The ACEI is delighted that the conference will feature the following thought leaders on different aspects of cultural policy who each bring unique perspectives from their different levels of discipline specific expertise. Keynotes will run as live online sessions accessible via the conference platform .

Opening Joint Keynote: Cultural Policy

Keynote #1 :Prof Elenore Belifore

Eleonora Belfiore

Presentation title: Build Back Better? What role for cultural policy research in a post-pandemic world?

Keynote schedule: 09:00 – 09:45 CET on 7 July via live online portal on the conference platform.

Bio: Eleonora Belfiore is Professor of Communication and Media Studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture at Loughborough University, UK. She has published extensively on cultural politics and policy, and particularly the place that notions of the ‘social impacts’ of the arts have had in British cultural policy discourses. She was Co-Director of Studies of the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value (2013-5), and co-author of its final report, Enriching Britain: Culture, creativity and growth, published in February 2015. For Palgrave, she edits the book series New Directions in Cultural Policy Research, and she is Co-Editor in Chief journal Cultural Trends. Eleonora is developing new research on the labour conditions of socially engaged arts practice supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme grant.

Abstract: While the world has not yet freed itself of the hold that Covid-19 has had it under for the past year and a half, the countries that have put the worst of the crisis behind them and where vaccination programmes are progressing apace are preparing themselves to work on bringing back something that at least resembles what we used to think of as ‘normality’. 

The title of this presentation borrows the declared goal of the British government in working towards re-starting the economy after months of stagnation: Build Back Better. This is the title of a strategy document published in March 2021 and in whose introduction the current Prime Minister states: “we must grasp the historic opportunity before us: to learn the lessons of this awful pandemic and build back better, levelling up across our United Kingdom and fixing the problems that have held back too many people for too long”. Interestingly (but not surprisingly), arts and culture receive no mentions at all in this ‘plan for growth’. However, there is something tantalising in the opportunity to start rebuilding afresh and ‘better’, rather than just striving to go back to the pre-Covid19 status quo. In this keynote, I will take inspiration from this idea of Building Back Better and ask: what is the role of cultural policy research in the project of building back better arts and cultural policies? There are no easy answers to this question, but my suggestion will be that, as scholars, considerations of the moral cultural economy will have to take centre-stage as we work towards a post-pandemic cultural policy. 

Keynote #2: Distinguished Prof David Throsby 

David Throsby

Presentation title: The relevance of Cultural Economics for Cultural Policy: Can we do better?

Keynote schedule:  09:45 – 10:30 CET on 7 July via live online portal on the conference platform.

Bio: David Throsby is Distinguished Professor of Economics at Macquarie University in Sydney.  He is internationally recognised for his research and writing on the economics of art and culture.  His current research interests include heritage economics, the creative industries, the economic circumstances of creative artists, culture in sustainable economic development, and the relationships between economic and cultural policy. His recent books include Economics and Culture, which has been translated into eight languages, and The Economics of Cultural Policy, both published by Cambridge University Press.

Abstract: In his keynote Distinguished Professor Throsby will provide a critical overview of what economics can ideally contribute to debate about cultural policy and an assessment of how well or how poorly we have performed in this regard. Among other things, he will discuss the extent to which the rhetoric about creative/cultural industries has driven cultural policy towards becoming simply an arm of economic policy.

The opening joint keynote addresses will be chaired by Prof. Trine Bille. Following the presentations a discussion will  take place online from 10:30 – 11:00 CET via the  ive online portal on the conference platform.

Keynote Lecture: Digitization and the Creation and Consumer Discovery of Cultural Products

Keynote #3: Prof Joel Waldfogel

Joel Waldfogel

Keynote schedule: 15:30 – 16:30 CET on 8 July via live online portal on the conference platform.

Bio: Joel Waldfogel is the Frederick R. Kappel Chair in Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.  Before coming to Minnesota, Waldfogel was at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (1997-2010) and the Yale University Economics Department (1990-1997).  Waldfogel  has conducted empirical studies of price advertising, media markets, the operation of differentiated product markets, and issues related to digital products, including piracy, pricing, revenue sharing, and the effects of digitization on the supply of new products.   Most of his research since 2004 has focused on copyright-related issues.  He has published papers on the impact of piracy on the revenue of authorized products in recorded music, motion pictures, and television.  Since 2010 he has done research, and has published papers, on the broader impacts of digitization on the supply of new products in creative industries.  His book Digital Renaissance (Princeton University Press) appeared in fall 2018.

Abstract: Digitization, which commenced with piracy threatening continued creation of creative products, has instead ushered in an explosion of new  music, movies, books, and television programming.   Using the evidence-based approach I employed in the research underlying Digital Renaissance, I demonstrate digitization’s positive impact on both the volume and experienced quality of new creative products.  I then turn the product discovery challenge accompanying the large growth in new products via a discussion of product discovery tools at two major platforms.  I discuss the role of Spotify playlists in promoting music and the relative impacts of traditional reviewers as opposed to Amazon crowd ratings in guiding consumers to books.  

