British Council Creative Economy

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Culture Shift

Our global hack programme which invites tech and culture communities to play and prototype. In partnership with Google (and many others!). #digitalinnovation

©Technology Will Save Us

Culture Shift Brazil: Gambiarra Tech - Creativity and Technology combine to meet Rio’s everyday problems

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. We believe that the creative and cultural industries globally are well placed to embrace technological innovation and benefit from the digital revolution.

Hacks can provide interesting models of activity, not only for instigating new collaborations (e.g. geeks with creative and cultural sectors) but also in coming up with quick, innovative solutions.  In our Culture Shift programme, hacks usually last 48 hours and participants pitch a finished prototype to a panel of judges.  In some cases, winners are granted funds and our local partners provide a level of support and incubation in order for their ideas to become a reality.

We have been running Culture Shift globally in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Lagos, Brazil, Egypt, UAE, Greece and Russia.  Our UK partners have been instrumental in the delivery of this programme and have included: Social Innovation Camp, Snook, CultureCode, Technology Will Save Us, Culture TECHPervasive Media Studio and KIMCHI and CHIPS

Prototypes & Projects Examples

Pakacha (Kenya) – a digital platform that allows artists to find and sell art supplies using a ‘barter and hire’ system. Sellers list art supplies and buyers text them directly with the charge of the SMS being credited to Pakacha for putting them in touch.

Mainframe Films (Nigeria) – a global movies app that promotes African film 

PubHub (South Africa) – a self-publishing literature vending machine to make literature affordable and accessible