Blog

European SME week

'Think Small' to fight against difficult times.

The European SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) week has started today and will see a huge number of events occur in no less than 35 countries until 14 May 2009.

The European Commission believes that Small and Medium businesses are an answer to tackle the crisis across the continent and have therefore decided to deploy teams to support these events aiming at boosting entrepreneurship throughout. These are directed to entrepreneurs but also students to stimulate entrepreneurship, inform about the different types of support they can benefit from and also create a big scale networking effect.

'Inspiration', 'information', 'advice', 'support' and 'ideas' are the key concepts being brought forward by the European Commission this week.

Günter Verheugen, the vice-president for Enterprise and Industry said: "This Commission together with the Member States has worked hard to improve the conditions for small companies. If there is a way out of the economic downturn, it is the SMEs’ creativity, flexibility and capacity to find solutions. Together we have already achieved improvements. But we must go further. We need more SMEs as they are the true drivers of growth and job creation"

'Think Small but Global'

'Think Creative'

'Think Flexible'

is what Creative Culture believes in too.

We support the initiative of the European Commission and are looking forward to taking part to it.

To find events near you or to learn more about the European SME week visit:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/entrepreneurship/sme-week/events/index_en.htm

By Melanie Chevalier

Endgame

And how Apartheid was brought down in South Africa.

Creative Culture attended the TV preview screening of Endgame on Tuesday 21 April which was organised by The British Academy of Film and Arts (BAFTA) in London.

The film, directed by Peter Travis, depicts the 5 years preceding the end of Apartheid in South Africa which was officialised the day Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in 1990.

Based on a true story, Travis unveils the secret talks and negotiations undertaken by Michael Young, a British businessman who wanted to secure his company’s future by ensuring political and economical stability in South Africa.  He brought together powerful and opposing players of the divided nation. Amongst them, Professor Esterhuyse, an influential Afrikaner, and Thabo Mbeki, a leading member of the ANC (African National Congress) who was to become President of South Africa a few years later.

In this captivating political thriller, we follow the evolution of the secret negotiations taking place in Somerset, England, along with the political chaos, violence and corruption which ruled in South Africa at the time.

This piece of work is extremely interesting from a cultural perspective as it reveals a very important historical event which has influenced South Africa’s identity as it stands today. It approaches the subject with subtlety and fairness. Not at any instance is your judgement biased or influenced and rightly so, the film never questions who is right or who is wrong. But the one point that is made is that communication and understanding are the key to solving even the strongest political conflicts.

The film was put together in close collaboration with Michael Young who wanted to ensure the story would be revealed to the general public is the most accurate and fair way. Michael Young was present at the screening and participated to a very interesting Q&A session with other guests such as Paula Milne, the writer, Her Excellency Lindiwe Mabuza, the South African High Commissioner and Peter Travis.

We highly recommend this movie which will be broadcasted in the UK on Channel 4 on 4 May 2009.

Cultural and historical learnings as well as a human lesson. A beautiful cast.

By Melanie Chevalier

Blind Sunflowers

Creative Culture attended the event for the UK launch of Blind Sunflowers (Los girasoles ciegos) by Alberto Mendez at the Instituto Cervantes in London on 15th January.

A must read for the lovers of Spanish culture. A book which allows foreign communities to better understand why Spain is such an atypical country today and the scars the Civil War and Franco’s regime left on its population. Spain as we know it today emerged after 3 years of Civil War followed by 36 years of authoritarian regime under Franco. It took 30 years after the fall of this regime for testimonies such as the one beautifully delivered by Mendez to spread around the World and describe what was going to change a whole nation.

Blind Sunflowers starts one day before the end of the Civil War as Franco’s regime is taking Spain over. This novel is the one and only book Mendez ever wrote, a subject which was very important to him and which seemingly marked his life. He delivers his testimony through four short stories. The characters he builds up throughout the novel all have quite a strong implication in the War as civilians, religious figures or even Army members. Despite being a short piece of work, this novel is extremely dense. It guides you through the characters’ deepest sentiments and motivations. They become part of you. Along the way you realise that you are getting implicated in the subject as well and follow their ‘adventure’ passionately.

In front of a majorly Spanish audience, Nick Caistor, the translator of Blind Sunflowers, was being interviewed by Nick Rankin, a famous BBC World journalist. Unanimously, the final result of Nick Caistor’s interpretation and close approach of Mendez’ novel is mind blowing.

Arcadia Book, the UK publisher, and Turnaround, the distributor, attended the event as well.

Towards the end of the event, we got the chance to have testimonies from Spaniards who lived under the Franco regime most of their lives.

An enriching experience throughout!

 

Links:
www.arcadiabooks.co.uk
www.turnaround-uk.com

By Melanie Chevalier

2009: The European Year of Creativity and Innovation

2009 is the official European Year of Creativity and Innovation. The European Member States will be focusing in promoting creativity and innovation as a source of personal, professional, social and economical development.

In the current economical and financial context, the European Union believes that creativity is a great stimulator to create new opportunities and so do we!

Projects, seminars and events will be organized in all Member States. Anywhere you are, we recommend you check them out. The website also provides you with a local coordinator for each market who can be your guide through this coming exciting year.

One focus of this year’s agenda is “Cultural diversity as source of creativity and innovation”. At Creative Culture, we support this concept. Through our activity and values, we work hard to be a major actor in this movement in all creative and cultural sectors.

“Culture is all the dreams and labour tending towards forging humanity. Culture requests a paradoxical pact: diversity must be the principle of unity, taking stock of differences is necessary not to divide, but to enrich culture even more."
Denis de Rougemont

The first element that has ever united Europe, even before the Economical Union, was culture. Our continent has shared this cultural diversity and heritage for centuries and has managed to exploit them as a strength.

For this coming year, cultural diversity shall definitely be the principle of unity in Europe and around the world. This is our aim, our passion.

For more information on the European Year of Creativity and Innovation visit: http://www.create2009.europa.eu/

By Melanie Chevalier