Sweden@Kenya #CreativeNations – Swedish and Kenyan creatives gather in Nairobi

The #CreativeNations forum was successfully convened in Nairobi 9-11 November. The event was the culmination of a project initiated by the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi and the Swedish Institute, with a view to bring leaders in the creative sectors in both countries together for sharing of ideas and advancement of the creative agenda.

Representatives from a wide range of organizations, companies and government institutions from both countries participated in the event.

Politicians and other decision makers in our two countries have realized the potential of the creative sector, both financially and in non-monetary terms. The creative sector contributes significantly to economic growth and offers a growing number of employment opportunities. A couple of examples of the economic significance of the sector are:

  • The Swedish company Mojang, creator of Minecraft, which was sold in 2015 for USD2.5bn. The Swedish car manufacturer Volvo rendered USD700 million less when it was sold in 2010.
  • The Kenyan invention Mpesa pioneered non-bank electronic money transfer systems ahead of virtually all other countries.

The three day event, branded #CreativeNations, was organized by the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi in collaboration with the Swedish Institute. #CreativeNations kicked off at Nairobi National Museum on Wednesday 9 November with a full day of discussions amongst decision makers, leaders from the creative sector, academics and representatives from the international and diplomatic community in Nairobi. Topical themes linking to the role of the creative and cultural sector in a complex, digitalized and interlinked world was dealt with in panel discussions and dialogues.

Watch the video about the Seven Day Challenge in Nairobi and Stockholm in 2016, and the days leading up to the event in November.

The Creative Nations Forum was full of inspirational talks, panels and discussions. Dj Blinky Bill kept the spirits high through his performance.


Photo: Illume Creative Studio

The first day culminated in a colorful fashion cocktail where Kenyan and Swedish fashion designers displayed their work while a broad array of invited guests got a chance to know each other and expand their professional networks.


Photo: Marcus Frändberg

On the second and third day a number of invited creatives from Kenya and Sweden worked alongside each other in studios to explore possibilities for co-creation and development of their businesses.


Photo: Illume Creative Studio

#CreativeNations will took further the creative agenda and strengthen the ties between Sweden and Kenya, both on a bilateral level and between individuals and businesses within the sector.

If you want to learn more about what the participants thought about the event, read our evaluation survey.

The forum was created in cooperation with Belatchew Architects, Bikozulu, Blank Spot Project, Brck, Creatives Garage, Ekskäret Foundation, Embassy of Sweden in NairobiFärgfabriken, Green Team Initiative, GoDown Arts Centre, Kreativ Sektor, Meanwhile in Kenya, Monica KanariMusic Sweden, Oh Snap Sweden, One Touch, Riverwood EnsembleStockholm School of Economics, Swedish Incubator and Science Parks, Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts Kenya, Ministry of Culture, Sweden, The Nest and UN Habitat.

The featured video about sweden@kenya was produced by Riverwood Ensemble.