Catch-Up: Carola Boehm at the ISUC Plaza Series 3 (International Women’s Day Edition)

Live Streamed from our APU partners in Malaysia, the International Women’s Day Edition of the ISUC Plaza Series presented three keynotes by women leaders, including C3 Centre’s Carola Boeh,.

Carola Boehm’s keynote, as part of the three keynotes presented, was titled:

Culture 3.0 saves the world: Sustainability & Diversity in an era of Co-creation

Even before the pandemic, along with many other countries, the UK was beginning to see a shift in how we valued our engagement in cultural activities, culminating in the 2021 Arts Council England’s 10-year strategy of “Let’s Create” (ACE, 2021). For communities and individuals, it firmly focussed resources to support active participation in arts and culture. This represented a move of investment towards civil society engaging actively in cultural production, rather than merely being passive cultural consumers. In Luigi Sacco’s words, this is a cultural struggle between what he calls Culture 1.0 versus Culture 3.0.

In Sacco’s conceptualisation, Culture 1.0 is characterised by patronage,  limited audiences,  gate keepers, value absorption and limited structural markets (Sacco, 2013). Thus, Culture 1.0 is seen to be highly elitist and exclusionary,  it has resulted in arts audiences and leadership of our European top cultural institutions to  be predominantly white and upper middle class (ACE, 2019). And this is a problem, according to Sacco. With Europe being ‘hung up on Culture 1.0’, it is holding Europe back in its innovation and productivity potential  (Sacco, 2011). The UK and the US has taken a slightly different path since the late 90s, influenced by its focus on the creative industries, with its emphasis on IP and copyright (BEIS, 2018; Flew, 2011; Cunningham, 2014). This is Culture 2.0, and I have written about how the UK and US are in turn hung up on Culture 2.0, supporting extractive and exploitative models that have inherent gatekeeping functions. This is in turn holding both the UK and the US back to allow its creative and cultural activities to benefit its societies in equitable, fair and diversity-supporting manner (Boehm, 2017, 2016).  However, Culture 3.0 is fast becoming the dominant type of cultural engagement to make arts and culture more inclusive and more impactful. It is characterised by ‘everyday creativity’,  co-creation, open platforms, ubiquitously available production tools and individuals constantly shifting and renegotiating their roles between producing and consuming content. This ‘doing away’ with gatekeepers supports access, diversity and is evidenced to simply make all our lives healthier, happier, more creative and more resilient.

Whereas having predominantly Culture 1.0 types of cultural engagement will result in elitism and exclusivity. Culture 2.0 creates a highly neo-liberal, worker-exploitative model. But Culture 3.0 has the promise of providing the balance and Sacco suggests the new power centres of this type of cultural engagement are emerging in Asia, and is characterised by mass production, unlimited reproducibility, large audiences, and significant turnover and profits. So in this presentation, using the lenses of Culture 1.0 to 3.0,  I will explore solutions for  shaping our creative sectors and industries in our creative cities towards becoming more sustainable, more fair and more diverse. (Boehm, 2022)


  • ACE (2019). Equality, Diversity and the Creative Case. A data report. ACE 2018 – 2019. [Online]. Manchester.
  • ACE (2021). Let’s Create: Our strategy 2020-2030 | Arts Council England. [Online]. Manchester, UK..
  • BEIS (2018). UK Creative Industries Sector Deal.
  • Boehm, C. (2016). Academia in Culture 3.0: a Crime story of Death and Rebirth (but also of Curation, Innovation and Sector Mash-ups). REPERTÓRIO: Teatro & Dança. 19 (27). p.pp. 37–48.
  • Boehm, C. (2022). Arts and Academia. Emerald Publishing. To be published in 2022.
  • Boehm, C. (2017). The end of a Golden Era of British Music? Exploration of educational gaps in the current UK creative industry strategy. In: R. Hepworth-Sawyer, J. Hodgson, J. Paterson, & R. Toulson (eds.). Innovation In Music: performance, production, technology and business. Taylor & Francis/Routledge.
  • Cunningham, S. (2014). ‘Hidden Innovation: Industry, Policy and the Creative Sector.’ Lanham MD: Lexington Books.
  • Flew, T. (2011). The Creative Industries: Culture and Policy. 1st edition. SAGE Publications Ltd.
  • Sacco, P.L. (2011). Web Page. Culture 3.0: A new perspective for the EU 2014 -2020 structural funding programming.
  • Sacco, P.L. (2013). Culture 3.0: The impact of culture on social and economic development, & how to measure it. Prepared for Scientific support for growth and jobs:  Cultural and creative industries  Conference. p.p. 21.