It is within WLO’s mission to closely follow the latest developments in the field of leisure or in relation to its dimensions, as well as to bring WLO’s voice to international forums on leisure, culture, sports, recreation and tourism. Last December, Cristina Ortega Nuere, WLO Chief Operating Officer (COO), participated in two of the most important meeting and networking spaces in the field of culture at the international level.

The first of them was the European Cultural Forum (ECF), organized by the European Commission and held in Milan on the 7-8 December 2017. Under the title “Our heritage: Where the past meets the future”, the 2017 edition of this biennial flagship event marked the official launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 (EYCH 2018). With the celebration of this year, the EC wants to encourage more people to discover and engage with cultural heritage, a call to which the leisure community could certainly respond. In the words of Cristina Ortega, “leisure intersects with cultural heritage in many ways, which becomes very clear in the case of some specific areas such as sustainable tourism or creative leisure; it would be highly interesting to have the leisure community’s inputs on the occasion of this time of collaboration fostered by the EYCH 2018”. Furthermore, with the participation of the main political leaders and academic and professional experts, the ECF tackled some of the areas of interest of the WLO SIG on Leisure and Innovation (to which we devoted the December issue of WLO News), such as creativity or the creative industries.

Only a few days later, on the 12-15 December 2017, the Eleventh ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The event included a panel debate on “Cultural and Creative Industries: A New Agenda for the Development Community?”, on the 12 December, the launch of the UNESCO 2018 Global Report “Re-Shaping Cultural Policies”, and a debate on “Towards Support Policies for Independent Cinema?”, both on the 14 December. Again, this high level meeting was an excellent opportunity for networking and foreseeing future challenges for culture as leisure.