Do creative industries have the power to improve lives?

Do creative industries have the power to improve lives?

VIENNA, 28 November 2017 – An IT wunderkind from Kazakhstan, a “startups angel” from Bosnia, a young craftswoman from Tajikistan and a Government official from Cuba all took part in an event organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) today. A Knowledge Hub focus group discussion on “Creative Industries for Improving Lives” was held as part of the 17th Session of the UNIDO General Conference.

The session was organized by UNIDO’s Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation (TII) and the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Programme. Speakers from Austria, Armenia, Cuba, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan discussed the work of UNIDO and partners in the field of cultural and creative industries. Fostering innovation, whilst adding value to cultural heritage and modernizing production techniques and services, are core to the Organization’s work in this area. Providing access to new markets and creating jobs are also key.

The discussion was moderated by the founder and CEO of 1MillionStart-Ups, Selma Prodanovic, and focused on sharing experiences and knowledge of enabling creative industries to improve lives.

UNIDO National Project Coordinator, Araksya Grigoryan and project beneficiary, Suren Azatyan, spoke about bringing innovation to traditional enterprises. Uniting under a joint brand “5900 BC”, 23 Armenian garment and footwear producers have strengthened their skills in design and product development, marketing, and enterprise modernization thanks to a UNIDO project funded by the Russian Federation. As a result, a number of Armenian products have found buyers in external markets.

Since 2012, UNIDO has been supporting the modernization of the carpet and home textile industries of Tajikistan through a project co-funded by the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation.  “Customers prefer high quality products with a strong story behind them and sustainability is an important factor when it comes to deciding which product to buy.” affirmed designer and trainer, Hamideh Jafari-Sahamieh.

Talking about how creativity changes lives, Sara Smith, from the Cuban Permanent Mission in Vienna,  presented the example of a unique project, jointly implemented by UNIDO and the Ministry of Culture of Cuba (MINCULT) with financial support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), focused on strengthening the Cuban music industry. She emphasized that UNIDO’s holistic approach to cultural activity in Cuba promotes partnerships to create new jobs, and to boost tourism and local economic development.

The Founder of Robo Wunderkind, Rustem Akishbekov, has merged robotics and design to create fun, programmable robots for children from the age of five.

“I must admit, there has never been a better time for working together and joining hands to leverage cultural heritage and the creativity of people to generate sustainable impact on people’s lives, create new jobs and  fuel the engine of 21st century – creativity,” said Prodanovic. "And I think that with the help of  organizations, such as UNIDO, these projects must expand more”.

For more information on UNIDO Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation projects, please contact:

Farrukh Alimdjanov, PTC/TII/BCI