Leader of the cultural sector: IULM - MeP Training

20 years of research in Europe have led us to awareness of the importance of transversal skills and of collaborative work in cultural management and not only

The European Union, in its programming, has adopted various initiatives and regulations aimed at promoting the development of these skills. Let’s think about the European Skills Agenda which aims to promote the development of soft skills among European citizens in order to improve their employability and competitiveness in the labor market; or about the LifeComp: The European Framework for the Personal, Social and Learning to Learn Key Competence the reference framework developed by the European Commission to guide education and training in the field of personal, social and learning competences.

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre supports the importance of transversal skills as fundamental tools to adapt to the changing world and to achieve personal fulfillment and satisfaction; to train and learn to relate to others, to “learn to learn” and to encourage active citizenship; to increase participation in the Erasmus+ program thanks to which for years we have been developing innovative projects in transnational and cross-sectoral partnerships on the topic.

Starting from these studies and experiences, in our working practices we experiment daily with the use of tools, methods and approaches aimed at promoting the development of soft and relational skills and collaborative working models both internal to the organization and external. This approach is essential for us to stimulate the innovation of Melting Pro services, manage complex projects, communicate effectively and adapt to market changes.

In particular, transversal skills such as teamwork, listening, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity are essential to critically analyze challenges and promote original and successful solutions. It is now recognized that transversal skills and collaborative approaches are necessary to also drive digital innovation processes within cultural organizations.

Being able to adapt and find original solutions is crucial to develop artistic-cultural projects capable of involving and producing significant impacts on the territories. Communicating clearly and effectively with audiences, partners and sponsors is essential to guarantee the success of a cultural project. They are basic skills to face the changes that characterize the context in which we move and to continue to thrive despite adversity.

It is therefore clear how the identification, valorisation but also strengthening of these skills, through specific training courses, constitute an element of acceleration and facilitation of innovative behaviors essential for our sector. Unfortunately, however, there are still few training courses that focus on these issues and the investment that academic institutions make in updating sectoral professional profiles is limited.

An exception in this sense is certainly the master’s degree in Management of Artistic and Cultural Resources promoted by the IULM University – Free University of Languages and Communication of Milan with which we have been collaborating for 5 years, through a seminar which aims to offer young people tools to be able to positively analyze their skills, also enhancing those acquired in informal contexts, reflect on their value system as individuals but, above all, as cultural professionals, and work on the ability to work in a group and to create network.
After 5 years we can say that has increased the awareness regarding the importance of these skills and topics among the trainees and this gives us confidence regarding the training of cultural managers who are increasingly attentive to relevant and current issues such as social impacts, active listening of people/audiences, development of valuable initiatives. However, clearly emerges the need for a joint work between education, training and family systems on a strategic and complex area such as that of emotion management, in a historical moment in which international conflicts, the environmental crisis, the past pandemic make the younger people scared and uncertain about their future.

The course is also teaching us that the idea that the new generations have of artistic-cultural professions is in some cases partial and only linked to some more “classic” professions. Hence the awareness that, as organizations in the sector, we should on the one hand make the thousand facets of our work more explicit, also to enhance commitment and professionalism, and on the other hand talk about the different opportunities that the sector offers in terms of new professional profiles today necessary, such as those capable of combining soft skills with other strategic technical skills, such as digital or the ability to reconcile culture with sustainability. There is still a lot to do but we are confident that this course traces the right path.

Antonia S. e Ludovica D.A.
Area Skills for culture

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