Culture, Creativity and Sustainable Development.
Research, Innovation, Opportunities.

2 – 4 October 2014 (Florence, Italy)



The first UNESCO World Forum on Culture and the Cultural Industries (2009) laid the groundwork for a long-awaited dialogue between the public and private sectors on the role of culture in development. For the first time, the Forum opened up new perspectives on the economic and social impact of culture as well as on its contribution towards building inclusive societies and spotlighted ‘innovation’ as the culture sector’s defining characteristic. This growing awareness has led both national Governments and United Nations Agencies to increase their efforts to measure the contribution of culture to sustainable economic and social growth, with a special attention on job opportunities for younger generations. The second edition of the Forum (2011) focused on the challenges facing the diverse realms of publishing and reading today. Both editions were organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the Italian Government with the support of the Lombardy Region and the City of Monza.

Third edition – Culture, Creativity and Sustainable Development

The third edition of the UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries (2- 4 October 2014), organized in cooperation with the Italian Government and with the support of the Tuscany Region and the Municipality of Florence, aims to ensure that culture is duly taken into account in international development policies and strategies, especially at a time when the post-2015 development agenda is being elaborated. The Florence Forum will build on the momentum generated by UNESCO’s recent achievements in this area, notably the 2013 Special Edition of the Creative Economy Report, co-published by UNESCO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the three successive UN General Assembly resolutions on culture and development (2010, 2011 and 2013), which recognize the role of culture as an enabler and driver of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.


The Forum will pursue the following objectives:

  • sharing experiences and propose strategic recommendations on the role of culture and cultural industries in promoting sustainable development;
  • showcasing the results of the United Nations Development Group Post-2015 Dialogues on Culture and Development;
  • and informing the elaboration process of the post-2015 development agenda of the United Nations.


Devoted to the theme, “Culture, Creativity and Sustainable Development: Research, Innovation, Opportunities”, the Forum will analyse culture’s crucial role in forging a sustainable future for societies through its potential to add value and stimulate employment, growth and innovation while also promoting social cohesion, identity, human dignity and inclusion. Among the topics to be explored:

  • Culture and Creativity: a Double Commitment to the Future;
  • Cultural Industries, Employment and Growth;
  • Nurturing Culture for the Sustainable Development of Urban and Rural Areas;
  • The Power of Culture for Inclusive Societies;
  • Innovation, Technology and Know-How for Sustainable Futures;
  • New Approaches to Measuring Change;
  • Investing in Culture;
  • Culture and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Expected outcomes

The Forum will conclude with the adoption of the “Florence Declaration”, which will propose recommendations on maximizing the role of culture to achieve sustainable development and effective ways of integrating culture in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

This international encounter will also provide a timely platform to showcase the results of the Post-2015 Dialogues on “Culture and Development” launched by the United Nations Development Group throughout 2014, under the co-leadership of UNESCO, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on related topics, such as culture’s role in poverty reduction, education, gender equality and women’s empowerment, sustainable cities, the environment and reconciliation.


Governmental decision-makers, representatives of the private sector and civil society, including international experts and academics from all regions of the world.


2 to 4 October 2014


Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy.


The Forum will be organized in plenary sessions and parallel thematic panel discussions.

A moderator and a rapporteur will oversee each panel discussion. The results of the debate will be reported during the last plenary, foreseen on 4th October.