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How creative and cultural expertise can serve as a force to solve significant social challenges

Anna Lyrevik och Charlotte Lorentz Hjorth
Anna Lyrevik, Vice-Chancellor for Culture and chair of the steering group for work with the Culture KIC, together with project manager Charlotte Lorentz Hjorth from LU Collaboration. Photo: Bodil Malmström

On April 29, Lund University presented the strengths with which it aims to contribute to the world’s largest investment in cultural and creative sectors. The ‘Buzz of Europe’ conference showcased opportunities that the broad University can offer.

Held in a packed university auditorium, the event was aimed at anyone interested in joining the Creatives & Friends network, which has now been established with industry, researchers, entrepreneurs and cities. The day functioned as a kick-off event for people to meet and interact.

“Creativity and innovation are at the heart of every university. Lund University's motto is to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition. We are ready to play our part and we invite you to join us,” was the message conveyed by Vice-Chancellor Erik Renström in his opening speech.

During the afternoon, several examples were presented of how cultural and creative sectors and industries are driving change. It was also highlighted that Lund University is a ‘cultural kaleidoscope’ in which culture and creativity are expressed in many ways.

Birgitta Persson
Birgitta Persson, process manager at Future by Lund, spoke about existential sustainability and how art and culture can play an important role. Photo: Bodil Malmström

For the Creatives & Friends network, existential sustainability is what holds together the things you wish to achieve in a change process. So, what is existential sustainability?

“Not all development is positive. We need to reflect on what is important and what affects our sustainable existence in the change process we need to carry out in order to tackle social challenges,” said Charlotte Lorentz Hjorth, project manager at LU Collaboration.

“We live in an unpredictable world, but culture and creativity can help us navigate and develop. We just have to get started,” said Kristina Eneroth, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Collaboration at Lund University.

Lisa Lang, Director of EU Affairs and EIT Climate KIC, and Muchaneta Kapfunde, founder of digital magazine FashNerd
Lisa Lang, Director of EU Affairs and EIT Climate KIC, and Muchaneta Kapfunde, founder of digital magazine FashNerd, discussed the conditions for the fashion industry of tomorrow and the transition to more circular fashion. Photo: Bodil Malmström

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an EU body that aims to strengthen Europe’s ability to innovate. The EIT is an important part of Horizon Europe, the EU’s key funding framework for research and innovation.

An EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) brings together partners from industry and business as well as research and higher education, with the aim to strengthen innovation ability. There are currently eight KICs, which all focus on specific areas such as climate change, sustainable energy and digitisation.  

The Creative Futures application consists of 50 core partners from 20 different European countries. Lund University is the only Swedish core partner. The evaluation of the applications for the EIT Culture KIC has now begun and is expected to be finalised within a couple of months.