Home Culture & Creativity: good for business, good for the soul

After the reflections on the very fruitful, intellectual and high-level panels of our Moonshot event, the following fifth report focuses on more personal insights and inspiring love stories.

Graphic recording of Moonshot event, Brussels 30 May, by Blanche Ellis – Blancheillustrates.com

Anette Novak, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute and member of EIT Culture & Creativity Supervisory Bord, took the Moonshot event stage to deliver an awe-inspiring talk. Novak’s insights revealed the profound influence of culture and creativity in our lives. 


“Culture is not adding something fun at the end; colour and shape that will make the brick and mortar world a little more digestible”, she says. “Art, as always, held the power of opening up minds towards new ways of feeling, thinking and acting previously considered impossible”. In today’s world, where overcoming apathy and hopelessness is paramount, culture and creativity offer a path towards profound interconnectedness with nature and each other. We need to rediscover “a profound, purposeful and caring way of being humans, of being community in harmony with each other and with nature”. This way of being entails growing courage to nurture and embrace risks. The artist’s perspective and the design processes better prepare us to deal with and accept the unknown. It also includes the realisation that success might look different than we are used to and that doesn’t make it less a success.


Novak also raised the question of time and space: leaving behind the old industrial paradigm and adapting to changes like the AI revolution requires re-exercising our brains to build creative partnerships with both humans and machines. However, this isn’t about mundane work in sterile environments, but about designing spaces that encourage people to cultivate transformative skills and make change possible by shortening the time from idea to execution.


Novak provided two impactful examples of the latent value of culture and creativity. Both reflect in a way how the „old ways“ are still burdening Europe’s green and social transformation. The first example revolved around the question of whether sustainability can be beautiful. In 2005, The Interactive Institute (now RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden) developed a power aware cord that visualises electricity as running water, thereby triggering an impulse in people to switch off the electricity to save energy. This behavioural nudge is important considering 12% of residential electricity use is coming from appliances in standby mode. However, the process from idea to execution was hindered by the lengthy patent application process – a legacy of old innovation pathways. 


The second example touched upon the significance of self-esteem in communities. Novak recounted her experience running a news media house in a small town in northern Sweden that had lost their sense of pride. Cue to action, they started with a Christmas market and soon expanded to events that bring communities together and creatively address the challenges of social cohesion. The strategy worked and eventually there were indirect profits – and by indirect we mean amounts of money that are not counted in the traditional business way. Shortly after, the little town in northern Sweden became the hometown of one of the largest and most successful companies supported by EIT Innoenergy: Northvolt. The municipality currently has a 15.000 employment and 10.000 housing plan. Cultural investments in exhibitions, libraries, museums and creative avenues also contributed to the municipality’s regained esteem: “Because you don’t get the engineers to come to Northvolt if their kids cannot learn violin.”


Reflecting on these remarkable stories, one realises that the pursuit of transformation and the power of unlikely partnerships are at the heart of EIT Culture & Creativity. It takes partners from various sectors coming together for different motivations to create a thriving innovation community. Seven representatives of EIT Culture & Creativity’s partner organisations, who shared their love stories and motivations for collaborating with EIT Culture & Creativity with the audience, assured us of this fact:


  • For Milena Stoycheva, from Junior Achievement Bulgaria, it is about helping the younger generations to develop entrepreneurship skills.
  • For Alejandra Panighi, from Mediapro, it is the possibility to come closer to new and disruptive ideas that would help a large private corporation move forward and be innovative.
  • For Elke Kaschl Mohni, from Goethe Institute, it is about cultural practice and mutual learning as well as the subversive and disruptive ways of thinking that drive the digital, green and social transition.
  • For Michal Hladky, from Creative Industry Kosice, it is about vocation and helping your own city improve the lives of the people who live in it through culture and creativity.  
  • For Juko-Mart Kolar, from University of Tartu, it is the possibility of creating sustainable and fruitful relationships with different organisations in the Knowledge Triangle.
  • For Ambra Trotto, from RISE, it is the opportunity to bring to life the crazy projects that would repair society, and drive transformation.
  • For Georg Broxtermann, from GameInfluencer, it is about boundless creative stories and the real potential of making good business while tackling the most pressing challenges of our time.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have joined us on this incredible journey. Together, we will continue to push boundaries and create a world where culture and creativity play a central role in transforming lives for the better.


From all of us at EIT Culture & Creativity: We love you to the moon and back!

Piece written by Patricia Castillo and Lisa Reitinger, from EIT Culture & Creativity Communication Team, 07 July 2023.

This is the fifth of a series of six posts reporting and reflecting on the EIT Culture & Creativity Moonshot Event held in Brussels on 30 May 2023.


Related posts:


  1. EIT Culture & Creativity’s Inspiring Origin Tale. Published 13.6.2023
  2. Stars align for European Culture & Creativity. Published 20.6.2023
  3. Let’s talk money. Published 27.6.2023
  4. At least one foot on the ground. Published 4.7.2023

You may see the full recordings of the event and gallery of pictures here:


Watch the sessions on youtube:

1:42:022:02:35 Anette Novak, CEO Swedish Film Institute
0:00:000:16:27  Love you to the moon and back.


Factsheets with detailed information about EIT Culture & Creativity, Membership schemes, Governance structure, Investment Club and Policy Club are available for downloading:


Factsheets with detailed information about EIT Culture & Creativity, Membership schemes, Governance structure, Investment Club and Policy Club are available for downloading:


We wholeheartedly thank our collaborators:
Blanche Ellis (Blancheillustrates.com) for the graphic recording. Alexis Haulot for the pictures. QED team for the audiovisual support. Lukas Belting for the animations. AC Coppens for the hosting and moderation


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