Last week the seminar NordMatch – Facilitating Nordic & Baltic Culture was held in Tallinn, Estonia. I was particularly looking forward to meeting Jan Fredrik Grøndal Henriksen, the guy behind Phoenix – broken glass. Phoenix is a project that was born from the attacks on Utøya and in Oslo. Jan Fredrik collected a ton of broken glass from the centre of Oslo. This glass is just the starting point for work within the youth sector, and this summer 80 young people got together in Oslo to discuss the possibilities of the project as well as test out and develop different workshop ideas. Now the goal is to get rid of the glass, to make some money on it to be able to finance future workshops and projects for young people.
The other project that caught my eye was Karolina Fund. Karolina Fund is a crowdfunding platform has just opened about two weeks ago. It’s been developed in Iceland and got it’s start from the whole country going bankrupt in 2008. There are loads of crowdfunding platforms out there. So how does Karolina Fund differ from those? Well, it combines crowdfunding with project management to create more trust between project maker and supporter, as well as crowd-sourcing in the form of “yellow pages” to help you find people with the right kind of knowledge and competencies for your project. This is taking it to a totally new level and deals with a lot of the issues that crowd-funding as faced lately as it’s become more and more popular, and huge projects have gotten a lot of money through it.
For me these two projects felt fresh, not only because of the content, but because they weren’t afraid to think about cultural projects from a business point of view, taking up the issue of making money and not only relying on public subsidies which we usually do in the Nordic countries. For me as an entrepreneur in the cultural field it’s important that we start talking, thinking and doing things differently and don’t rely on old thinking where “poor sensitive artists” should be protected from the “hard and cold business world”.