Europe-Asia Roundtable Sessions (EARS) arrived in India for the first time in December 2017 to create connections between professionals from the creative industries in Asia and Europe. Given the growing global interest in the creative industries in India, EARS on Mumbai presented a platform for facilitating real conversations, international connections, collaborative projects and networking opportunities.
Exchange of thought-provoking business models, sharing of inspiring stories and exploration of international collaboration opportunities were the highlights at the 1st edition of EARS on Mumbai, held on 6-9 December 2017. The conference brought together over 60 speakers from diverse backgrounds including artists, managers, promoters, festival organisers, creative producers and directors from music, film and performing arts sectors.
Over a period of 4 days, vibrant and stimulating discussions unfolded amongst the group of cultural practitioners from Asia and Europe. These discussions were complemented by showcase events featuring performances by young and emerging artists from music and performing arts sectors.
The potential for harnessing the creative and cultural industries for greater connections between artists and cultural professionals, enhancing economic benefits and knowledge sharing was emphasised, while the need for understanding local scenarios and contextualising the international models to local needs was recognised.
For further development of the sector, the need to address gaps in the areas of networking opportunities, exchange platforms and access to information about funding for cultural professionals was underlined. Exchange programmes to look beyond purely artistic projects and to include aspects of cultural management to hone entrepreneurial skills and to build sustainable localised business models was stressed. While the ease of making connections digitally was appreciated, face-to-face engagement emerged as an inevitable instrument for long-term and genuine collaborations.
The very first edition of EARS on Mumbai set up a stage for dynamic discussions which brought forward numerous potential ideas for exchange and collaboration.
ASEF supported this first edition in India, which was organised by Europe-Asia Roundtable Sessions Ltd. Previously, ASEF had supported a roundtable on policy discussions at the EARS on Helsinki 2014 edition through our Creative Encounters: Cultural Partnerships between Asia and Europe project.