South African Cultural Observatory National Conference
arts & culture
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

4th International Hybrid Conference


Attend virtually via zoom (all times in South African time) or in person at the CSIR International Convention Centre


Join us to chart a new way ahead for the cultural and
creative industries under the conference theme

creative economy reset
Structuring the Creative and Cultural Industries for a Sustainable and Inclusive Future

The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) and the Department of Sport, Arts & Culture (DSAC) are excited to announce the SACO’s 4th International Conference on 9 and 10 November 2022 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria, Tshwane.

#SACOConf2022 will be delivered in hybrid format and takes place amid trying times for all nations and people, as the impact and aftereffects of Covid-19, climate change, heightened international conflict, disrupted supply chains, and mounting inflation collide to produce severe uncertainty for the world economy.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside heightened global recognition, more investment was flowing toward the CCIs from both public and private sources and the impetus for more funding, investment, and support is now greater than ever as the world seeks to rebalance after the pandemic.

New technologies and digital spaces are opening up markets and providing tools for global reach for creators, artists and those generating creative intellectual property. In addition, big digital platforms (MAAGs) are radically affecting creative sector consumption and production.

These debates and others are not just about the advent of technologies but broader human challenges as well. They need to be interrogated. This conference aims to look at how agents and agencies working in the CCI’s, from global to local, can maintain the gains, leverage the opportunities, but also critically assess and where relevant, redress the trends, while considering South Africa and Africa, and the global creative community. 

macro themes

The overall theme is supported by a series of macro-themes, including
Dealing with disruption
Trends, developments and responses – global perspectives on the creative economy.
The cartography of the new creative economy
Constructing, categorizing and revaluing the creative economy.
International trade and creative markets
Cultural policy in transition
Innovation, adaptation, entrepreneurship: from theory to lived experience
Creative work and human capital
Cultural participation and consumption
The creative economy and digital transformation
Funding, financing and investing in the creative economy

Who should attend?

  • Local and international academics
  • Industry professionals and practitioners
  • Public managers, policy-makers and intellectuals
  • Researchers and consultants
  • Private sector sponsors and practitioners
  • NGOs and NPOs
  • Arts funders and impact investors
  • Organisations working in cultural and creative industries (CCIs)
  • Creative workers and young creators
  • Organisers of cultural festivals & events.

Important Dates

Registration Opens Monday, 26 September 2022
Deadline for Abstracts Friday, 9 September 2022
Speaker registration closing date Monday, 24 October 2022
Early bird registration closes Monday, 10 October 2022
Standard registration closing date Thursday, 3 November 2022
Virtual registration closing date Will remain open for the duration of the conference
Conference dates 9 and 10 November 2022
Conference gala dinner Wednesday, 6pm, 9 November 2022

Conference Registration Fees

Early bird registration (in person) R400 Secure your place at the
conference. Early bird tickets
limited to first 100 registrations
before Monday, 30 September 2022.
In-person attendance R600 Thursday, 3 November
(Limited availability)
Virtual attendance R200 Will remain open for the duration of the conference

Conference registration fee includes

  • 15-minute presentation for every author and presenter
  • Lunch, coffee breaks and refreshments for all in-person attendees
  • Conference gala dinner with entertainment on the evening of 9 November for in-person attendees
  • Sign language translation of plenary sessions (available for virtual attendees)
  • Major international language translation of plenary session
  • Conference pack including programme and abstract booklet for in-person attendees
  • Plenary session viewing for virtual participants
  • Virtual sessions are non-participatory
  • Breakaway sessions for virtual attendees to engage in discussions

Cancellation Policy

In the case of any cancellation or non-attendance, unfortunately, the registration fees are not refundable.