Five of Beirut’s vibrant creative and media community NGOs and agencies’ staff spent a week in London where they got the chance to meet with high-level international creative organizations. The representatives of each of the companies were also able to pitch for new clients and to target a list of potential collaborative partners.
This week concludes a British Council and Beirut Creative Cluster funded programme “The Bridge”, and is delivered by Lola Media's Intelligent Creativity team. The Bridge is an ambitious development programme that was developed on the legacy of British Council Lebanon previous annual series of seminars and trainings such as ‘Investing in the Lebanese Creative Economy’ and the ‘Cross Media Week’. “We were able to structure our thoughts, processes, projects, and long term objectives. The trip to London was of great value in terms of exposure and creating new opportunities that we are hopefully going to benefit from” says Ibrahim Zahreddine from Public Interest Design, one of the programme’s beneficiaries.
The six-month programme involved a varied agenda of UK-Lebanon Skype support, two weeks face-to-face working in Beirut combining academic development with practical hands-on business coaching, before concluding with a week-long London visit. While there, and in addition to the companies’ visits, The Bridge hosted a networking event gathering all the UK and Lebanon contacts involved in this project along with other important stakeholders in the field.
The aim of the initiative is to strengthen the dynamism of Cultural and Creative industries in Lebanon, an industry that contributes almost 5% to the country’s GDP and 4.5% to national employment, with average annual growth rate of over 8%. The aim will be reached through developing closer links between the fast-growing creative sector in Beirut and some of London's key talent.
Jessica Anderson from Visualizing Impact describes The Bridge with these words: “The Bridge Programme was a great chance for Visualizing Impact to develop business strategies that draw on the strengths of our concept and our team. Collectively, the programme organizers, participants, and hosting companies in London had a generous team spirit geared toward knowledge sharing, openness, and positive collaboration.”