Symptoms of Creativity

Culture and creativity are powerful – not only as sources of identity, enjoyment and self-actualisation, but also as the critical drivers of cohesion, inclusion, innovation and growth. However, their potential to provide solutions to the most pressing challenges remains largely untapped. More than anything or anyone before, COVID-19 has brought this potential to light. Culture and creative industries can undoubtedly help lead the way out of the crisis, but they have been hit hard by the crisis themselves.

The 2020 edition of Creative Forum Ljubljana will take place in the midst of this turmoil. Policymakers try to support cultural and creative sectors so that, in turn, they can help the economy and society to bounce back. The stakes seem to be higher than ever. Shortly after #ECIS2020, Creative Forum Ljubljana will delve into the debate by addressing the critical need to bring culture and creative industries closer to the traditional ones. It is a win-win scenario for the future.

What are the symptoms of creativity and how can we develop them into a full-blown creative outbreak?

The world has changed and so has the Forum.
This year, Creative Forum Ljubljana is:

BUSINESS-ORIENTED: In order to amplify its message and widen its reach, it has joined Innovation Day. Year by year, this traditional Slovenian event, organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, celebrates innovative achievements at the international level. This year, in a combined programme, it will lend voice to companies that thrive on their innovative cooperation with cultural and creative sectors.

GLOBAL: The current challenges go far beyond the regional scope. Consequently, the Forum will adapt by connecting speakers and participants from all over the world. Its capacity-building modules, however, will remain oriented towards its traditional target audience: the Western Balkans and the European Neighbourhood.

ONLINE: Naturally, we will miss the hands-on community building and inspiring debates over coffee breaks. However, we will gain by reaching out to new audiences and by adopting new formats of cooperation – more direct and immediate.

Join the Forum to see how industry and commerce benefit from the innovation capacities of the creatives. What are the best practices? What policy framework is needed? Can the existing platforms and support mechanisms do more in these already challenging times? What is the role and the challenge of creative hubs? Share your experience with us, question high-profile speakers or simply get inspired.



Opening Speeches


Key note: Grow Your Business Through Service Innovation

Kristi Hodak, Associate Design Director at McKinsey & Company, United Kingdom

We are living in paradoxical times. We have the tools to connect us to each other across the globe in a second, and the technology to share our knowledge instantly, yet we still waste hours filling paper forms for simple everyday services and meaningless tasks. Kristi Hodak, a service design specialist and an expert in implementing transformational services in a sustainable way, will speak about the rethinking of these long-running, bureaucratic and complex systems and about how to replace them with simple, beneficial services that improve our everyday lives.




Leaders’ Panel: From Unplanned Spill-overs to Deliberate Cross-overs

moderated by Ragnar Siil, Cultural Policy and Creative Industries Expert, Estonia

Governments around the world are starting to understand the spillover effects of the creative industries – the unplanned impact on other sectors, e.g. tourism or social well-being. However, what is still mostly absent is deliberate and planned coordination between the creative industries and other policy areas to foster positive results and fully take advantage of the transformative impact.

Ministers of culture and the economy and high-level representatives of the European Commission and the OECD are invited to discuss practical ways to advance impacting crossovers between culture, the economy, and other areas, and to bring culture from the wings to centre stage. Together, we are seeking an answer to the question: what is the role of creativity in the building of more cohesive, more innovative and happier societies?

Service Design in Slovenia – Why, When, Where and Who?

moderated by dr. Aleš Ugovšek, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Slovenia

Services are booming and taking on an increasingly important role in our daily lives. As consumers become more critical and demanding, it is becoming even more important to design these services more effectively. Over the past 30 years, many service design methods have been developed in order to better understand the customer’s perspective. How have these methods reshaped the Slovenian service sector? In which industries has design thinking taken root? Join us and meet some of the companies that have stepped up their game with service design!


