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Interview of the week- “In Spain there are very talented and creative professionals, but they need tools to develop and grow their skills”, Lucía Ybarra, Vice-Chair and head of external relations of Factoría Cultural.

Based on the fifth edition of the “Foro Expertos” cycle, we have chatted with the Vice-Chair and head of external relations of Factoría Cultural, Lucía Ybarra.

The objective of this cycle which is being hosted by Factoría Cultural Madrid y Murcia, is to contribute to the training and develop talent through sharing professional experiences and success stories in different sectors…

For those who still don’t know it…what is Factoría Cultura? Factoría Cultura is a space which supports creative entrepreneurship which contributes to the development and sustainability of the projects selected through practical training programmes, tutorship’s, accompaniment and networking. We have our headquarters in Matadero-Madrid, since 2014, and in Centro Párraga, Murcia, since 2016. We have 130 projects a year, which are selected by a panel of judges subsequent to an open call.

How did the idea of Foro Expertos arise? Foro de Expertos is series of free talks, although you have to register, they are organised with the collaboration of Banco Sabadell Foundation and hosted by well renowned and prestigious professionals in diverse areas of knowledge and creativity. From day one we thought it was necessary to improve the inspiration and creativity of entrepreneurs and provide them access to professionals in the different sectors with who to share advice and experiences.

Foro de Expertos has the objective of sharing detailed knowledge of the sectors included in the creative economy and cultural companies who are adding innovation, value and creativity through their proposals. These talks are also a meeting point for professions with shared interests, a place where they can talk and debate with the speakers, and attendees.

Who are these forums aimed at? Entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals or people who are interested in the different sectors of Cultural and Creative Industries. They are talks which are open to the public in general, for which reason anybody who is interested in the topic is welcome to come along. There is wide age range amongst the audience, although the majority are aged between 25 and 50. A smaller percentage (10%) are students at local universities.

After the success in Madrid, you took the leap to Factoría Cultural Murcia, what was the reaction like? In Madrid we have been organising these forums since 2014, and when we opened the headquarters in Murcia in 2016 we decided to organise this programme there too, where we have had a very positive reaction. I would highlight the loyalty of the entrepreneurs who visit us time and time again, as if they formed part of the programme. It is also receiving a very positive welcome between people who have very diverse age ranges, from young boys and girls to older people who are interested in the different topics, as well as media professionals.

What do these attendees value the most? and the speakers? What they value the most is the closeness with the speakers, as when the talks have ended, there is time for networking, enabling the exchange of ideas between speakers and attendees. They also highly value the inspiration they get from listening to professionals sharing their success stories, and the challenges which they have faced in the development of their professional careers. On the other hand, the speakers feel stimulated by the interest which they generate amongst the audience, and also from being able to share their knowledge and support others.

Do you think it is necessary to place more value on talent more in this country? In Spain there are very talented and creative professionals, but they need tools to develop and grow their skills. We receive more than 400 submissions in the calls, which shows that in Spain it is necessary to support talent and entrepreneurship in the Cultural and Creative Industries.

What does talent mean to you? For me, talent is creative genius, something which adds value, which combines skills and abilities which mark the difference.