Levan Kharatishvili – Georgia

Levan Kharatishvili

CEO & Founder – Creative Strategies Lab

After more than a decade leading numerous cultural and cultural heritage related projects, creating strategies for culture, cultural heritage, arts and creative sectors, Levan Kharatishvili has embarked on setting up his own creative consultancy enterprise: Creative Strategies Lab (CSL).

From 2013 to 2021, he worked at the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia (former Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection; Ministry of Culture and Sport of Georgia; currently Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth) in the capacity of a Deputy Minister, in charge of overseeing culture and creative industries, cultural heritage, strategy development and international relations. His name is associated with the elaboration and adoption of the first culture strategy document Culture Strategy 2025 and its action plans adopted by the Government of Georgia in 2016. He is the co-author of the first Cultural Policy document in Georgia.

Levan has established LEPL Creative Georgia with the ultimate mission to create an enabling environment to support and develop culture and the creative industries in Georgia and was the co-author of the first National Strategy and Roadmap for the creative industries in Georgia.

Under the EU Culture and Creativity Programme and UNESCO Culture for Development Indicators (CDIS) Research Program, he has contributed to defining a set of indicators highlighting how culture contributes to development at national level, fostering economic growth. Levan has also initiated, planned, organized and lead the First Creative Georgia Forum – ‘Culture and Creativity for Innovation and Development Roadmap for Creative Industries’ in cooperation with the EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme in December 2016, as well as an International Culture Forum – Connecting Cultures – Shaping a Creative Future for Georgia and Europe in May 2019.

With his support and assistance, the local municipality of Zugdidi in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Region has successfully elaborated and adopted the first cultural development strategy for the city under the EU4Culture project. As a result, Zugdidi has been selected as a winning city and has been awarded a 300,000 EUR grant to support the implementation of the recently adopted strategy. This strategy prioritizes gastronomy as a key element for the sustainable development of the city and the entire region.

Levan represented and headed the Georgian delegation at the Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP) of the Council of Europe and was elected as a Chair in 2020. He has contributed to the initiation and elaboration of the draft concept for a CDCPP Strategy 2022-2025. He is very well acquainted with the work of the Council of Europe’s Culture and Cultural Heritage Division, as well as conventions in the field of culture and cultural heritage also with the subjects of artificial intelligence and combined culture, nature, environmental and sustainable heritage activities.

He has promoted and supported the European Heritage Strategy for the 21 Century as well as facilitated the insertion of the Georgian examples into the best practices ST21 Golden Collection.

He has been assigned to elaborate the full report of the Third Regional Seminar “Faro Convention for concrete action on cultural heritage” within the frames of the Council of Europe – European Union Joint Project – “The Faro Way: enhanced participation in cultural heritage.” He has also been assigned to prepare the study on the best practices of applying the Faro Convention principles by Georgian public, private and civil society sectors for the Council of Europe.

He has been representing and heading the Georgian delegation at the Governing Board of Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe and has been elected as a Vice-Chair.

He was a Board member of the Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends. He was the co-author of the Manifesto on Freedom of Expression of Arts and Culture in Digital Era as well as the concept for a digital exhibition ‘Free to Create, Create to be Free’ launched by the Council of Europe.

He has conducted evaluations, cultural policy reviews, projects and trainings, given speeches and advised governments and cultural operators in more than 15 countries around the world. He is a member of the Cultural Policy Designers Network, thus one of 35 cultural policy experts from 20 European countries. He is working as a cultural and creative sectors expert at the EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme, advising governments, cultural operators and other stakeholders from Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.