UNESCO Conference Champions Lifelong Learning in Arts and Culture

UNESCO Conference Champions Lifelong Learning in Arts and Culture: Materahub Takes the Stage

Paolo Montemurro, Director of Materahub, took center stage in an important panel about CCIs during the event in Abu Dhabi.

From February 13th to 15th, Abu Dhabi played host to a gathering like no other—the UNESCO World Conference on Culture and Arts Education.

Picture this: nearly 1,000 stakeholders from the realms of culture and education, including ministers, representatives of UNESCO Member States, policymakers, experts, NGOs, UN agencies, academia, and the private sector, all under one roof.

The goal? To rally support for UNESCO’s newly designed framework for Culture and Arts Education, a blueprint advocating for lifelong learning in culture and art across all educational settings.

This framework isn’t just another bureaucratic document—it’s a call to action. It urges policymakers to place culture and the arts at the forefront of education policies, strategies, curricula, and programs.

Developed through inclusive consultations with diverse stakeholders, it zeroes in on three core objectives: integrating culture and arts education into sustainable development efforts, harnessing technology while mitigating risks, and seamlessly integrating arts education into policies and programs. In a world grappling with rising inequalities, armed conflicts, and various forms of discrimination that sow social divisions and hinder sustainable development, it’s more crucial than ever to rethink our approach.

As outlined in the UNESCO Framework for Culture and Arts Education (Final draft 2024), it’s time to envision a future that’s peaceful, just, and sustainable for all.

The role of Materahub

Now, here’s where things get exciting. Among the esteemed participants was Materahub, representing Italy alongside Istituto Marangoni Dubai and other international organizations. Led by our Director Paolo Montemurro, Materahub took center stage in a thought-provoking panel titled “Cultivating Creativity: Empowering and Nurturing Innovators in Cultural and Creative Industries.

Paolo Montemurro, Director of Materahub, during his talk - Credits: UNESCO UAE Media
Paolo Montemurro, Director of Materahub, during his talk – Credits: UNESCO UAE Media


Moderated by Antigoni Komidiki of Junior Achievement Cyprus, the panel featured a lineup of distinguished speakers, including Diana Filip (Junior Achievement Europe), Alessandra Borchi (UNESCO Transcultura Programme Coordinator), Elena Marinoni (Istituto Marangoni Dubai), Woo Yen Yen (Lasalle College of the Arts / University of the Arts Singapore), Stavros V. Kyriakides (Kyriakides Piano Gallery and Avant-Garde Foundation), and Thekla Papantoniou (Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO). With a commitment to placing Culture and Arts Education on the national agenda, it was emphasized the importance of collaboration with various stakeholders to equip the younger generation with the skills and knowledge necessary for positive cultural change.

Our panel about CCI and education

The panel discussion aims to emphasize the pivotal role of education in the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI), focusing on empowering young creatives to contribute positively to the cultural sector while fostering innovation, inclusivity, and integrity. Key topics include interdisciplinary skills development, entrepreneurship, ethical considerations regarding access and community engagement, and multi-stakeholder collaboration. The overall objective is to inspire investment in CCI education, aiming to unlock young minds’ full potential as ethical entrepreneurs and innovators.

Our expertise in cultural entrepreneurship brought a fresh perspective to the table. Together, we explored the contextual conditions necessary for fostering new cultural and creative enterprises, with a particular focus on the making of enabling ecosystems. A theme that resonated and interested the audience was the informality of the new cultural spaces and the role that policymakers can play as facilitators of this processes.

Introduction to Transcultura

One highlight of the panel was the introduction of UNESCO’s groundbreaking program, Transcultura: Integrating Cuba, the Caribbean, and the European Union through Culture and Creativity. This initiative, funded by the European Union, aims to provide career opportunities for young culture professionals in the Caribbean, marking a significant step forward in promoting Culture and Arts Education for the creative economy.

Paolo Montemurro with other guests in Abu Dhabi - Credits: UNESCO UAE Media
Paolo Montemurro with other guests in Abu Dhabi - Credits: UNESCO UAE Media