Matrix for the mapping, interpretation and analysis of cultural and creative ecosystems 


KULTURSISTEMA proposes a matrix (or set of matrices) used for categorisation in order to map, interpret and analyse cultural and creative ecosystems. It aims to reflect their diversity in terms of sectors and sub-sectors, links to the value chain, the typology of agents who are engaged in this area, and the characteristics of the impacts and fundamental returns.

The aim of KULTURSISTEMA is to promote the richest, most up-to-date contact possible with cultural and creative ecosystems, including new agents and practices, or those that emerge from the intersection between pre-existing typologies, which do not fit well in conventional frameworks of analysis. An approach which, in addition, highlights the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the cultural and creative sectors, both as the fruit of the multiplicity of relationships with other disciplines and areas of activity per se, and from the influence of technological changes, institutional frameworks of reference and social values.

KULTURSISTEMA is an effective tool for the self-diagnosis of organisations and professionals in the sector, since it helps them define their priority fields of action and contrast reality with desired activity setting. It is also intended to serve as an instrument to help shape cultural policies and/or those linked to the development of creativity in a specific territory, making it possible to better understand the area of action and decide on the focus of the public action.

In short, KULTURSISTEMA is useful as an element of reference in the work of political leaders, teams working in cultural organisations, consultants specialised in the sector and policy makers. KULTURSISTEMA helps to define the role of the different agents in the ecosystem of which they form part.

The tools for interpretation that KULTURSISTEMA provides coincide in many aspects with the usual classifications used in the cultural sector, such as the concentric circles proposed by David Throsby or the UNCTAD classification, but they have been expanded upon by the team writing this report and contrasted in turn against other classifications (Agenda21 for Culture, CNAE, the UK government’s DCMS, Chile’s Cultural Council, etc.), as well as the previous classification drafted by the Basque Government within the framework of “culture, creation and applied creativity, as the Territory of opportunity in the Basque Country’s RIS3l Strategy of Smart Specialisation”.

Even though KULTURSISTEMA has emerged within the regional framework of the Basque Country, in response to some of its circumstances and specific situations, an attempt has been made to make it an instrument that can, to a large extent, be extrapolated to other locations, always with certain efforts made to adapt and contextualise it.


KULTURSISTEMA is a project implemented by the professional association, KARRASKAN, dedicated to promoting innovation in culture and the culture of innovation. The first version of KULTURSISTEMA was developed between September 2016 and July 2017. The project was implemented by Roberto Gómez de la Iglesia of Conexiones Improbables and Ricardo Antón Troyas of ColaBoraBora; with collaboration from Iranzu Guijarro Plaza on tasks related to mapping coordination and from Nerea Márquez Txarramendieta de Ojobuey in the graphic resolution of the set of matrices. In addition, different partners of KARRASKAN and other cultural and institutional agents participated in the enhancement of the references and an open verification of contents carried out in May 2017. This second edition has been revised by the original authors, along with Iranzu Guijarro Plaza on the basis on numerous comparisons and contributions received in presentations and practical workshops held between September 2017 and May 2019.

For the development of KULTURSISTEMA in its different phases, KARRASKAN has received support from different public institutions, through its ministries, cultural departments or areas, such as: the Government of Spain, the Basque Government, The Provincial Councils of Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa, Getxo Town Council.

KULTURSISTEMA is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA licence. Attribution – ShareAlike (BY-SA) is a licence that allows the free use and modification of the work, as long as its original authors are cited and the derivative work is under the same licence.