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AOI is an innovation consultancy partnership that specialises in human-centric innovation and cross-sector ecosystem development

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Johanna Kouzmine-Karavaïeff, founding partner of Artisans of Innovation, recently led the development of a policy brief for the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC).  


The policy brief focuses on the evaluation and assessment of arts & design-based collaboration and cross-innovation: practices to be enabled, orchestrated, and championed for systemic impact.  

It builds on the report “Artists, Designers and Business in Cross-Sector Collaboration – Untapped Potential for Systemic Change” published in March 2022.  This addressed the orchestration of high-value human capital in arts & design-based collaboration and that value this would yield for cross-sectoral innovation and made seventeen recommendations to this effect.


The practice of enabling, orchestrating, and championing arts & design-based collaboration and cross-innovation for systemic impact could itself be considered as a disruptive innovator - changing the way sectors collaborate and altering existing industries. 

Date: 12 September 2023

Event: Policy Brief Launch: Arts and Design Based Collaboration & Cross-Innovation Practices to be enabled, orchestrated, and championed for systemic impact 


REPORT: Artists, Designers & Business in Cross-Sector Collaboration


On 10th March 2022 , we launched the report, "Artists, Designers & Business in Cross-Sector Collaboration" 

This new report raises awareness of the immense potential of cross-sector collaboration between artists, designers, and the corporate sector.

Effective collaboration between these sectors is important now and in the future. Companies face challenges in a world of increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), and they must overcome these challenges to survive and thrive. They need to be equipped and prepared with the skills and capability to do this. Cross-sector collaboration between artists, designers and the corporate world could, if formalised, professionalised, and orchestrated answer to the needs and problems in these areas.


After the pandemic, business model innovation is needed more than ever in the culture & creative sectors and especially for the different art disciplines.

The report makes seventeen recommendations that can help to engineer changes in how cross-sector collaboration in these sectors is approached and practised.

If you are a policy maker, change agent, responsible for driving innovation in your organisation, or a culture & creative sector professional then this report will be of interest to you.

Speakers included:

  • Ariane Berthoin-Antal. ​​ Professor, WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Germany, and Audencia Business School, Nantes, France

  • Khawar Hameed. Principal Consultant in Digital Transformation, Artisans of Innovation, UK

  • Peter Hanke. Conductor and Associate Fellow Oxford Saïd, Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Johanna Kouzmine-Karavaieff. Principal Consultant in Culture and Creative,  Artisans of Innovation, Belgium

  • Benoit Lejeune. Head of Transformation and Sustainability, Vivaqua, Belgium

  • Bonga Ntuli. Strategy Director: Royal Haskoning DHV, South Africa


On the 19 January and 16 February 2023, we organized and curated two webinars raising awareness of the immense potential of cross-sector collaboration between artists, designers, and the corporate sector. This was done in collaboration with ICHEC Business School in Brussels and with their C-SHIP programme - an intensive entrepreneurial training program designed for professionals in the Cultural & Creative Industries.

Conclusions from our report "Artists, designers and business in cross-sector collaboration - Untapped potential for systemic change”  fed directly in to the creation of these two webinars. For example, it was considered that the triangular exchange of culture sector professionals, corporate world representatives and policymakers must be enhanced.

An article based on the discussions in the webinars will also follow shortly - so stay tuned and watch this space!

Webinar 1: Art & corporate world as drivers of reciprocal mindset change?

  • Hugo Henry, actor and entrepreneur, Belgium

  • Lisa Przioda, Organization, Innovation and Project Management (CR/OIP) Bosch Platform 12 campus for research and advanced engineering, Germany

  • Dr. Tom Fleming, leading international expert on the creative economy, cultural and arts policy and creative cities and regions, UK

  • Ruba Saleh, lecturer, ICHEC Brussels Management School

  • Johanna Kouzmine-Karavaïeff, Founding Partner of Artisans of Innovation

Webinar 2: Art & corporate world: collision or synergy?

  • Sandra Boer, Founding Partner, Art Partner, Netherlands

  • Prof. Dr. Stephan Frucht – Global Head Culture and Sponsoring Programs, Artistic Director I Siemens Arts Program, Germany

  • Felipe Buitrago, public policy, Former Minister of Culture, Colombia

  • Ruba Saleh, lecturer, ICHEC Brussels Management School

  • Johanna Kouzmine-Karavaïeff, Founding Partner of Artisans of Innovation

Webinars Summary: by Johanna Kouzmine-Karavaïeff, Founding Partner of Artisans of Innovation:

Art & corporate world as drivers of reciprocal mindset change?

Take part in our survey on artists & designers in corporate innovation! 

We’d really like to hear your thoughts on the role of artists & designers in corporate innovation. 


The results will help to develop a better understanding of the opportunities for cross-sectoral collaboration and the role of artists & designers in the corporate innovation process.  The survey will only take around 2 minutes of your time and results will be shared with participants.


We support governments and national & regional agencies to stimulate and catalyse innovation by leveraging the power of creativity, culture and digital to develop high-impact transformative programmes.

About Us

We understand the interconnection between creativity, culture & digital and know how to unlock the combined value of this to enhance capability for our clients.  We call this our ‘Unified Innovation Flow’ model.


We believe in developing a close and deep working relationship with our clients, starting with sharing our values.



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