Joris Janssens (Ph.D.)

Senior Expert Culture & Regional Development

Joris Janssens is a senior expert with extensive experience when it comes to research (qualitative and quantitative) and strategic guidance within culture. Joris works for governments, organisations and networks, at the local, supra-local, Flemish and international level. In each case, it’s about content-based development processes. Future-oriented analyses of the environment support professionals and policy makers in their transition to a more sustainable practice and in the development of new working models.

Since 2019 Joris has been working for IDEA Consult in the fields of culture, leisure and tourism. Previously, he was Head of Research & Development at Kunstenpunt (Flanders Arts Institute) and Director of Vlaams Theater Instituut. Before, he worked at the KULeuven and obtained a PhD in Germanic Language and Literature in 2004.

At Vlaams Theater Instituut, Kunstenpunt (Flanders Arts Institute) and IDEA Consult, Joris built up unique expertise in the field of arts and arts policy. At Kunstenpunt Joris was editor-in-chief of two editions of the Landschapstekening Kunsten (a strength-weakness analysis of the arts field), and of the Cijferboek Kunsten (2018). These Landscape Drawings build on pioneering work at the Flemish Theatre Institute. Since 2006, he has been setting up fieldwork projects there, which stimulated both the sector and policymakers to develop a vision of the performing arts landscape, based on numerical mappings and public debate (e.g. a Masterplan for Dance ). At IDEA Consult, Joris also developed Landscape Drawings Arts at the urban level, in Leuven, Antwerp and Kortrijk (usually in collaboration with local authorities and arts networks).

Other assignments for local authorities were guidance for the City of Leuven, in the run-up to a multi-year round in the Circus Decree, and the City of Ghent, in the exploration of its candidacy as European Cultural Capital. Recently, there has also been a strong focus on cultural infrastructure, in assignments for the City of Antwerp (Master Plan Infrastructure for the Performing Arts) and the City of Ghent (mapping and vision development for Cultural Infrastructure). At the supra-local level, Joris developed field plans and policy plans for the cultural regions of NOORDRAND and COMEET, both within the framework of the Decree on Supramunicipal Cultural Activities and the Cultural Heritage Decree.

For the Department of Culture, Youth and Media, Joris conducted research into the use of the Local Leisure Monitor, a future-oriented evaluation of the regulations for supra-local investment subsidies of the Cultural Infrastructure Fund (FoCI)  and the optimalion of the Flemish policy instruments for digital transformation and various themes in the context of the Flemish Broad Review.

At the international level, Joris developed projects and recommendations for various organisations and networks. A recurring theme here is the search for new and more sustainable forms of international networking, collaboration and mobility, in a society in full transition. In 2018, Joris published (Re)framing the International, a leading international publication as a reflection of a two-year development trajectory within the Flemish arts field. Recent projects on the international level deal specifically with sustainable international touring in the performing arts (Perform Europe), the development of alternative working models (RESHAPE) and different international networking (Rewiring the Network, for IETM). On this theme, Joris also provided projects, recommendations and keynotes for, among others, Dutch Music Export, Pro Helvetia, European DanceHouse Network, REMA (European Early Music Network) and Estudios Victor Córdon (Lisbon). Between 2007 and 2019, Joris was a Flemish expert at Compendium for Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe.

Other publications include ‘De weifelende ezel’ (on literature and national identity, at Vantilt Publishers), Tracks (on artistic practice in a diverse society, together with An van. Dienderen and Katrien Smits at EPO) and Travelogue (on international mobility in the performing arts). He wrote for various literary and cultural magazines, including FreeSpace Nieuwzuid, nY, Spiegel der Letteren, Zacht Lawijd, Rekto:Verso and Veto. He has also been on the board of the Theaterfestival Vlaanderen, Zebrart vzw, Circuit X, the Brussels Kunstenoverleg (BKO), CREW (Eric Joris) and ERICarts Association. He is also a member of the General Assembly of the arts organisation SPIN.

Projects by Joris Janssens (Ph.D.)

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