The ASEAN Creative Cities Forum and Exhibition takes place this April 24-26 at BGC Arts Center, Taguig. An initiative by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Design Center of the Philippines and with support from the British Council, this thought leadership event focuses on the critical role cities and hubs play in the development of a sustainable and inclusive creative ecosystem. It is part of DTI’s calendar of activities under the ASEAN 2017 Business and Investment Program. DTI heads the ASEAN’s Committee on Business and Investment Promotion as the Philippines takes the ASEAN chairmanship.

The forum itself takes place on April 26-27. Several experts from the United Kingdom will be speaking, notably Prof John Howkins, Andrew Erskine, Gillian Easson, and Ellen O’Hara.

Prof John Howkins first coined the term “creative economy” in 2001 in his book The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas. This has become the seminal account of how creative people think and develop new ideas. According to him, a creative economy places and measures value on ideas and other imaginative qualities, rather than the traditional economic indicators such as land, labor, and capital. Dr. Howkins is deputy chairman of the British Screen Advisory Council (BSAC), and Member of the United Nations UNDP Advisory Committee on the Creative Economy.

Andrew Erskine is Senior Associate and Design Lead of Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy.  Core to Erkine’s work is creativity’s transformative effect on all aspects of our lives. This involves projects that build connections between place-making, regeneration, social inclusion and diversity, economic growth and sustainability. Andrew is asked to speak frequently in the UK and abroad, often on issues related to emerging and new economies. He launched two new media start-ups—elancentric, an award winning portal for freelancers and Alodis a multi-platform service for self-employed professionals. Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy is a leading international consultancy firm for institutions and governments on the creative economy, cultural policy, and creative cities and regions.

Gillian Easson is the co-founding director of Creative Dundee, a network which amplifies the city’s creativity, enabling creative talent to grow and sustain their practice in and around the city. She is also part of the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design team in Dundee.

Ellen O’Hara is a creative and cultural strategist, previously heading the Business Development of award-winning craft incubator Cockpit Arts in the UK. She previously worked for The Prince’s Trust, Arts Council England, and Andersens management consultancy.

Recognizing the growing importance of hubs and creative clusters in cities, the British Council supports and stimulates the wider creative economy they are rooted in, particularly in times of political and financial uncertainty. The British Council has been working with and supporting creative cities and hubs around the world for several years. This has included programmes such as the European Creative Hubs Forum, Creative Hub Making Vietnam, and mapping studies for example in Europe, Vietnam and Taiwan.

In the Philippines, British Council supports the creative industries through policy development, capacity building for creative entrepreneurs, cultural leadership programmes, and through art projects that promote the importance of liveable and sustainable cities.

For more information on event programme and registration, visit https://www.britishcouncil.ph/programmes/arts/creative-industries/asean-forum.