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Oklahoma Delegation to participate in inaugural meeting of Network of International Creative Entrepreneurs, Dutch Design Week and Creativity World Forum

A recently formed grass-roots initiative, the Network of International Creative Entrepreneurs (NICE), will hold its inaugural international meeting in Eindhoven, Netherlands October  27 – 28. A strategically selected group of Oklahoma business owners, entrepreneurs, educators and creative thinkers will gather with the aim to form a bridge between Oklahoma and small-to-medium enterprises in Europe and eventually all parts of the world. The inaugural meeting will consist primarily of members from Oklahoma, Netherlands and Scotland. The NICE delegation hopes to spur creativity, advance technology and encourage entrepreneurship.

The project represents a collaboration between Creative Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team with support from Oklahoma State University, University of Tulsa, Tulsa Global Alliance, and other private sector interests.  

Creative Oklahoma sought and received designation for Oklahoma as an official District of Creativity from the international Districts of Creativity Network based in Flanders in 2007.  The Districts of Creativity Network (DC Network) is comprised of 14 designated regions of which Oklahoma is the only North American member region. Relationships between Oklahoma and the Brabant region of the Netherlands, where Eindhoven is a major city, and Scotland have been developed over time through the DC Network membership. Representatives from Eindhoven and Scotland have traveled to Oklahoma in 2010 and 2015 when Creative Oklahoma hosted the Creativity World Forum in Oklahoma City and organized statewide innovation study tours for the international group in 2015.

“Oklahoma is well known globally for its impact on the energy industry. We want to educate the world and Oklahoma that our state is also valuable for other resources,” said John Curzon, Chair of the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team and NICE co- founder. “We are much more than a fly-over state, and we believe we can leverage our entrepreneurial ecosystem and our education programs in Oklahoma to work interchangeably with those in the Netherlands to help foster a sustainable relationship.”

In addition, the NICE delegation will participate in Dutch Design Week, October 21-29, which is the largest design event in Northern Europe presenting more than 2,500 designers’ works and concepts as well as exhibitions, lectures, debates about the future of design. Also, the group will participate in the World Creativity Forum, Nov. 1-2 in Aarhus, Denmark. The two-day global conference brings together 2,000 top creative minds for lectures, presentations and networking opportunities.

“We are excited to broaden the network of Oklahomans participating in the Creativity World Forum and other events organized by our colleagues from Eindhoven.  We have seen positive impact in Oklahoma with our participation in the DC Network the last 10 years with collaborative projects, international relationships, and positive public relations for Oklahoma as a creativity and innovation destination hub.  We only expect those relationships and positive benefits for the state to grow through these meetings,” said Susan McCalmont, President of Creative Oklahoma.

“This collection of events designed to spur creativity and entrepreneurial growth presents a wonderful opportunity to bring together the global entrepreneurial, tech and education communities into one space,” Curzon said. “It is an honor to be able to participate in all of these events at once. We expect long-term relationships to develop which will have lasting economic benefit to the people of Oklahoma.”

From Oklahoma, more than a dozen entrepreneurial business leaders and educators will be represented at the meeting and subsequent gatherings, including:

  • John Curzon – chair, OK Governor’s International Team & Partner, CCK Strategies; Tulsa 
  • Susan McCalmont -president, Creative OK; OKC
  • Elliott Adams – author/speaker, “The Startup Mixtape”; OKC & San Francisco
  • Dirk Spears – CEO, Spears New Technologies & Creative OK board member; OKC
  • Chris Shillings – COO, Appable & ConFigurate; OKC/Norman Pageant Ferriabough – CEO, Business Resources & Creative OK board member; Tulsa
  • Emily Roberts – OSU professor; Stillwater Alden Klefeker – CCK Strategies; Tulsa 
  • Jane Kucko – Vice Provost for Global Education, University of Tulsa Nicole Morgan – Resolute PR, Tulsa
  • Wade Bray – Oklahoma Fashion Initiative, Tulsa Tommy Yi – StarSpace 46, OKC
  • James Beach – OK Sessions, OKC & Seattle
  • Ava Pipher – StarSpace46, OKC
  • Gabriela Fonseca Pereira – Graduate Student, OSU; Stillwater

The NICE founders will discuss approaches to entrepreneurship with business creators from around the world, and expect to establish partnerships with those international leaders to spur growth for all through the sharing of resources and knowledge.

“Our goal for a successful outcome after this trip is to bring back applicable knowledge to be able to do business with like-minded entrepreneurs from one another’s countries,” Curzon said. “We want to bring home new ideas, industry insight and a network of resourceful, sustainable relationships for both short term and long term opportunities.”

About Creative Oklahoma

Creative Oklahoma is a statewide non-profit organization advancing Oklahoma’s economy through innovation-focused initiatives in education, commerce and culture. The mission is to develop, promote and celebrate Oklahoma’s creativity and innovation in education, commerce and culture. For more information, please visit www.creativeoklahoma.org

About the Network of International Creative Entrepreneurs

The mission of NICE is to spur creativity, advance technology and encourage entrepreneurship; share knowledge and best practices among members; empower others to engage in creative entrepreneurship on an international level;   and bridge the gap between societal and business cultures beginning with the Districts of Creativity in Oklahoma, Scotland and Brabant (Netherlands.)

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