Innocrafts Newsletter - November 2014. Promoting entrepreneurship and business creation.
Newsletter #6 - November 2014
The final conference of INNOCRAFTS Project “Crafts Connections and Talks” was held in Florence at the Palagio di Parte Guelfa on 28th of October 2014. The official welcome together with the wish of future developments of an effective collaboration among partners was brought by the Municipality of Florence to the participants coming from over 15 countries.
The conference showcased the main results of the project and the outstanding Good Practices implemented by relevant actors in Europe in the field of crafts. Artistic craftsmanship, by combining the senses of taste, beauty and skill, nourishes the creative industry, which is a main driver of local development in some of the most advanced urban areas in Europe. It is of fundamental importance to keep the artistic crafts rooted in a network of city workshops and strengthen their multiple interactions with quality trade and tourism and social and cultural inclusion. This pivotal role, especially in towns with a rich craftsmanship tradition, explains the reasons behind the commitment of local authorities, stakeholders, and professional business associations in specific local policies and interventions that promote crafts. This synergy builds a local development model focused on the developing the crafts and, particularly, artistic craftsmanship, at the European level, also through the INNOCRAFTS project.
Today, in the face of the ICT revolution and economic globalization, we are rediscovering the value and dignity of manual labour, also as a source of quality employment and social and economic empowerment. New developments and trends in the post-industrial economy, emphasized by the economic crisis of recent years, are changing paradigms radically. The purely intellectual professions do not seem to offer a strong demand for labour, while some prospects in the technological evolution such as 3D printers might actually enhance highly creative skill in craftsmanship and decentralized small lot production.
The different interventions during the INNOCRAFTS Final Conference have confirmed this vision, the awareness of the role of artistic craftsmanship which, beyond the merely economic consideration of job creation and goods, becomes a catalyst for local economic development, enhancing the architectural and urban heritage, integration with sustainable and quality tourism, and social inclusion of disadvantaged groups. Artistic craftsmanship is therefore a sector that is truly capable of leading the local economy, “connecting” important development goals to it.The final conference has been an important opportunity to discuss together several topics and issues that have been planned in the local policies and agenda of all INNOCRAFTS partners for the years to come.