What do you get when you put leading digital innovators, creative practitioners and a whole lot of entrepreneurial energy in a room together for 48 hours? As predicted – some incredible ideas, lasting relationships, and seriously investable solutions for challenges faced by today’s creative communities.

In recent years, the UK has led the pack when it comes to applying digital hacking practice and business start-up strategy to the cultural domain. Our work shows that the creative and cultural industries globally are well placed to embrace technological innovation and find new ways for emerging creative practitioners to benefit from the digital shift.

The British Council’s Creative and Cultural Economy team now welcomes the opportunity to showcase locally-driven models across Africa – a continent possessing some of the fastest growing economies, urban centres, mobile phone markets, broadband adaption, youth demographics and innovative talent.

@ British Council Nigeria

Culture Shift challenges selected participants from the creative / cultural sectors and digital industries to merge their expertise to design locally relevant and innovative new products and ideas.

Participants come together in a series of hacking sessions to develop ideas and prototypes that meet the challenges and opportunities in their local creative communities through digital media-focused solutions.

Theme-led teams then compete for a grant award, as well as medium-term business mentoring support, to realize their projects.

Culture Shift works with UK expertise and local partners to –

  • Bring together innovators from the creative and cultural industries and digital technologists, through a targeted selection process.
  • Encourage innovative thinking around salient issues and challenges currently faced by local creative communities.
  • Enable low-risk digital prototyping, open data discovery and new working relationships.
  • Offer teams the chance to compete for a grant award and expert business advice to help realize their objectives.

Enabling entrepreneurs to bypass what are often the most inhibiting factors in the progression of good ideas – access to capital and business mentorship – will place them in a better position to drive long-term development which is locally initiated and owned.

@ British Council Nigeria

Culture Shift has been supported by the following partners in the delivery of the programme so far - UK’s Social Innovation Camp, Google partners CcHub Nigeria and iHub Kenya, as well as the Hub Johannesburg.


Culture Shift Egypt (2012)


Culture Shift South Africa (2012)



A pilot programme took place between March-May 2012 in EgyptSouth AfricaKenya and NigeriaMore details about these can be found on thefirst Culture Shift blog and our news report on the Pilot programmes here.

The programme officially got underway in Nov-Dec 2012 with Culture Shift NigeriaRead the blog from UK web entrepreneur Harry Robbins on the his Culture Shift experience in Lagos!

New web platform coming soon!

2013 promises more Culture Shifts in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and South Africa. Find out more here!

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