Keynote #3 to be chaired by Assoc. Prof. Jordi McKenzie who will moderate discussion following the presentation.

Presidential Address: Joke Economics: The Low Profile of Comedy in the Economics of Art and Culture

Keynote #4: Prof Alan Collins

Alan Collins

Pre-recorded keynote presentation to be live streamed 8:15-9:00 am CET on 9 July

Access via the conference platform.

Bio: Alan is Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at Nottingham Trent University. He is till the end of this conference the President of the ACEI.

Abstract: t is not difficult to argue that comedy performances are currently a globally significant feature of the cultural landscape and that many comedy performers are high profile and influential figures in theatre, film and television settings. Many comedy performers are multimillionaires, and comedy shows, festivals, films and television programmes generate enormous global revenue streams. Within economics, the scope for the practice of comedy might seem limited but there is media visibility through an annual dedicated economics and comedy festival as well as the presence of comedy stand up economists and the annual awarding of ‘Ig Nobel’ prizes for economics. In the light of such a pervasive popular media presence a number of questions on the nature and extent of comedy warrant economic scrutiny. For example, given the vast number of comedy performances across venues around the world, why are there so few female performers? What accounts for the apparent contemporary Anglophone dominance of successful comedy performers? Given the substantial focus on wellbeing within economic and social science research, why is relatively little attention devoted to comedy, jokes and laughter, which, in principle, provide direct injections of happiness to individuals? More generally, can comedy be readily analysed in standard economic terms like other performance arts and thus be evaluated and considered with respect to policy matters such as subsidy, labour supply, technological progress etc. With these questions in mind this exploratory study investigates the standing and range of comedy in the economics of arts and culture. It is found to occupy a rather low profile and some of the reasons for this state of affairs are considered. While there is a far more substantial and rich extant literature on comedy, humour and laughter in many other academic fields, even in those respective domains there are also observations and exhortations also suggesting an unduly low profile too. This suggests that the neglect evident in cultural economics has some topic based, as well as potentially discipline based explanations. 

Closing Keynote: Cultural Overtourism

Keynote #5: Prof Bruno Frey

Bruno Frey

Keynote schedule: 11:00 – 12:00 CET on 9 July via live online portal on the conference platform.

Bio: Born in Basel, Switzerland in 1941, Swiss citizen. Study of economics at the Universities of Basel and Cambridge (UK); Ph.D. (1965) and Habilitation (1969), Associate Professor (1970-2011) at University Basel. 1970-1977 Full Professor at University Constance and 1977-2012 University Zurich. 2010-2013 Distinguished Professor at University Warwick. 2012-2015 Senior Professor at Zeppelin University. Since 2015 Permanent Visiting Professor at University Basel. 1990-1991 Visiting Research Professor at University Chicago. Honorary Doctorates from five European Universities in five different countries. Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Cultural Economics, International. He is the author of numerous articles in professional journals and books, including Not Just for the Money (1997), Economics as a Science of Human Behaviour (1999), The New Democratic Federalism in Europe (with Reiner Eichenberger, 1999), Arts & Economics (2000), Inspiring Economics (2001), Successful Management by Motivation  (with Margit Osterloh, 2001), Happiness and Economics (with Alois Stutzer, 2002), Dealing with Terrorism – Stick or Carrot? (2004), Economics and Psychology (co-edited with Alois Stutzer, 2007), Happiness: A Revolution in Economics (2008), Glück: Die Sicht der Ökonomie (with Claudia Frey Marti, 2010), Economic Ideas You Should Forget (co-edited with David Iselin, 2017), Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Glücksforschung. Kompakt – verständlich – anwendungsorientiert (2017), Honours versus Money. The Economics of Awards (with Jana Gallus, 2017), Economics of Happiness (2018), Economics of Art and Culture (2019), Ökonomik der Kunst und Kultur (2019), 21st Century Economics. Economic Ideas You Should Read and Remember (co-edited with Christoph Schaltegger, 2019).

Abstract: In the near future, an enormous increase in the number of tourists is predicted due to low flight prices and a great increase of cruise ship passengers. The local populations will be exposed to strong negative external effects, the cultural site will be damaged, and the environment polluted.

I propose a radically new approach to deal with major negative effects resulting from cultural overtourism. The major attractions of heavily visited historical sites are to be identically replicated in a new location emphasizing a vivid historical experience supported by modern virtual technology.

Under my proposal, tourists will no longer visit the historical sites but will travel to Historical Replications (HIRE) with more intense cultural experience achieved through modern digital technology (such as holograms). My proposal provides an alternative to today’s overcrowded cultural sites doomed to destruction by overtourismKeynote 5 will be chaired by Dr Anna Mignosa who will moderate discussion following the presentation.