Social laboratories for culture and entrepreneurship (LASO) in Colombia
Find out more about this innovative practice
The Social Laboratories of Culture and Entrepreneurship (LASO, in Spanish initials) is a program intended to encourage and support the creation and consolidation of collaborative networks by young people for the creation, production and commercialization of cultural content using new technologies. The program comprises five components: Training, Infrastructure, Sustainability, Participation and Distribution.
By offering local training in cultural entrepreneurship, enhancing the creative and productive capacity of local cultural professionals, supporting the development and viability of new creative projects and facilitating access to funding, the LASO Local Committees have a direct impact on the social and economic development of the territories where they are located. Moreover, they promote strategic partnerships with other networks fostering collaborative work.
The LASO Local Committees also contribute to strengthening the process of decentralized cultural governance. Growing steadily since its launch in 2012, the LASO program is present in 18 municipalities around the country, where Cultural Content Production Centers (CPCC) are located thus supporting regional equity in the distribution of cultural resources within the country. Almost 500 productive units were created to support and provide training to about 4000 young artists. A further 400 participants benefited of support schemes to participate in business roundtables, festivals and cultural markets.
With this initiative, Colombia implements innovative strategies to integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks in line with Goal 3 of the Convention and advances the realization of SDGs 4, 8 and 9. By fostering technical and vocational training and providing infrastructures supporting the cultural value chain through the whole country, LASO contributes to increasing the number of youth who have relevant skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship (Target 4.4), encourages the formalization and growth of cultural micro and SMMEs (Target 8.3) and develops quality, reliable, and sustainable infrastructure to support economic development and human well-being (Target 9.1).