The webpage for cultural marketing & cultural sponsoring
12th CultureInvest! Congress

Recommendations for action from the CultureInvest! Congress 2020 - A summary of 72-hour-program marathon

The 12th CultureInvest! Congress from the 26 – 27 November 2020 opened under the motto “The innovative cultural enterprise. Climate neutral. Democratic. Participatory” with lively and controversial debates on socially relevant topics of sustainability, democracy and participation. Originally planned as an analogue event in 9 locations of the internationally renowned art and cultural area of the Schiffbauergasse in the climate city Potsdam, the cultural summit of the year has been produced as a TV-Show, streaming digitally and setting a new trend for innovative and digital congress formats within the European cultural market. The congress was opened by a speech of Dr. Manja Schüle, Minister for Science, Research and Culture. Dr. Robert Habeck, Federal Chairman of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, set an example for the social relevance of culture with his key note. In the 15 digital forums, European cultural experts, cultural politicians and representatives of companies that promote culture discussed, and formulated important recommendations for action in terms of cultural and market policy. The most important quotations and cultural policy recommendations for action for innovative impulses from the CultureInvest! Congress 2020 and the final discussion are summarized below. As written, the statements might differ from the exact wording of the speakers. The lively discussion rounds of the main forum as well as the closing discussion are available in full length online on the Youtube channel at

In her welcoming speech, patron Dr. Manja Schüle noted that the aid provided by the politic is “important, right and good”. However, she is convinced “that they are not enough to make culture fit for the future.” To transform cultural from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” and, preferably, a “proud-to-have”, the Minister of Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg calls for art and cultural policy to face up to the demands of a changing public in cooperation with creative artists and to jointly develop clever innovative approaches “for a real and not a seem-participatory climate neutrality”.

Dr. Robert Habeck, in his remarkable keynote address on “For a culture-friendly climate and a climate-friendly culture” defined today as a crisis-prone time. He pleads for a fundamental change of direction and sees politics as having a duty to question itself. “In addition to climate protection, it also needs measures to understand art and culture as a reserve and foundation of society and to promote it accordingly financially and politically!”

The Deputy Mayor for Education, Culture and Sports of the state capital Potsdam Noosha Aubel appeals to self-conduct and called on those involved in culture to help shape social discourse through content in order to do justice to the potential of culture. Sustainability must be a mandatory part of the funding requirements.

Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Professor Emeritus and founder of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, appealed to reason. In view of the critical developments regarding the climate, he sees a 25 percent chance of getting the climate crisis under control. This could also and especially be possible through cultre, because culture has a major role in giving meaning to transformations. Prof. Dr. Schellnhuber believes that culture has a duty to act proactively as a “decisive bracket” and to ensure that “knowledge and will are brought together” in a very concrete way.

“Culture must get out of the feuilleton, develop new formats within the many possibilities and use them innovatively!” is Erhard Grundl, member of the Bundestag, convinced. As cultural policy spokesman for the Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen parliamentary group, he calls for a Green New Culture Desk for a cultural policy of sustainability and thus “a nationwide platform for dialogue, networking and activation of ecologically oriented cultural productions.”

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Guérot, political scientist and researcher on Europe, calls for a redefinition of European space and a self-image as European citizens, as well as the linking of rural and urban space. "Opening spaces and transdisciplinarity can find new innovative ideas and solutions to today's challenges!"

"We need structural changes and transformations towards more participation in culture," demands Sandrine Micossé-Aikins, director of Diversity Arts Culture Berlin. Here, she says, education has a duty, but so does culture.

"Culture must work together with science, because culture has the ability to emotionalize knowledge in order to reach people!" demands Jochen Sandig, artistic director of the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele. In addition, he appeals to cultural actors to promote living democracy, because then "it will also be more difficult to be ignored".

The mayor of the climate and tolerance city of Potsdam, Mike Schubert, sees participation in urban areas as essential for successful integration. He appeals for more tolerance not only in Potsdam, but throughout Europe. However, he also takes the citizens to task: "It is important as a stranger in a new city not to remain a stranger, but above all to integrate culturally and thus become an integral part of a diverse society!"

Leoluca Orlando, mayor of the city of Palermo, was honored as the winner of the 2020 European Cultural Brands Award for his life's work in the fight against the mafia and racism, as well as for his treatment of refugees who have arrived in Palermo. Orlando takes culture to be responsible for creating identity. In addition, "culture must be open and changeable and thus enable participation." Culture has the potential to strengthen society and create an awareness of identity and belonging, he said.

In a joint declaration, the mayors of the cities of Palermo and Potsdam, Leoluca Orlando and Mike Schubert, have called for "a move away from the European policy of sealing people off to a humane migration and asylum policy." The declaration of the two cities was signed during the CultureInvest! Congress within a video conference by Leoluca Orlando in Palermo and by Mike Schubert in the Nikolaisaal Potsdam. Orlando and Schubert have worked together in recent months for a humane refugee policy and for the reception of people rescued from distress at sea in the Mediterranean. Potsdam also coordinates the German Cities of Safe Ports alliance, which now includes some 80 German municipalities from 13 states, including Berlin, Munich, Mainz, Kiel, Düsseldorf, Magdeburg and Rostock.

The 12th CultureInvest! Congress 2020 found answers to the three core topics of the main forums Climate, Democracy and Participation and highlighted the relevance of culture within and after the pandemic crisis in a central closing forum on the stage of the Nikolaisaal. Moderated by Peter Grabowski, the brilliant reporter on cultural policy, the panel discussed the question: "How innovative is the European cultural market? The challenges of climate, democracy and participation".

