On 13 May 2023, dr. Walter van Andel and dr. Veerle Spronck were inaugurated as professor and associate professor in HKU. On this day, they held a lectorate speech in which they explained the research that will be their focus for the coming four years.
The name of their professorship is ‘Value(s) in entrepreneurship in and through the Arts’. It will examine the work methods in the arts, and mainly the power that art can have to benefit the society of today and tomorrow.
The professorship has formulated three separate lines of research:
Innovated business models for the creative practice.
New types of transdisciplinary cooperation.
Impact and value of the arts.
What we want to achieve:
Society is confronted with many complex social challenges. From large-scale issues like climate change, migration and digitalisation to challenges in the personal lifestyle area, such as finding, organising and paying for suitable care. Complex problems like these require creativity, entrepreneurship and collaboration between many different players, each with their own input, in order to arrive at innovative solutions.
The new professorship will study the ways in which creative makers can contribute to these solutions. Creative and artistic professionals can play a critical role in our quest for social innovation. They initiate innovative working methods and methodologies, come up with ideas and future scenarios, and stimulate critical reflection. Furthermore, not only are they able to devise and question new future scenarios, but they can design and create them for social partners and the broader community.
Entrepreneurship is a necessary means for taking on a central role in today’s social transitions and those of the future. By developing entrepreneurial skills and doing innovative experiments with entrepreneurship, makers can initiate new forms of value creation. To gain insight into how exactly to achieve this, it is necessary to conduct research into the necessary and relevant competencies, innovative individual or collective forms of organisation and possible new business and revenue models.
How we work
More than ever before, creative processes are collaborative and interdisciplinary processes. The romantic notion of autonomous artists creating work in their studio is a scenario that is anyway dubious, but completely so in the twenty-first century. In order to contribute to the issues of today and tomorrow, creative makers need to collaborate in new contexts and learn to take on new roles. The new professorship, in collaboration with HKU students and lecturers, wants to research which roles these are and experiment with them, and investigate which methods and skills creative makers need to develop and learn to apply in such collaborative practices.
This means that on the one hand the professorship will search for forms of education that help HKU students prepare better for their important roles in society, based on insights gained from research, and on the other it will contribute knowledge to the dynamic and evolving professional field of creative makers.
The professorship runs from 2021 to 2025.
The professorship works closely with the schools HKU Art and Economics and HKU Creative Transformation and the Expertise Centre Creative Entrepreneurship. The professorship also collaborates with the other HKU professorships on an inspiring research culture.