OECD Conference on Culture and Local Development : Closing remarks


Closing Remarks by Angel Gurría

OECD Secretary-General

07 December 2018 - Mestre, Italy

(As prepared for delivery) 



Caro Ministro Tria, Distinti ospiti, Signore e signori,

La Conferenza OCSE sulla Cultura e lo Sviluppo Locale sta giungendo alla fine.

In questi due giorni abbiamo analizzato quali strumenti e politiche sono necessari perché i settori culturali e creativi diventino motori ancora più essenziali dello sviluppo economico, umano e sociale.

We questioned how to maximise the impact of cultural heritage; how to fulfil the potential of creative industries; how to finance culture; or how to better link art to technologies. We also explored the linkages of culture with urban regeneration, education, wellbeing and inclusion.

A key take-away is that policymakers need to establish cross-cutting policy initiatives that link policies targeting competitive advantage, innovation, well-being and social cohesion.

These cross-cutting policy initiatives require a coherent and coordinated approach, especially at the local level. This is why enhanced responsibilities at city level, as we heard yesterday from Mayor Brugnaro, are sometimes key to fully deliver.

That is how we unleash the transformative power of culture and creativity for local development!


Future OECD work on culture

But to make it happen, and ensure that our call for putting culture front and centre of any sustainable development strategies resonates beyond the beautiful walls of the Scuola Grande, we need more and better data!

The OECD is the house of evidence-based policy guidance. As part of the OECD programme of work on cities, regions, and local economic development, we will continue to produce more internationally comparable data on culture and creative employment in our countries, regions and cities to inform policies; including by building on our unique international regional and metropolitan databases.

These data will support our research in four specific areas:

On the first area, we will work with national and local policy makers to support the emergence of the creative economy by adapting business support infrastructure; and by developing the right skills for ensuring quality jobs, including by upscaling supports to self-employed creatives and address the informal and secondary nature of many creative jobs.

For the second area, we will deepen our analysis on the contribution of heritage to local development, looking beyond museums to include other cultural institutions, like libraries and theatres for instance.

For the third area, we will look more closely at the link between cultural participation, well-being and inclusive growth.

The fourth area of research will seek to get more out of public and private investment in culture. For this, a clear understanding of the financing challenges in the culture sector is key. The OECD will bring culture and subnational finance together by engaging in new work that helps regions and cities make the most of their financing for successful investments in culture. For that, we will rely on the OECD Global Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment, which is a unique platform dedicated to collecting comparable data and information on subnational finance from over 100 countries.

Finally, we also see a lot of potential in bringing our work on culture closer to our work on tourism. The latter plays an important role in raising awareness of the value of cultural assets, as well as the need for their protection and sustainable management.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

This Conference has been a new, exciting landmark in a long journey we begun together several years ago.

Le mie ultime parole di ringraziamento vanno al Governo Italiano, al Ministro della Cultura Bonisoli che ha sostenuto questo progetto con passione, e al Ministro Tria qui presente, che ha dimostrato una forte leadership su questi temi.

Vorrei anche ringraziare i nostri partners – la Fondazione di Venezia, la Città di Venezia e la Regione Veneto – per l’impegno esemplare che ha reso possibile questa conferenza. Infine, grazie a tutti voi, per il vostro interesse e i vostri contributi che hanno arricchito questi dibattiti, rendendoli un’ispirazione fondamentale per i nostri lavori futuri.

Carlo Goldoni, famoso drammaturgo veneziano, scrisse: “Il mondo è un bel libro, ma poco serve a chi non sa leggerlo”.

You can count on the OECD to “help read this beautiful book” and continue develop policies that unleash the transformative power of culture and creativity for local development, contributing to our vision of better policies for better lives.



See also:

OECD work on Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities

OECD work on Inclusive Growth

OECD work with Italy


Related Documents