Within the overarching theme of Creative Times: new models for cultural development, the 6th World Summit focused on how globalisation, shifts in social and economic development, and new forms of communication are generating an array of challenges and opportunities within the cultural field, and on how this is impacting on the development of our societies and nations.

The theme for the 6th World Summit was addressed through two sub-themes:

1. Critical Times

We are witnessing paradigm shifts resulting from various scenarios such as responses to crises, rethinking of development priorities locally and in the context of the reassessment of the MDGs, and the emergence of new forms of creation, participation in and appreciation of culture in the world.

In critical times, does culture lead or respond?

This axis will explore the following perspectives:

Economic shifts and flow: Diverse responses to complex economic scenarios such as new policies to develop the cultural sector, the potential role of creative industries to bridge the gap between culture and economy and be a tool for growth and regeneration in both developing countries and developed economies, and the emergence of mixed models to support arts and culture in a competitive funding landscape.

The role of culture in natural and environmental disaster management: Examining the role culture plays in the reconstruction of societies following catastrophe, and in engendering the community's consciousness about their tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

Social reconfiguration: What opportunities and tools can the cultural sector offer when communities are faced with social change?  From community cultural development at the local government level through to international guidelines such as UNESCO´s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Political changes: The role of arts and culture in the face of political upheaval, in building more democratic and representative spaces for discussions around ideological tensions.

2. Creative Spaces

The second axis will consider the role of the arts and culture in the activation of diverse spaces for creative convergence and exchange, as well as important vehicles for knowledge transfer, innovation, and the development of entrepreneurship.

This axis will explore the following perspectives:

Creativity and technology: Systems and spaces for creative development, new ways to relate, create, participate and network such as new media, video games, social media, and other technologies, and their constraints and possibilities.  Also, exploring themes related to copyright, authenticity, and intellectual property in the digital age.

Spaces for creation and presentation: Recovery of cultural spaces, formats for international cultural exchange and how they intersect with local and community contexts, models for urban design, the role and influence of social architecture, and the role of design and creative disciplines outside the cultural sector.

Creative industries, financing and entrepreneurship: Policies and models for developing creative industries, entrepreneurship in the creative sector and its impact on national development, policies for promoting new funding models, including mixed (public/private) funding for the arts, and new models for philanthropy and gift giving.

Audience participation in culture: New strategies and channels to promote and evaluate public participation in culture, including new models of inclusion of the arts and culture in education, and capacity building in the cultural sector to diversify cultural consumption habits.  

With these perspectives in mind, we sought to engage with the following questions:

 In critical times, does culture take an active or reactive role?
• How do arts and culture transform the possibilities of development in the world in which we live?
• What models provide evidence of this transformation?