The second meeting within Visegrad Urban Creativity Cluster Network project took place on May 23–25 in Krakow, the second biggest city in Poland. Thanks to the involvement of Villa Decius, as the project partner, our team spent these three days in the most productive way and we would like to share our experience with you.
Day 1. Villa Decius
Villa Decius The first half of the day was so called Inspirational part. Anton Shynkaruk (National University of Water and Environmental Engineering, Rivne), the Project Coordinator, and Małgorzata Różańska, coordinator of the project from Villa Decius, welcomed all participants and gave information about the Project. Then Oleh Lahodniuk (Vice-rector of NUWEE, Rivne) gave a presentation about the University as the leading partner of the Project.
The next speakers were from Krakow: Prof. Andrzej Pach (Vice-Rector for Science, AGH University for Science and Technology,) Mateusz Zmyślony, (originator of the FIRM-IDEA) and Izabela Chyłek (Co-owner of Pauza In Garden and Kiermash).
Prof. Andrzej Pach spoke about the University and its place in creative economy and creative industries of Krakow.
Mateusz Zmyślony explained a new vision of economy — Open Eyes Economy. He also presented basic ideas and principals of OEES. Firm idea is a section devoted to enterprises driven by responsibility and social involvement with business operations based on true values. According to it, future belongs to fair companies that achieve good economic results owing to trust that they truly deserve. From the business perspective, Firm-Ideas incorporate the Open Eyes Economy. City-Idea implies a public space where the community of Conscious Consumers meets the Firm-Idea. That is the space for the enactment, the formation of regulations, the determination of the principles of mutual cooperation and joint creation of culture. The civil society comprises people who want to buy from Firm-Ideas and to co-generate Culture based on community values. The City-Idea is an ecological space, capable of permanent self-reflection, and constantly driving to reach the sustainability.
Izabela Chyłek gave her view on the creative city concept using her own experience, as she is a café owner as well as founder of Kiermash, a famous festival in Krakow. The main idea behind Izabela’s work is the constant search for new interesting solutions. As a result , every evening in her café, called Pauza In Garden, is a unique event for a unique audience, and events are scheduled for weeks ahead. As for Kiermash, the founders find rundown buildings for creative events, meetings, etc. Last year, for example, they chose the old DWORZEC GŁÓWNY as the place for the event.
The second half of the day was dedicated to work in small groups. Małgorzata Różańska, the coordinator of the Krakow meeting, told us about the problems and goals of Villa Decius Association. Later we participated in the workshop aimed at identifying and responding to challenges faced by the Association. All the participants were divided into three groups and tried to brainstorm ideas concerning Villa Decius potential in the following sections: : Culture meets business, Culture meets new technologies and Culture meets space. There were a lot of interesting suggestions made, such as to work more with creative industries in Krakow, especially with TV and film industries; introduce new technology, use the potential of virtual reality, 3D printing; attract more people, students in particular; organize thematic events, contests (e.g. advertising), etc. We do hope that the workshop was productive and will lead to some positive changes.
Day 2. The City
The next day began with the visit to one of the biggest universities in Krakow — the Cracow University of Economics — which has over 20,000 students. This higher educational institution works closely with the city government, community and business to develop the strategy for research, innovation involvement in the activities of different companies, both Polish and foreign ones. We listened to dr Krzysztof Głuc and dr Tomasz Geodecki who presented priorities for developing infrastructure, creative innovation and information society. The speakers also gave some information about peculiarities of the development strategy construction, the vision of Smart City concept and other projects.
Our next meeting took place in the Centre for Enhancing Entrepreneurship and Department of City Development. We had the possibility to listen to professional who focused on startups, creative industries, and hackathons organized in Krakow. The meeting turned into a conversation about the very essence of the creative city concept.
The rest of the day our team spent visiting most interesting creative spaces in the city. One of them is Tytano, the former tobacco factory, the complex that belongs to the city but has been used to build a creative community there. Today the space integrates local businesses and community initiatives in food, nightlife, art, culture, design and entrepreneurship to create a small city within the city.
Day 3. Summing-up
On our third day in Krakow, we discussed the results of all our meetings: the project partners exchanged ideas and impressions and participated in another workshop conducted by Anton Shynkaruk. The workshop focused on event management.
So the key idea of the Krakow meeting is the following: Creative city is built by creative people living there.