Think Tank – 21st Century Literacy

The key aim of the C21 Literacy initiative is to bring together many voices and interests seeking to promote literacy development, create new synergies and provide a focus for innovation. This entails understanding how a broad multimodal version of literacy for the 21st century is translated into literacy development in formal and informal education, qualifications and assessment.


From 7th-8th May 2012 Creative Scotland hosted the first seminar part of a series of think tanks designed to inform the cultural policy at an international level, and is part of the Creative Futures programme delivered in partnership with TYP Kulturkapital Sweden.

The topic discussed was: “The Disintegration of the Persistence of Nations? Exploring international engagement and policy making in an interconnected world.”

Creative Scotland welcomed delegates from Scotland, Sweden, Finland, and South Africa.

The participants tackled intercultural issues and notions of cultural policy, particularly within the context of history of nations and national identities, and the roles played by artists and policy makers.

Throughout the two days, presentations were delivered by:

  • Anne Bonnar (Advisor and Consultant, Bonnar Keenlyside);
  • Duncan Higgins (Artist, Professor in Fine Art at Bergen Academy) and Roddy Buchanan (Artist);
  • A conversation with Humphrey Hawksley (BBC Foreign Correspondent);
  • Peter Stark (Director, Swallows Cultural Leadership Programme), with a contribution from Bongi Dhlomo (Artist, Programme Director for the Steve Biko Centre).

The project included an International Evening Reception with Claire Fox (Director, Institute of Ideas) who discussed some key issues and joined in a thought-provoking debate on international working:

The next think tank will take place in Sweden in August 2012 where the theme of “Leadership and Democracy and Culture” will be explored.

Feedback received from participants encourages this project to continue the discussion on international cultural and intercultural policymaking:

“Your choice of speakers challenged what we imagine are the prevailing assumptions of the artistic community, provoking some fascinating discussions.  We arrived at big questions about culture and politics, history, discourse etc., and I thought the case for investment in international and intercultural working was becoming ever more explicit.”

“I really enjoyed the day – very thought provoking.”

“The session was interesting, but mixing up the style of conversation would help address issues of different voices being heard. Thank you so much for the invitation – really mind-broadening and excellent group of people. Makes me feel hope.”

“In a nutshell, one of the key conclusions determined by many during the 2 days was the significance of remaining open to new experiences, and to the effects they have on both cultures. It is also a delicate matter and important that the exchange is not perceived (or conceived) as cleverly pushing one’s values onto the partner. It is also significant to express the sincerity of the listening by taking relative actions which demonstrate that one has heard. Cheers.”

“It was stimulating, thought-provoking, with interesting people and talks. The themes discussed during the days have stayed with me and I feel refreshed and energised. So thank you for arranging this.”