Frequently Asked Questions

We are an initiative to facilitate joint efforts to address skills gaps in urgent and future skills in the creative sector. Both skills and skillsets are identified through research, stakeholder engagement, and use cases. The modular curricula we develop will be validated in different contexts with a series of pilots across Europe. The method we have chosen is to create a conversation space for the design of competence ecosystems capable of whatever learning needs we have in our regions and sub-sectors as well as across Europe – since this space, giving all actors a role and a voice, does not yet exist.

Organised in high-level clusters (innovate, engage, co-create, anticipate etc), we identify competencies that are defined by specific knowledges, skills, attitudes, values, and identities. Learning happens on all of these levels, and it does so in multiple contexts we group into ‘competence ecosystems’. This is a major shift in perspective because it focuses our attention on both what happens in our own organisational contexts as well as outside our organisational contexts. This calls for new forms of cooperation in curricular design and ecosystem development. Learning occurs as learning journeys across these contexts, with trainers and learners co-designing pathways to best address whatever needs have been identified. Rather than the conventional distinction among formal, non-formal and informal learning, we acknowledge that learning always usefully includes both, is organised as a transcontextual process, and combines self-directed (agile) and facilitated forms of engagement.

Focusing on the creative sector and the diversity of its needs, Cyanotypes must address the rapid changes happening across the creative ecosystem. Some are social (fragmented and precarious forms of work), some are technological (data-driven platforms assisting and automating creative expression), some are ecological (the climate crisis affects almost all areas of work, including the creative sector). Together, these changes require us to rethink how we determine and address the skilling needs in our sector.

We are approaching learning by way of creating a knowledge graph of clusters, competencies, and related knowledges / skills / attitudes / values / identities. The first iteration is based on the skillsets we have been able to identify in our research (see our survey for a first list) as well as a curated selection of complementary skillsets from four major European frameworks (GreenComp, DigComp, EntreComp, and PolicyComp. This graph (which can easily be extended with content from other relevant frameworks) can then be used to assess existing and co-create new curricula as well as facilitate the design and implementation of specific training formats. Visit the Train-the-Trainer Framework webpage.

When we talk about learning, we often – and rightly so – focus on what individuals need to know to act in specific situations. However, processes of organisational development and ultimately ecosystem design frame what both educator and learners do. So while it makes sense to focus on the first loop – do what we know how to do better, more effectively etc – we also look at whether we even have the methods and ways of thinking available to do so (second loop). And if not, invent them. And finally, we reimagine what learning is all about, creating new mental models – changed and challenged by new contexts, new technologies, and new types of agency and intelligence: that’s the third loop. Additionally, we use the ‘triple loop’ to refer to the individual, organisational, and ecosystemic as contexts for design and decision-making.

Yes and no. Existing statistics (ESCO and other data bases) help us understand the gaps between existing and needed skills. What they don’t tell us is where we are going, or what it is we may need to un-learn to build better (mental) models of learning. So we need scenarios to better anticipate what kinds of skills and skillsets may be needed in the future. This also means that we have to address the gaps between formal and informal learning as not all gaps can be addressed while learners are enrolled in degree-granting institutions. We also need alternative skilling dynamics open to a wide variety of learners active in a wide variety of contexts.

Cyanotypes is part of the Alliance for Innovation for the CCI and works closely with the Creative Pact for Skills. Since we address both specific and transversal skillsets, we work primarily with other efforts that share this dual focus. These include the following organisations:

We have singled out three CCI sectors to focus the conversation: AV / games / TV, design, fashion. Together, they capture much of what we think needs to be urgently addressed – how technological innovation is changing creative work (and the business models based on such work) in these areas. At a later stage, we will engage with sectoral specificity; however, these skillsets are much better known than the transversal skillsets. Finally, we also acknowledge the limits of describing the diversity of developments under a single sectoral view: cci are defined by their heterogeneity.

As a project rooted in academic research, traditional institutions of higher learning play a key role (academies, universities). However, vocational education and other forms of non-degree education are equally important. In the end, we share the view of “competence ecosystems” (SITRA 2023) in which multiple sites of (self-organised) learning combine to facilitate skilling, including microlearning and microcredentials as well as the role played by intelligent systems that can facilitate highly-individualised learning dynamics.

We generate both tangible and intangible outcomes. Our main outcome is a train-the-trainer framework. But to build on a shared understanding of how crucial cooperation across organisations and subsectors is, we first have to build such a shared understanding – skilling needs its own narrative, beyond references to gaps and shortages.

We organise many events, both physical and online. Sign up for our mailing list. If you think your organisation should become part of the network, get in touch – we plan to implement a series of pilots and co-create curricula with a wider range of partners and welcome involvement from different sectors and regions.