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Developing the creative economy in Thailand

20 March 2018

British Council in Thailand

The success of the Welsh capital’s creative economy is achieving international recognition, thanks to the work of a Cardiff University team.

Director of Creative Economy at Cardiff University, Sara Pepper, has delivered a training programme for the British Council in Thailand focused on creative hubs. The three-day programme concentrated on building networks, growing communities and planning events as well as giving guidance on how to make engaging spaces and effective business models.

In Thailand, the growth and development of the creative economy is a current priority for the Government. The creative scene in Cardiff has mushroomed over the past five years, with coworking hubs becoming an integral part of working life for freelancers and small businesses.

The University’s Creative Economy unit has been at the forefront of that development since 2014, facilitating networking and knowledge sharing events for people leading and working in creative hubs. Recently they formed the Coworking Collective; a group to connect, engage and support coworking spaces and creative hubs across Wales.

Sara said: “The time I spent in Thailand was hugely enriching and inspiring. While creative hubs and co-working spaces are quite common in the UK, they are newer to Thailand’s work ecosystems. There is a significant opportunity to see real economic, social and cultural benefits by developing a network of hubs outside of Bangkok to support and enhance the growth and development of the creative industries and wider creative economy going forward.”

Professor George Boyne, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “I warmly welcome this project between Cardiff University’s Creative Economy team and British Council Thailand to assist the Government of Thailand’s pioneering initiative..."

"I am pleased that the team, under Sara Pepper’s leadership, is establishing global relationships to share knowledge and further understanding. I look forward to this initiative progressing and to strengthening our connections with Thailand.”

H.E. Dr. Suwit Maysinsee, Minister of Science and Technology opened the training course.

He said: “This is a great opportunity to connect with the UK and its excellent expertise in the field through this collaboration with British Council Thailand, and Cardiff University, in order to develop the innovation hubs and the hub managers.

“Hub managers play a very important role in connecting the resources, the knowledge, and the communities together in order to spur innovation and technology, which will greatly impact the local communities. I trust that what the hub managers will be learning and sharing will be really valuable in helping them to successfully manage their hubs, and in sustaining the impact of the hubs, which is the ultimate goal of the programme.”

British Council began their work on creative hubs in Thailand last year and produced the Creative Hub kit in Thai, a toolkit for those who want to set up creative hubs and to successfully manage them.

Andrew Glass, Country Director, British Council Thailand, said: “Since 2014, British Council has established a programme to develop creative hubs globally. We have worked with over 800 creative hubs around the world. Our work brings together the people from these hubs to build stronger creative economies through sharing ideas, experiences and skills.

“We see hubs as playing an integral role in the growth of the creative economy, while hub managers connect people and partners at all levels together, in order to create economic, cultural, and social impact, which drive the society forward. I would like to thank all partners involved, and wish that the collaboration will continue so that we can create a real impact to the society together and mutually benefit from this exchange of knowledge and expertise between the two countries.”

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