Enhancing culture with entrepreneurial skills – INNOVATION CAMP in Cultural and Creative Industries

Junior Achievement Cyprus, the Cyprus National Commission for  UNESCO and the UNESCO Associated Schools Network of Cyprus, successfully organized for the second year the Innovation Camp in Cultural and Creative Industries on Friday, January 19, 2024, at PANOS SOLOMONIDES Cultural Center.  At the Innovation Camp, the participating students, in mixed groups coming from different schools, were invited to propose ideas to contribute to maintaining the sustainability of the craft sector as an aspect of intangible cultural heritage, taking into account ethical principles. Utilizing technology, they identified relevant information and developed their proposal with arguments, under the guidance of professionals from the field of culture and entrepreneurship. The best proposals were awarded by a special jury.


The workshop offered students the opportunity to develop creative and innovative thinking, enhance entrepreneurial skills, promote communication, teamwork and problem solving, discover and address challenges in the field of culture, meet and network with people of culture and develop skills in presenting ideas.


The main speaker at the workshop was Dr Iosif Hadjikyriakos, Director of the Phivos Stavrides Foundation (Larnaka Archives), who presented the topic and the challenge, including good practices. The workshop was supported by volunteers from the field of Culture and the business community of Cyprus. Specifically, Melina Schini (Director of Pattichio Municipal Theatre), Michalis Kalopaides (Founder and Executive Producer of Zedem Media), Panagiotis Junior Nicolaou (Audit Services, PwC Cyprus), Maria Papadopoulou (Co-founder of Bienalle Larnaca), Dr. Nikoleta Demetriou (Ethnomusicologist and Director of the Cyprus Music Archive), collaborated with the students and supported them in developing their ideas and presentations. The students were accompanied by their teachers, who had the opportunity to participate in a workshop organized by Eva Korae, Assistant Professor of the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts at the Cyprus University of Technology.


The jury, consisting of Dr Katerina Constantinides-Vladimirou (Inspector of Secondary Education and National Coordinator of UNESCO Associated Schools Network), Nenad Bogdanovic (Operational Planning Coordinator of the European Programmes Organisation), Stavros Kyriakides (Director of Kyriakides Piano Gallery and President of the Avantgarde Cultural Organisation) and Thekla Papantoniou (Officer of the Cyprus National Commission of UNESCO), highlighted the following as best ideas:


  1. Interconnection of the handicraft sector with the folk tales of Cyprus for the creation of new publications and handmade constructions.
  2. Creation of DIY packages for crafts combined with online construction programs and actions to support craftspeople.
  3. Creation of a platform and E-shop to connect craftspeople with professionals in the field of interior design, while facilitating learning and transmission of different types of handicrafts.


The prizes were awarded to the three teams by the Mayor of Limassol, Nikos Nicolaides. The teams were awarded with experiences from the Cyprus Handicraft Service and performance tickets, generously provided by the Pattichion Municipal Theatre and the Rialto Theatre.


JA Cyprus (www.jacyprus.org) is a member of Junior Achievement Worldwide, a global non-profit organization specialized in youth entrepreneurship education that aims to empower them with entrepreneurship, financial literacy and employability skills.


The Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO belongs to the global network of national bodies that cooperate with UNESCO for the implementation and promotion of programs and activities that fall within the five main thematic areas in which the Organization operates: Education, Natural Sciences, Culture, Social Sciences and Humanities, Communication and Information. The UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) has been active in Cyprus since the school year 1969-70, under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, in collaboration with the Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO, developing actions in the fields related to the development of letters, arts and sciences, the natural environment, cultural heritage and human rights.


For more information visit www.jacyprus.org and www.unesco.org.cy websites or contact Emily Sotiriou (phone: 97-715909, email emily.sotiriou@jacyprus.org) and Thekla Papantoniou (phone: 22809810, email: tpapantoniou@culture. gov.cy).