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MONITORS OF CULTURE final recommendations. Strategy is very little based in data and information, it’s more based in “what’s in the air” and the “what’s popular now”. Collecting data is the first step. The second is to think about how to use that data.

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final recommendations


Strategy is very little based in data and information, it’s more based in “what’s in the air” and the “what’s popular now”.

Collecting data is the first step. The second is to think about how to use that data.

It is absolutely essential to have networks to share and compare at the international level.

Nobody is a unique agent anymore. We must although avoid overlappings and deficiencies.

Abundance (of information) does not equal transparence.

A map of cultural observation instead of a map of cultural observatories?

How to provide information to people thinking in a very different way?


To face complexity is the challenge.

Learning by examples. Maybe this is the kind of training observatories can offer.

How to do an independent work being dependent of funding?

Observatories can very well face the needs of education and training.

Maybe we should also ask ourselves the what for and where to of cultural observatories.

The capacity to enforce through the analysis of information.

The role of the observatories is to make evident the value of culture.

Our view is inevitably subjective.


1. The European landscape of Cultural Observatories is rich and varied. Institutional format, organisational structure, resources, goals and actions are quite heterogeneous. This must be considered an element of vitality and democracy, responding to the wide range of needs and expectations on the part of local communities, cultural actors and administrations


2. The present transition requires deeper involvement of Cultural Observatories. Its features are evident: public budgets for culture are subject to cuts, while creative industries are viewed as a driver for economic growth; cultural markets are converging and incorporating technology; cultural consumers migrate through forms and styles, and often produce cultural text


3. Cultural Observatories can effectively play their role of critical mediators between society and cultural community on one hand, and public decision-makers on the other. This requires independence from political power, arm’s length from cultural actors, multi-disciplinary approach, stable financial resources


4. Culture is quickly evolving, and its contents are prevailing upon its material substratum. It’s a long and wide process, requiring a balanced combination of general analysis and specific focuses. Cultural Observatories should adopt a long-run perspective and track supply and demand in their complexity and multi-dimensionality. Economic and social impact of culture must be included in their analyses


5. Action undertaken by Cultural Observatories should go beyond data collection, and focus upon interpretation and prescription. This requires co-operation with other organisations committed to data collection and evaluation, ability to consider stakeholders’ views, to incorporate qualitative analysis and to elaborate appropriate indicators and benchmarks to measure performance and impact upon markets


6. Cultural Observatories can play a crucial role in this period of transition. This implies a common willingness to overcome the local dimension, and to activate a wider network able to adopt a comparative approach. In such a way the complex evolution of culture can be properly interpreted, and its dynamics optimised within a wider territorial scope and a long-run view