Innovators for the society of the future.

A new talent promotion initiative of the Foreign Ministry‘s Department of International Cultural Policy gives creative minds on the interface between artistically, culturally and socio-politically relevant creative art an international stage.

This is anything but an everyday opportunity.

CREATIVE AUSTRIA has already been working together with the Austrian Foreign Ministry’s Department of International Cultural Policy (Österreichische Auslandskulturabteilung) for some years now. Among other things they make sure that this magazine is distributed in a hundred countries all over the world. Now the department’s creative minds, Teresa Indjein and Peter Mikl, have asked us if we would like to cooperate on the development of their new promotion initiative. The aim of this project is to put young, creative Austrian minds, whose ideas are on the interface between artistically, culturally and socio-politically relevant art, into the limelight.

Of course we were up for this challenge!

The main issue that we considered while developing this programme was the following question: What meaning and social value do creative artists’ works and ideas have apart from their economic usability? It is only too often that creative art is reduced one-dimensionally to such economic factors. Following an extensive research project that looked into competitive cultural and scientific promotion programmes, a list containing about a hundred possible candidates, who qualified for these projects, was put together. A jury selected eighteen of these candidates for the promotion initiative’s first period.

Wanted were creative minds who did not only identify virulent topics of socio-political relevance in their works, but who also provided practical solutions and offered possible paths for future developments; paths which can be applied both globally as well as locally.

The spectrum of topics is extremely broad: Is it possible to precisely predict the location and time when famines occur? Can one make it possible for blind people to use tablet-pcs? Could biological measures help save a substantial part of those corn crops that are destroyed by vermin each year? What if intact drinking water supplies in the third world’s metropoles were something more than a utopia? Is food trade without packaging waste possible? Do we have access to our own images which surveillance systems produce on a daily basis? Austrians have come up with creative answers and practical solutions to questions like these.

However, the CREATIVE AUSTRIANS programme does not only focus on practical solutions. It also contains a theoretical part, in which expert writers analyse the kind of influence that existing paradigms have on the constructive development of creativity in our society. They approach this topic from cultural, philosophical, social and economic perspectives.

The CREATIVE AUSTRIANS programme is available in the form of a book that can be ordered from the Foreign Ministry’s Department of International Cultural Policy. Additionally, it will be presented at various events in the department’s worldwide network.