Marca Andorra Observatory: culture, engine of progress

From this “observatory” where we aim to identify those differential elements, those strategic actions, which can help guarantee sustainable progress over time, both in our society and in our economy, I allow myself to redeem culture.

Culture has the virtue of giving us identity as a people, of helping to awaken the feeling of belonging from the roots of our history and the legacy of our ancestors, but at the same time, it becomes a potential energizing element of the differential message that we need to express to the world and that should help us to consolidate the image of the country and, why not, to diversify our economy.

Culture is always present, but perhaps without enough attention to turn it into a real social and economic engine, becomes an opportunity and Andorra must not waste it. In this sense, I consider that the last legislature has taken a big step forward with an important collective work and public-private initiative that has resulted in the document Llibre Blanc de la Cultura presented on March 30, 2021, and which served to respond to a historical shortcoming of the country in the line marked in the strategic plan Horitzó 23.

And above all, to demonstrate, as the process of defining the Marca Andorra already did a few years ago, that a national strategy can also be built, in this case the organization of our culture, with the collaboration of the entire sector, of all those people and institutions that are part of it, which we had the opportunity to determine by folding the road map of this new process of cultural transformation of the country.

Llibre Blanc de la Cultura, through the identification of 30 strategies ends up being grouped into 7 challenges such as: awareness, education, and knowledge; culture as a tool for transformation and social cohesion; shared and efficient vision of culture; alliances, supports and governance; culture as an economic engine; sustainability and cultural tourism; digital immersion and cultural promotion. The real challenge, however, is that this project, which is already two years old, finds the development it deserves.

In this sense, I would like to highlight an element from my point of view that is key to finish strengthening of the culture development strategy, and it is linked to training and education, and specifically, the value that the mentioned nexus can have as a boosting element of our economy and our society. Let’s take the world of music as an example. We have seen the recent initiative that has involved the Government, Comuns d’Andorra la Vella and Ordino and Andorra Tourism and that has allowed the birth of the music festival Clàssic And, which this June will offer us a qualified taste of what could end up being consolidated with a great instrument to highlight the musical offer of our country and contribute to making Marca Andorra.

We have seen at the same time how the Humanium University has arrived to our country, installed in our improvised “Andorra university campus” in Sant Julià, which aims to develop, for example, a master’s degree in music management, recently approved, and which has in its portfolio a varied program of trainings that precisely aim to highlight music and the performing arts with a whole series of specialties that can be a claim for a select group of international students who can find their educational concerns in said field. What a virtuous link, and how useful it is to our country’s cause!

The road is long, and we still have to consolidate the Clàssic And festival, but projecting towards the future, why not explore established and prestigious summer festivals such as Verbier in Switzerland, which is held every year in July and which attracts fans from all over the world, but which at the same time has the particularity of being able to enjoy master classes from some of the best musical talents of world renown. I can imagine our future festival, together with the associated training experience, but completed with the good work of a university – an institution that provides training of the highest level throughout the year. And many other initiatives that can give us a proactive international image or contribute to creating an ecosystem of training and culture that can accommodate multiple and varied initiatives.

I will mention just one, to finish, because those who know me know that I have been talking about it for years. In fact, speaking of years and a celebrated anniversary, this July, with the Festa show, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the arrival of Cirque du Soleil in Andorra. As we know, the show takes place throughout the month of July and undoubtedly represents a boosting element of tourism, but the circus itself, and the values it represents, could find a place of privilege in our country, with greater social roots and a potential scalability to consider, with the strategic alliance with this multinational company of the show, if an agreement were reached to establish in Andorra a stable training experience dedicated to discovering and mentoring emerging talent in this very particular and demanding artistic discipline.

Once more, culture and training united by a common cause and at the service of the country´s brand project. Maybe not everyone will think the same, or will see it as something distant and unattainable, but you only need to look back for a moment and see where we came from and how far we have come to realize that challenges, like the one mentioned, are within our reach! Who can doubt that culture, when seen this way, can become a great engine of progress for Andorra?

By Pere AugéCEO and Founding Partner of Augé Holding Group


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