The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) held a Ministerial event on soft power in late July to get feedback on the Government's forthcoming soft power strategy. The Government announced the soft power strategy earlier in 2018 and it is set to be launched before the end of the year.
Key professionals from culture and creative industries, digital and sport sectors joined the DCMS, the GREAT Britain Campaign, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Culture Diary to discuss the first stage of the forthcoming soft power strategy. Hosted by Michael Ellis, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, he gave attendees ten questions to provoke responses and feedback to incorporate into the strategy. You can also read his speech by downloading it below.
The questions to consider when giving feedback on the soft power strategy are:
1. Given that the UK has reached Number 1 in the Soft Power Index in the absence of a Government strategy, how can we ensure that any strategy genuinely adds value?
2. What are the strengths and assets the UK has which we should be seeking to protect or enhance in any Soft Power strategy?
3. How do we best deploy the convening power of Government in supporting collective activity across and beyond the Culture sector?
4. Are there other Governments which have policies which are successfully enhancing the Soft Power of their countries?
5. Should we prioritise our activity towards specific countries, and if so, on which countries should we focus?
6. Given our commitment to continue to invest 0.7% of Gross National Income in Foreign Aid, should we do more to align the Culture and Development agendas, in partnership with DfID, for example by growing the Cultural Protection Fund?
7. How can Government’s global network, by which I mean our Ambassadors and High Commissioners, and their FCO teams working in tandem with DIT and the British Council, support you more effectively in your international engagement?
8. How can we most effectively grow cultural exports, contribute to the Trade agenda, cultivate corporate and philanthropic investment and thereby strengthen your financial resilience?
9. How can we best support the Cultural equivalents of SMEs to grow their international relationships? I want to continue to support our London-based flagship institutions, but I also want to ensure we support new entrants and those outside London. Would more culture-focused trade missions be useful to you, or do you need more tailored support?
10. How can we build a mutually supportive relationship between the Culture sector and the GREAT Britain campaign, and ensure the Culture Diary works as a global asset for the whole of the Culture sector?
If you have something to contribute, you may send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Government would like responses as soon as possible but the hard deadline for responses is Monday 1 October 2018.
Conrad Bird, Director of the GREAT Britain Campaign, also spoke about how the culture and creative sectors can join the GREAT campaign. Three top tips are:
1) Register for the Culture Diary and regularly upload events and stories.
2) Contact Anna Maloney with info on where you aspire to work internationally and your current international touring plans and collaborations.
3) Share copyright-free imagery to be used for the GREAT asset library and be amplified via our social media channels.
Michael Ellis, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, addressing guests at the Ministerial event for soft power / Image: Alice Hodgson