Cultural footprint

A cultural footprint is the impact that a group or individual has on the cultural environment.


“Cultural footprint”[1] was defined in June 2013, at the initiative of a group of experts from UNESCO, the OECD, the International Organisation of the Francophonie, French ministries, various companies and civil society.

They explained it as “all of the externalities, both positive and negative, generated in the cultural environment by agents’ actions”. It is considered to be positive when it enriches cultural diversity[2] or fosters cultural intensity.[3]

A second reference document published in 2017 specified that “all actors have the possibility of activating (i.e. exploring and utilizing) available cultural resources. At the same time, it is their responsibility to make a positive contribution” to that sub-stratum, to that creative atmosphere. This means that groups and individuals must “set requirements for themselves, engage based on their own singularities, and be culturally involved and invested”.


“The Cultural Footprint of the Cosmetic Sector”[3] is a document to which Gilles Andrier, Loïc Armand, Francesco Bandarin, Jérôme Bédier, Françoise Benhamou, Fouad Benseddik, Gilles Boëtsch, Dominique Bourg, Jérôme Gouadain, Maria Gravari-Barbas, Marc-Antoine Jamet, François Jullien, Pascal Lamy, Jacques Lévy, Gilles Lipovetsky, Françoise Montenay, Jean Musitelli, Patrick O’Quin, Philippe d’Ornano, Dominique Perrault, Marie-Hélène Plainfossé and Nicole Rouvet contributed. It suggests several aspects of the cultural environment where economics might be able to make a contribution: architecture, art, colours, enjoyment, ethics, heritage, imagination, learning, social skills, singularity, etc.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ The term was first used in work launched by the association Diversum (“Mesurer et améliorer son empreinte culturelle : nouvelle thématique du développement durable” [“Measuring and Improving One’s Cultural Footprint: The New Topic in Sustainable Development”], Jérôme Gouadain’s contribution to the 2nd European Conference on Plurilingualism, Berlin, 19 June 2009).
  2. ^ Conclusions of the first inter-institutional working group on the purple economy
  3. ^ a b “The Cultural Footprint of the Cosmetic Sector” (accessed 24 September 2018).