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Organizations are seeking other, new, original and authentic ways to set up their marketing, boost their brand, foster innovation and initiate research. The arts and culture can help in many ways.

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Artification refers to a concept of management in which an organization uses the power and sublimity of the arts to upgrade itself.  

Originally, artification was a sociological concept. More and more activities that were not previously considered art are now being classified as art. Pieter-Paul Rubens, for example, was not considered an artist in his day, but rather a craftsman. Photography was not experienced as art in the beginning. And more recently, Street Art has been exhibited in museums, sold in galleries and taught in art schools under the influence of artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.    

However, artification has also become a management concept in recent years. A growing number of companies and organizations collaborate with artists, designers, and cultural actors. The phenomenon is not really new. Coca-Cola and Toulouse Lautrec have already worked together for marketing purposes a century ago. By working together with the art world, Absolute Vodka became the world's number one brand. However, we have seen an intensification in recent decades. Companies are seeking other, new, original and authentic ways to organize their activities. The arts and companies can collaborate in a number of ways. This collaboration can range from simple synergies to more complex hybrid collaborations.  

The arts are important to companies for five main reasons.  

To begin with, it helps make new connections with new and existing audiences. Secondly, companies such as Absolut Vodka, Benetton, and banks are using the arts to support branding and infuse their brands with an aura of art. 

We also observe that artists often think and see the world differently than other people. Therefore, artistic interventions can have an impact on insight, team dynamics, methods of working, and organizational transformation. Creativity and innovation are also in high demand in many companies. AirBnB, Uber, Eosta, and BinkBank have influenced many companies to become game changers in the markets in which they operate. In order to accomplish this, one must look at the methods and cognitive processes of artists who are driven by a desire to be creative and innovative. Rather than going from point A to point B, we need to reinvent point B. Art thinking methods includes imagination and visualization, experiments, asking questions, recognizing paradoxes and also knowing one's own cognitive processes with regard to creativity. Finally art can be considered a research tool and an artist becomes a researcher. Abbvie, a pharmaceutical company, has commissioned a group of artists to create works of art reflecting on the impact of hepatitis C on the lives of people living with it. In addition to the medication, a patient's quality of life is affected by how he is approached by his immediate environment.   

During a keynote or a workshop, all these concepts are explained and deepened through many examples, diagrams, and case studies. The presentations provide new insights, are inspiring, and provide tools so that concepts can later be implemented within the organization.

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Erwin Van den Brande has set himself the goal of bringing the cultural and creative world and the world of business closer together. Companies are confronted with (disruptive) challenges and this requires a different approach and thinking. Business leaders can learn from the art world and vice versa.

Erwin Van den Brande has an economic background and has held management positions in a number of technology companies. He is an entrepreneur and was the founder of several start-ups. Since 2010 he has been a visual artist with exhibitions in Belgium and abroad. His passion is to bring together the two worlds that at first sight are far apart. Art as a way of thinking, living and working is the binding agent for him. He is the founder of Dual&Day.

Dual&Day helps companies with artification and cultural actors to make a creative connection with the companies, through lectures, workshops, advisory processes, publications and concrete artification projects.

Erwin Van den Brande

Advocate of paradoxes and oxymorons because they provide new insights

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