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Culture has a very specific role in society. There are no other human activities whose sole purpose is to generate meaning. This is partly why we don’t think the appreciation for culture needs any further justification.

The interesting thing about digital culture is that it's an incredible way to enhance our capacity to generate content. You can compress in the space of a laptop what previously was a recording studio. The consequence is that the production of content has become so easy and so affordable, that basically everybody does it, the sharp separation between authorship and audience is blurred. And we are just starting to appreciate the consequence of this.

The future is not just about more content, but about new types of content and expression. I can take a good photo with my cell phone, but what’s more exciting is seeing what a certain type of people, using their cell phones in a certain type of moment, in a certain circumstance, collectively produce. And this is interesting from the cultural point of view, because the production of meaning is becoming less individualised and more collective. So we are entering a new phase, in which we have to rethink most of the categories through which we have evaluated the meaning and the importance of content creation.

As we move into the next phase of the digital transformation of society, we need to acknowledge that culture plays a much bigger role in the things we deem important than is often thought. If we can show - and we can - that people who have a higher level of cultural participation do more of the things that policymakers want citizens to do - like recycling - then we can connect cultural heritage to the established policy agenda, and secure our place in the digital transformation of Europe.

Discover more perspectives on the future of digital culture from our ten cultural innovators

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