Lunchtime Concert by the Pijammies


Preparing Fertile Grounds: Policies to Connect Business and Creativity

moderated by Bernd Fesel, Chair of the European Creative Business Network, Germany,  to be confirmed

The value of cultural and creative industries extends far beyond the immediate beneficial effects of culture on an individual’s well-being and community cohesion. Establishing links to industry and commerce has beneficial spillover effects, not only for businesses but also for the economy in general. This is why governments actively support further integration of the CCI into other economic sectors. Which policy instruments have proved effective when trying to bring companies and creatives closer? We will take a closer look at selected policies that have made the biggest bang!

Creating Value: Companies and Creatives Hand in Hand

moderated by Matej Golob, Innovation Management Consultant, Slovenia

Innovative practices in culture and creativity not only reinforce the innovative capacities of the CCI sector, but spill over into new approaches, practices, services, and products in the economy at large. Companies that understand such potential include creatives in their production processes. What do the cultural and creative sectors bring to the table? Which approaches of CCI inclusion have proved to be the most successful? Join the panel to see first-hand how companies benefit from collaboration with the cultural and creative sectors.




Art&Science: What Artistic Innovation can Give to Science&Business?

moderated by Peter Purg, PhD, Researcher of Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship, Slovenia

Artists are increasingly joining scientists in their research facilities; the tools and methodologies used by artists and designers radically shift the way research questions are conceived and the way problems are discussed and articulated. These unorthodox methodologies often lead to unorthodox solutions, providing inspiration not only to the teams they are part of but also to society at large. Can artists engage meaningfully in all phases of scientific research? Where could the outsiders’ artistic approach contribute the most? Can these participatory methodologies also provide inspiration for addressing the burning issues of the present? Join leading entrepreneurs and researchers to find out how artists add value to their work.

Creative Hubs Session: Hacking New Realities

moderated by Luka Piškorič & Eva Matjaž, Poligon Creative Centre, Slovenia
(on invitation only)

Recognised for their important role in fostering communities of creative professionals and businesses, creative hubs are on the frontline of the challenges facing the creative sector. While the coronavirus crisis has forced many of the hubs to drastically limit their activities, this session will invite creative hub managers to co-create survival strategies for their hubs and communities.


Tutorial for Innovators


Networking and Reflection




National Innovation Awards Ceremony


Online Capacity Building:
Management in Creative Industries

Previous editions of Creative Forum Ljubljana, targeting the Western Balkans and the Southern Mediterranean, have reaffirmed the large creative potential of the young in the region. Cultural and creative industries employ highly skilled individuals with sufficient knowledge and expertise to envisage and create new products, new services and new ways of working and cooperation. There is nevertheless a perceived lack of managerial skills in the creative sector where more often than not creatives also become executives. The various crises resulting from the pandemic only reinforced the needs for skilled managers that will be able to cope with the ever-changing environment. Creative Forum Ljubljana teamed up with Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) and the IEDC Bled School of Management in order to provide a capacity building program, limited to participants from:

Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Palestine, Serbia, Slovenia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine. You can apply and find additional information here.


All sessions of this year’s online edition will be held in English.
Please register before joining programme.

+386 1 478 67 65


Creative Forum Ljubljana is a platform for a lively and cross-sectoral exchange between creatives, entrepreneurs and policy makers. It invites different sectors – industry, foreign policy, education, tourism and more – to jointly create an enabling environment for the cultural and creative sector to prosper. It provides capacity building, networking opportunities and room for debate. It is an advocate for and a catalyst of policy change.

Primarily, it targets the regions of the Western Balkans and the Southern Mediterranean. However, it knows no geographical limits and partners with institutions and businesses from around the globe. A strong cultural and creative sector is a global need. It is key to development, peace and people’s well-being.

The Forum was launched in 2018, in cooperation between the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Union for the Mediterranean. Since then, it has considerably grown and joined forces with a wide array of international partners. While its first edition in 2018 reviewed the regional state of affairs in the cultural and creative sector, the 2019 edition set the ground for collective action under the title “Creative Capital United”. Many new partnerships were established and new ideas born. Some networks expanded and others were imagined for the future.



Strategic partners


Associate Partners