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New Article: “Culture as an objective for and a means of achieving a Wellbeing Economy”

We are delighted to announce that the article “Culture as an objective for and a means of achieving a Wellbeing Economy“, written by Avans University of Applied Sciences Professors, Sebastian Olmaarrow and Kaj Morelarrow, in close collaboration with esteemed colleagues from the US, Australia and Scotland, is now published in the Springer journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communications.

The article aims to redefine the role of culture in the quest for a Wellbeing Economy, highlighting its vital but often overlooked significance. We discuss how culture has been commodified by neoliberal economics, emphasizing its potential for economic growth at the expense of social cohesion. The article also demonstrates why cultural development is essential for positive social change, fostering conversations, shared understandings, and communal spaces. In its conclusion, the authors argue that to address current crises and build a flourishing future, advocates of Wellbeing Economy and related models should prioritize cultural development as a non-commodified social asset if we are to adequately respond to current crises and navigate to a flourishing and habitable future for ourselves and our descendants.


Read the full article herearrow


This article is the outcome of the prolific collaboration between the Centre of Applied Research for Art, Design and Technology | Caradt arrow and the Centre of Expertise Brede Welvaart en Nieuw Ondernemerschap | BWNOarrow and is related to the international symposium Wellbeing Economy meets Critical Imaginationarrow that took place in September 2022.

‘Our research group investigates the role artists, designers and cultural producers in general can play in developing the aesthetics and poetics of a desirable future.’

Sebastian Olma is professor Cultural and Creative Industries. He works for the Expertise Centre Art, Design and Technology.

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Research Group: Cultural and Creative Industries

The research group Cultural and Creative Industries investigates the role of artists and designers as creative innovators and drivers of social and economic change. Affiliated researchers analyse the cultural and creative industries from a critical point of view and examine the conditions under which timely forms of aesthetic expression and social connectedness can actually take place within the precarious reality of this field. What economic models are required by artists and designers to create a meaningful practice within the aesthetic, social, and economic intentions of the cultural and creative industries? What skills sets are required for those artists and designers who don’t just want to follow movements, but actually shape novel social and economic models of the future?

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