The discussants of the closing forum stated that more innovation is needed within the structures: "Projectitis is not enough", says Prof. Dr. Vanessa-Isabelle Reinwand-Weiss. And these structures also need innovation in terms of sustainable culture, democracy and participation. Slow processes, outdated structures prevent sustainable innovation. Task of the policy is it to secure the culture crisis-proof, by it to the state goal on federal level to be declared and networks to be created and promoted, within which party-spreading and long-term consensuses are formed, is Erhard Grundl, MdB, convinced. In addition, Reinwand-Weiß appealed to politicians and encouraged more guidelines and regulations that mark the boundaries within which creative work is freely possible. "Cultural actors must then come to terms with this, because it is not about restricting the creative freedom of artists!"

For more participation in cultural enterprises Prof. Dr. Ulrike Liedtke demands parity. The musicologist and president of the state parliament of Brandenburg is convinced that this can be achieved through the cooperation of cultural and political education as well as through the cooperation of the arts.

Jacob Bilabel calls for a transformation of these structures and sees in the crisis also an opportunity for innovation, because "innovation cannot exist without exnovation!" For a successful transformation, he concludes by recommending a triad of perspectives for politics and culture: "Think conservatively, i.e.: what must be kept? Thinking liberally: what are the market signals? And lastly, progressive thinking: What kind of world do we want to live in?"

Innovative expert impulses were provided in 15 parallel thematic forums at the CultureInvest! Congress 2020. Over the course of the two days, the participants discussed digitization, cultural entrepreneurship, cultural tourism, revitalization of historic sites, cultural education, urban culture, cultural transformation, marketing and financing strategies, and jointly developed ideas for the European cultural market. The 743 participants, who were able to follow the congress and the award ceremony of the European Cultural Brands Awards digitally and participate interactively, described the event, which has been considered the most important networking event in the sector since 2009, as extremely meaningful and trend-setting for a culture and a society in and after the crisis. The staff of Causales, initiator and organizer, summed up the findings of the CultureInvest! Congress 2020.

"The CultureInvest! Congress has once again shown that artists and cultural managers are very innovative and find creative solutions. It is the administrative and functional structures that are in need of rigorous transformation and urgently need to be reformed in order to bring about change and to be able to act democratically. The current situation shows once again how dependent art and culture are on politics. In addition, we need parity in order to create participation and involvement, especially with regard to the people in the eastern German states and the south of Europe. And we need to create conditions for women and minorities to participate and break down patriarchal structures." demands Luzie Sieckenius, cultural manager at Causales.

"In addition, strong networks, strategic alliances and extra-parliamentary initiatives, as well as communication that transcends generations and borders, are essential in order to learn from each other and to break new ground together. When forces are combined, outdated administrative structures can be transformed with the innovative power and enthusiasm of cultural actors, and the much-needed focus can be directed towards a truly culture-friendly climate and climate-friendly culture. However, these insights must also be carried into civil society. Cultural actors have the responsibility to create an awareness among citizens for sustainability, because it is everyone's task to face climate change and societal crises in a responsible way", recommends Nadine Ezerex from the Causales Team.

"However, real climate neutrality in the cultural market is only possible with the appropriate funding on the part of politics, in the spirit of the CultureInvest! Congress. Cultural providers are obliged to produce, mediate and market in a climate-neutral manner in the coming years. In addition, for the 6,500 museums, of which 3,500 are privately operated, 1,700 cinemas and 800 theatres and countless clubs, i.e., the approximately 10,000 relevant cultural institutions in Germany, which will need an average of 1 million euros each by 2030 to convert to climate-neutral operation, certainly 10 billion euros will be needed - this corresponds to the cultural budget of one year in Germany, which the federal government, the states and the municipalities spend per year. For the 100,000 relevant cultural institutions in Europe, however, this is equivalent to 100 billion euros that we need from the EU budget and the federal budget in the next few years for the Green New Culture Deal", says Causales Managing Director Hans-Conrad Walter.

"A small but important contribution to the discourse and to climate-neutral production was made by the digital realization of the congress. Just looking at the enormous amount of CO² saved. The 743 participants, and over 150 speakers and contributors have dispensed with a total of 167,174 km of travel through the digitalization of the congress and we as organizers have thereby saved almost 40 t CO², which corresponds to 48 trees," sums up Christine Fischer, manager of the CultureInvest! Congress. "I would like to thank all participants, cultural politicians, discussants and speakers for their willingness to experiment with a hybrid congress of this size. In particular, I would like to thank the more than 50 partners who, with their tireless cultural commitment, made the digital transformation of the 12th CultureInvest! Congress possible.

This year's CultureInvest! Congress was supported by the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg and the state capital Potsdam. In addition, 50 other partners supported the unique congress format. These include the Nikolaisaal Potsdam, the Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft, SAP, RSM, Bayer Kultur, Arnold Group, Mihai, Deutsche Welle, ARTE Magazin, innogy Stiftung für Energie und Gesellschaft gGmbH, Monheimer Kulturwerke, Kulturpersonal, public plan, Verlag der Tagesspiegel and Ticketmaster. The congress is curated by Causales - Gesellschaft für Kulturmarketing und Kultursponsoring, which is also the initiator and organizer. Registrations for the 13th CultureInvest! Congress 2021 with the award ceremony of the 16th Cultural Brands Awards from 10 - 12 November 2021 in the state capital Dresden are now possible at

      Main Funder                                                       
      Premium Partner