Culture project
  • What kind of European comparative cultural policy research is needed today?
  • National cultural policies in need of vision, innovation and leadership.

Dr Brkić moderated the panel discussion “The crisis in/of European Union and cultural policies: how to achieve sustainable cultural development?” with Dr Marcin Poprawski, Deputy Dean for International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan; Ms Catherine Cullen, Special Advisor on Culture in Sustainable Cities, Committee on Culture, UCLG; Dr Ole Marius Hylland, Senior Researcher, TRI Telemark Research Institute; Mr Teodor Celakoski, cultural worker and activist “Pravo na grad” and Mr Robert Manchin, President of Culture Action Europe.

You can find out more about the conference on this link

Starts Today! Workshop @ Goldsmiths – Two Olympic Cities: London and Tokyo

Starts today @ 5.30pm in the Professor Stuart Hall Building Lecture Theatre LG01

Please find schedule here, this is a free event

London, Rio, Tokyo Olympics Symposium will explore the changes accompanying the 2012 London Olympics, the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The symposium will focus on existing research and interventions concerning the ways that global events have been accompanied by urban transformations and new forms of social (dis)advantage and exclusions, in different urban/nation-state contexts.

What does the future hold for existing Olympic Cities? Are there ways of holding mega events which bring genuine benefits to cities and their citizens? How might the promises of ‘legacy’ be realised in more open and democratic ways?


Day 01 – Thursday 8th June

5:30 – 6:00pm – Registration Room: PSH LG 01

6:00 – 7:30 – Welcome and Opening: Room: PSH LG 01

7:30-8.30 – Wine Reception + Photo Exhibition Room: Kingsway Corridor

Day 02 – Friday 9th June

9.15 – 3.45 Presentations: RHB 256

4.30 – London Olympic site walking tour with Phil Cohen: Olympic Park – Stratford

Day 03 – Saturday 10th June

10:00-15:30 Olympics Researchers Network Sessions: PSH 305



Professor Mike Featherstone awarded Honorary Degree


Professor Mike Featherstone was awarded an honorary degree by the New Bulgarian University. The award was presented to Professor Featherstone for his merits in the field of sociology and the social sciences and for his assistance to the development of the New Bulgarian University. His academic speech was entitled “the formation of life and deal with these dilemmas of aging”.

For more information –!17643


Dr Richard Hull runs workshop for the British Council on key trends in Social Enterprise

THURSDAY 25 MAY 2017 –

17:30 TO 20:00

About workshop:

This workshop will introduce participants to key trends in social enterprise, especially the multi-stakeholder model, and a UK approach to teaching social enterprise in a university setting. An example from Goldsmiths will be showcased, involving the development of a well-informed appreciation of the complexities of understanding and evaluating social impact, which we will address in some depth.

  • Trends in social enterprise and trend towards the multi-stakeholder model
  • UK approach to teaching social enterprise
  • Understanding and evaluating social impact and social value – Theories of Change; and comparing, for example, Social Return on Investment, Social Accounting and GIIRS.

The workshop is a part of the Thai-UK University Social Enterprise Curriculum Development “Buddy” Programme of the British Council.

About the Speaker:

After nearly 20 years researching and teaching in UK Business Schools Dr. Hullleft academic life in 2011 for voluntary community development work. He was lured back into academe in 2014 by the prospect of taking over the reins running the excellent Masters Programme in Social Entrepreneurship. Goldsmiths is famous world-wide for its creativity and innovativeness and He is pleased to see this reflected within the programme.

Dr Hull is an accomplished academic researcher with a rigorous cross-disciplinary approach. This is based firstly on practical experience with Third Sector organisations complemented by expertise in organisational development. This draws upon his expertise in Innovation Studies which provides analytical tools drawing on economics, history, political economy, social theory and sociology. Since 2007 his research has focussed on practical involvement with the Third Sector – especially social enterprises – and community development. He previously worked at Newcastle University Business School, Manchester Business School, Brunel University and the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology.

Dr. Hull has over 50 publications including a paper reprinted in two different international reference collections. He was the Founding Series Editor of Dialogues in Critical Management Studies and co-editor of the collections The Third Sector (Emerald, 2011), Managing Knowledge: Critical Investigations of Work and Learning (Macmillan, 2000), and Knowledge and Innovation in the New Service Economy (Edward Elgar, 2000).

For more details about event, please call 02-657-5678, e-mail:


Professor Michael Hitchcock’s fieldwork in Shandong

Michael Hitchcock poses beside an ancient tree in the Temple of Confucius during fieldwork for the Shandong Tourism Masterplan (2016)

Professor Michael Hitchcock was the UNWTO Cultural Heritage and Museums specialist for the Shandong Province Tourism Masterplan. The contract for the plan was awarded to UNWTO and the Masterplan was accepted by Shandong Province in late 2016. In order to prepare his part of the plan, Michael conducted two months of fieldwork in Shandong working in collaboration with specialists from Shandong Normal University.

Michael visited Bandung twice in 2016-17 to link up with researchers at the renowned higher education institute known as ITB. ITB has had an MOU with ICCE for several years and a new MOU between ITB and Goldsmiths was agreed in early 2017. ITB counts Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president, among its alumni.

 Michael has continued to supervise PhD students at his former university (MUST) in Macau. he has also continued to co-author papers with former colleagues and has managed to publish in high impact refereed journals. Over the 2016-17 period he will have made 3 visits in Macau.

In partnership with Birmingham City University, Michael will visit northern China to work on a project funded by the Leverhulme Foundation. The project concerns the current viability of handicrafts and furniture in contemporary Chinese markets, and the collaboration involves researchers from China, the UK and The Netherlands.