Image Gradient
BOP Consulting Logo | HomeButton
image gradient

Image credit: Julienne Schaer/ NYC & Company

Download Project Report

VIEW PDF

As 2018 draws to a close, the world seems like an increasingly fractured and unsettled place – especially if you live and work in the UK. 


Amidst the din and discord, BOP got on with the business of nurturing creativity and making better places! 


In the spirit of festive cheer, here are six things we’ve done this year, that inspire hope and optimism for the future:


  1. The 2018 edition of the World Cities Culture Report, launched in November, demonstrates through many vivid examples that in response to global challenges, world cities are extending their cultural policies beyond central flagship projects to more participatory, citizen-centred activities across the city.

  2. In a similar vein, our report for the Chengdu Government, ‘Pioneer Cities’, shows that this new spirit of open-ness extends to external relationships. Forward-looking cities are increasingly using culture to forge new city-to-city relationships to help address their challenges and foster innovation.

  3. BOP’s work on the UK Cultural Cities Enquiry has thrown a spotlight on the countless ways in which artists, cultural organisations, grassroots arts groups and creative entrepreneurs contribute to the civic life our cities and communities. The Enquiry’s recommendations, to be released in February, will focus on how the good practice we’ve found can be extended to every corner of the UK.

  4. With our partner AESOP, we launched Active Ingredients, a new planning and evaluation tool for arts and health projects. We hope this will be used to foster a whole new generation of initiatives. We have only just started to explore the full potential of this field.

  5. In the Gulf region we’ve worked with an energetic and inspiring young team to design a new foundation, with a mission to promote international cultural collaboration and to increase the understanding of contemporary Islamic art across the world.

  6. As proud supporters of the Achates Prize for first time sponsors of the arts, we were astonished at the quality and geographical spread of this year’s shortlist. And we were truly inspired by this year’s corporate winners: construction firm Laing O’Rourke for their sponsorship of the first ever International Arts and Homeless Summit and Festival, held in Manchester in November.


In 2018 it has been a privilege to support the leaders, businesses, artists, managers, investors and creative organisations who are quietly getting on with making a difference. We look forward to helping existing and new clients build on their achievements in the coming year. The world needs them more than ever before.

Happy holidays to all!


– Paul Owens, Founder and Director

Reasons to be (cautiously) cheerful – Parts 1 to 6

Our founder reflects on the last 12 months

Dec 20, 2018

Green Cities helping climate change through culture and sustainability

Nov 4, 2021

How are major cities around the world responding to climate change through cultural policies and programmes?

The Green World Cities of Tomorrow: Culture and Sustainability

Paul Owens

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Apr 22, 2021

5 Priorities for World Cities in the post-covid recovery period

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Paul Owens

Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

Dec 4, 2020

Culture can play an important role in recovery and renewal across the UK, if the right local decision-making is put in place

Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

Callum Lee

Central London’s celebrated

Sep 23, 2020

This focused, coordinated set of measures can not only rescue the sector, but position it to lead the recovery

Central London’s celebrated cultural offer is in peril

Jonathan Todd

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

Aug 21, 2020

Three big questions as applications close for Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

Jul 30, 2020

The UK’s £1.57 billion recovery package: priorities for a New Deal

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Jul 20, 2020

Cities are using their unique capabilities to lead recovery and renewal

COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Jul 7, 2020

Investing in recovery, planning for transformation

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Paul Owens

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Jun 30, 2020

Recovery and renewal will depend on how we address the three dimensions of the crisis

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Paul Owens

Take planning and collaboration to whole a new level.

Jun 3, 2020

In the face of radical uncertainty leaders and policy-makers will have to take planning and collaboration to whole a new level

‘Plans are useless, planning is essential’

Paul Owens

Relief, Recovery and Renewal

May 13, 2020

Nobody knows what will happen next, but we have a good idea of the three necessary steps out of the crisis

Relief, Recovery and Renewal: navigating our way to a new kind of future

Paul Owens

The Golden Thread in the 2020s

Dec 20, 2019

A cause for optimism

Weaving the Golden Thread into the 2020s

Paul Owens

Related Articles

By BOP Consulting

Paul Owens

Co-Founder and Director

Paul is a leading international advisor and practitioner in cultural policy and creative economy. He is Co-Founder of BOP, and alongside his fellow directors he has pioneered now well-established methods to measure the impact of cultural policy. 

Paul Owens - Founder and Director | BOP Consulting

Planning a new project?

If you are interested to learn more about our work or if you have a project you would like to discuss, get in touch.

SHARE ARTICLE
Paul Owens

Paul Owens

Co-Founder and Director