Professor Andy Pratt will lead a multidisciplinary team for a prestigious four-year project

By City Press Office (City Press Office), Published

Professor Andy Pratt was recently appointed as a UNESCO Chair in Global Creative Economy, based at City, University of London, from 2022 to 2026, with scope to continue beyond the four-year appointment.

The project will be based at the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries (CCCI), of which Professor Pratt is the Director, situated within City’s Department of Media, Culture and Creative Industries. The appointment is worth over $3 million to City, with a total budget over $4 million.

Professor Pratt will lead a multidisciplinary team of academics in geography and urban studies, economics, economic sociology, and media and cultural studies situated within the broad field of Creative Economy. The academics will share their expertise as part of this UNESCO project to enable sustainable and equal development in creative industries and communities.

Professor Pratt said:

We are very honoured, and pleased, to host this new UNESCO Chair, the very first in the world to focus on the Creative Economy.

“This Chair will help to promote debate and understanding of the creative economy and act as a global beacon of new education initiatives, training, and professional development; a repository of knowledge and innovation of policy initiatives; and a leading research centre.

“It is appropriate that this initiative is based at City, University of London, where the first master’s level programme in the world on arts management was launched, as well as the first undergraduate programme in the world on Creative and Cultural Industries.”

City academics involved in the project include Dr Jenny Mbaye, Professor Jo Littler, Professor Ros Gill, Dr Diana Yeh, Professor Robin Kim, Dr Ana Gaio, Professor Jean Chalaby, Professor Petros Iosifidis and Dr Carolina Matos.

The UNESCO agenda concerns addressed as part of Professor Pratt’s appointment will incorporate quality education, gender and inequality, decent work and growth, industry, innovation and jobs, reducing inequality, sustainable cities and communities, and responsible production and consumption.

Professor Andy Pratt discusses his research on cultural and creative industries

He will also be addressing key challenges in equitable and sustainable development in relation to youth and gender culture, and fostering creativity and the diversity of cultural expressions. Furthermore, UNESCO objectives to address the cultural industries of locations including Africa and Small Island Developing States will also enjoy a strong focus.

The project aims to offer a space to share concerns about issues such as public sector decline, shortage of funds and post-Covid recovery through expert seminars, training courses and modules as well as provide solutions.

Additionally, the Chair will “act as a beacon to legitimise and to promote this field of studies globally” through lectures, short courses and advice on syllabus design. As part of this aim, City is developing a UNESCO e-course on creative economy and policy, as well as a new postgraduate degree, MA Global Creative Industries.

The Chair will also “curate and sustain a repository of research and policy” – in building a research network of creative economy researchers, developing related programmes and establishing a panel of key creative economy agencies to analyse the policy field, a large number of beneficiaries will be affected: from those in academia to policy and creative economy practitioners, as well as civil society organisations involved in the field.

A central website will be established to host a repository of key research linkages and research sources, with social media used to notify and spread awareness of any new research. The journal City, Culture and Society will also be publishing research on a regular basis.

Words: Ruth Almodal

About Professor Andy Pratt

Professor Andy Pratt is an internationally acclaimed expert on the topic of the cultural industries. He is a fellow of the Royal SocietyProfessor Andy Pratt of Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.

He has held academic appointments at University College London (Bartlett School of Planning) and LSE (Geography, and Urban Research Centre, King’s College, London (Culture, Media and Creative Industries). He joined City, University of London as Professor of Cultural Economy in 2013. He has published over 190 items: books, chapters and articles.

Professor Pratt has worked as a cultural strategy advisor for the cities of Hong Kong, Barcelona, Bilbao and Shanghai as well as UNCTAD, UNESCO and WIPO. He has also sat on various advisory boards including the Steering Committee for the European Cultural Creative Summit in 2009 and the Greater London Authority Expert Advisory Committee on Creative Industries in 2006.