Smart City for Culture: How to use Digitalization to be Disruptive

Posted by Koen Snoeckx | 21 June 2017

Is Brussels a smart city for culture? It wants to be. Brussels Secretary of State for Digitalization believes that artists and cultural industries have their role to play in the evolution towards a smart city. The new vision for culture was presented at the Smart City for Culture conference on June 13.

Develop Digitalization Bottom-up

One of the important topics in being a smart city for culture is digitalization. According to Brussels Secretary of State for Digitalization Bianca Debaets, digitalization happens bottom-up. She thinks that artists and other makers have to take initiative and use digitalization to reach new audiences, like the young millenials that are very digital-minded.

More than Communication

Looking at consumers and learning from them, goes further than knowing how to approach them. In society many new ideas arise. Being open minded towards digitalization for smart cities and smart cultural systems, is key to be valuable to consumers.

Five tips on how to make Brussels a smart city for culture by Alain Heureux (Brussels Creative, the Creative Ring):

  1. Be open, don’t close your eyes for developments. It’s not just something that is influenced by big corparates such as Google and Facebook. If it’s current for your audience, it should be current for you.
  2. Don’t fight or ban it with laws or in other ways. If it’s what consumers what, it will happen, in the end. (Think of Über in Europe.)
  3. Take a moment to actually look at your customers and learn from them. How do they live? How do they use digital tools? What’s important for them? How do they think?
  4. There is no such thing as competition, there is only cooperation. Create together, create value. If you add value to people’s lives, there will be interest.
  5. Be creative, because that’s what we’re good at.

Download: Pour une nouvelle vision de la culture – Publication (French) in La Belgique, June 15.

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