CAMEo Conference, 5-6 September 2019

By Karen Patel on September 10th, 2019

The annual conference held by CAMEo (Institute for Cultural and Media Economies) at the University of Leicester brings together academics from around the world researching all aspects of creative industries and cultural policy. Myself and fellow Creative Industries Cluster member Annette Naudin were invited to speak this year and we both presented work on craft, based on work to be featured in our upcoming edited collection Craft Entrepreneurship (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020). My work also stems from my AHRC Innovation Fellowship work on diversity and expertise development in craft, more on that here.

Mark Banks of CAMEo opened the conference with an overview of the current challenges and opportunities for research. He raised concerns about economic stagnation and ecological crises which, currently, the creative economy is blind to because of power and vested interests. He argued that the future is receding into the now, and thus creative economy possibilities are narrowing, not expanding. Banks argued that as researchers we need to move past prescribed notions of culture – new creative economy imaginaries are needed in order to re-world, or re-future, the creative economy. Dr Kim Marie-Spence of Southampton Solent raised the important point in a Tweet about considering the Global South:

This conference has been running for three years and I think this was the best one yet. A great range of panels and papers, and most importantly, a welcoming, friendly and inclusive atmosphere. A huge thanks to the organisers for putting on such a great conference.