Call for Paper and Contributions

April 3 – 5 there will be a conference in Matera, Italy inviting contributions on the theme of business models in the arts and cultural sector. For a variety of reasons, ranging from concerns about reductions in public funding to a policy landscape centred on the creative economy, governments in Europe have turned to business models as a focus for intervention and as a solution to the challenges arts and cultural organisations face. While all organisations can be said to have a business model, the encouragement from funding initiatives to modify business models in response to a changing external environment is not always well received by cultural actors/organisations who make sense of their practice using alternative languages.

This conference is the final event of the Creative Lenses’s collaboration project funded by Creative Europe programme with the intention to explore the relationship between developing new business models and sector-specific ethical codes and professional principles using practice-orientated methods.

The aim of the conference is to bring the project’s findings into conversation with scholars and practitioners from further afield to identify best practice/experience and invest in a global conversation for the future development of effective business models for this sector. To reflect the collaborative nature of Creative Lenses, both academics and practitioners will report on findings from the 4-year long project.

This call for papers and contributions welcomes submission of abstracts around the theme of business models, addressing, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • The future of business models for arts and cultural organisations, particularly from global contexts where public infrastructures of support are limited including examples of innovative practice.
  • The negotiation of professional ethics in the context of a pressure to alter business models.
  • Critical approaches to the introduction of business logics and language into arts and cultural organisations.
  • Examples of commercial/profit-making approaches to cultural provision where a commitment to generating forms of value or outcomes beyond the financial are present.
  • Examples of how leadership, governance and other organisational practices contribute to negotiating business model change.
  • Reflections on the implications of focusing on business models for professional identities in the sector.
  • Implications of business model change for equalities, diversity, inclusion.

We invite authors and participants to submit ideas for research papers, reflective case studies, provocations or visual/performative contributions.

About Creative Lenses

 This is a four-year collaboration project (2015-2019) funded by Creative Europe. It comprises 13 international organisations (including cultural centres, performing arts organisations, 2 European networks, 2 universities, a creative business incubators and 2 cultural agencies) from 9 European countries.

For more information see  

Timetable and process

  • Call for papers (and other contributions): launch April 2018 – deadline 30th June 2018.
  • Review and response to authors by 31st July 2018
  • Final version for publication of long abstracts (1000words) – January 31st 2019.
  • Final version of full papers/contributions (to be included in electronic conference proceedings – with ISSN) – 28th February 2019.
  • Conference – April 3rd – April 5th 2019.
  • Final version of full papers for paper final text – June 1st 2019.
  • Final publication of conference proceedings by December 2019.
  • All submissions will be examined by an international scientific committee made up of scholars (50%) and practitioners (50%).
  • All accepted abstracts will be communicated by 31st July 2018.

How to submit your abstract

All abstract submissions to be maximum of 1000 words and can include electronic images/supporting evidence (maximum size 15MB of accompanying evidence, where appropriate).

Please submit your abstract/contribution (via easychair) here. The deadline is 30th June 2018.

Please include:

  • Title of contribution
  • Abstract
  • Keywords (up to 5)
  • Biography of author(s) (100 words each)
  • Full contact details for the lead author/contributor
  • Format of contribution:
  • Academic research paper
  • Case study
  • Performance
  • Provocation
  • Other (please say what)

There will be an offer of limited financial support for successful submissions and an opportunity to be part of a final publication with a leading publisher.

Further information email: