This year saw the tenth anniversary of the annually held Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW), the largest event of its kind in Germany. Almost all the events took place digitally or in a hybrid manner. Over the course of nine days, the virtual design week broke the constraints of geography and time with its newly developed digital “space” and established entirely new formats. Around 35,000 visitors at over 120 digital and hybrid workshops, conferences, symposia, webinars, exhibitions and streams — that’s the preliminary tally. The MCBW is thus an exemplary bright spot in the Corona pandemic and once again demonstrates the importance and radiance of the creative and cultural industries.MCBW proved to be an exemplary beacon during the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing once again the relevance and radiance of the creative and cultural sectors.
Matthias Horx: Designers as agents of future design
In line with the theme of this year’s MCBW, Shaping futures by Design, during the digital MCBW reception broadcast from BMW Welt, futurologist and founder of Zukunftsinstitut Matthias Horx discussed the retrograde view on the future in the form of a “regnosis.” He said: “It can be helpful if we jump into tomorrow mentally and ask ourselves retrospectively how we got there. The regnosis enables us to enter into a productive relationship with the future. In this scenario, designers assume the important role of agents by escorting society and the industrial sector on their journeys.”
10 years of MCBW: a successful transformation process
While MCBW typically takes place within Munich’s borders and in the MCBW partner region of Landshut, for its tenth anniversary this year it founded a virtual platform that will be continued, at least in part, going forward. “Personal encounters and networking locally are the essence of MCBW and our industry, however, the connection between the analog and the digital has enriched our lives and will continue to do so in the future. For example, it allows us to extend our community at the national and international levels and to create a new form of connectivity. In addition, by combining digital and analog we can develop new formats with even greater added value,” says Lisa Braun, Director of MCBW.
New formats: digital and analog connected
An example of a successful new format was the DESIGNWALK which was well-received and earned a great deal of positive feedback. The tour led visitors to several analog stations throughout Munich’s Kunstareal area including the DIS CONNECTED video installation and the MCBW POP UP exhibition container. The QR code at each station provided digital background information including interviews. Visitors were able to embark on this urban tour at any time during the nine days without having to register – all they needed was a smartphone. Jan Kuck’s interactive light installation and the video performances by Miro Craemer at Westpark also made impressive examples of the connection between the analog and the digital. At timematters.art fans of art, families, and walkers had the opportunity to send in their preferred responses to the question “What would you change?” and have their entries projected onto the water screen on site. However, the diverse digital conferences, workshops, and live streams on the MCBW website recorded the lion’s share of visitors.
MCBW’s value for society and the economy
Hubert Aiwanger, Bavarian State Minister of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, emphasized: “MCBW is an essential silver lining for the cultural and creative sectors. The overwhelming acceptance of the many digital formats makes me optimistic for the future. In particular, the large bandwidth of topics shows how important the industry is to the mastering of the wide array of challenges currently being faced. I am very happy the Ministry of Economic Affairs supports this industry event every year!” At 20.3 bn euros in gross value added, the share of the creative and cultural sectors in the value creation of the state of Bavaria amounted to 3.6 percent making it the sector with the third highest contribution among those referenced after the automotive sector with 7.9 percent and the healthcare sector with 7.7 percent.
Save the Date: The next MCBW will take place from March 5–13, 2022.