Matrix for interpreting and mapping cultural and creative ecosystems


KULTURSISTEMA proposes a matrix (or set of matrices) used for categorisation in order to interpret and map cultural and creative ecosystems. It aims to reflect their diversity in terms of sectors and subsectors, 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 practises, or those that emerge from the intersection between pre-existing typologies, which do not fit well in conventional frameworks of analysis. This contact also indicates 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 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. It is also effective 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 results.

In short, KULTURSISTEMA is a useful tool 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 define the scope of activity of different agents and determine the role they wish to play in the ecosystem to which they belong.

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 KARRASKAN Association, dedicated to promoting innovation in culture and the culture of innovation. Version 1.1 of KULTURSISTEMA was developed between September 2016 and July 2017, with the support of the Basque Government’s and the Provincials Councils of Araba’s, Biscay’s and Gipuzkoa’s Department of Culture. The project has been implemented by Roberto Gómez de la Iglesia of c2+i / 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.com in the graphic resolution of the set of matrices. In addition, different partners of KARRASKAN and other cultural and institutional agents have participated in the enhancement of the references and an open verification of contents carried out in May 2017.

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.