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Research interests

Ellen Loots is specialized in arts management, cultural organizations and creative entrepreneurship, and has a special interest in the motivations and behaviors of individuals and organizations in the cultural and creative industries. Social challenges as justice, community and sustainability influence many of her choices in research and teaching. Currently, she is an assistant professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam (Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication). A late entrant to the academic professional context, Ellen has been working as a practitioner in the arts and cultural field, as a marketeer, communication expert, and business leader in organizations. At de Warande (Turnhout, Belgium), she curated exhibitions with works by artists as Candice Breitz, Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Johan Grimonprez, Frances Goodman, Melvin Moti, and Sarah Vanaght, and she has (co-)produced work by Hans op de Beeck, Tom Vansant and Angelo Vermeulen. Before joining Erasmus University Rotterdam, Ellen worked at Antwerp University, University of Groningen and Maastricht University. She is involved in numerous research projects. Currently, Ellen is the coordinator of a research project funded by Instituut Gak on the income position of creative professionals in the Netherlands, entailing research on matchfunding, cooperatives, legislation, and income differences across industries. In a team of colleagues from VU (Amsterdam) and Antwerp Management School and Antwerp University, she is investigating the drivers and barriers to growth in entrepreneurship. She is coordinating a European-funded project on the entrepreneurial and self-curatorial skills and mindsets of musicians with partners from Belgium, Portugal, Greece, and Estonia. Together with Marina Bos-De Vos (TuDelft), she examines value co-creation in circular design processes, funded by an NWO-Kiem grant. Previously, she has been the principal investigator or co-researcher in projects on themes as digital culture (commissioned by het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam) and library participation, artists’ residencies and heritage funding (all commissioned by the Flemish Government). Ellen’s approach to teaching is research-led, while her courses also equip students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to the management and entrepreneurship in cultural and creative environments. As the chair of the program committee Arts & Culture Studies, she has a passion for challenging students’ independent ways of thinking and adding to their employability and career self-management competences. She has developed courses in Management of Arts & Culture, Cultural Entrepreneurship, Cultural Economics, Cultural Policy, Creative Cities and Impact Assessment for several Dutch universities. Together with Pawan Bhansing, she outlined the Cultural Entrepreneurship-track in the MA Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship at Erasmus University. Through collaborations with like-minded people and active participation at events, Ellen contributes to and engages in debates on the impact of arts, culture and creativity on society, and on the role of creative, sustainable and just entrepreneurship in social challenges. She has (co-)authored 20+ peer-reviewed academic articles and book chapters (some together with graduates) and 30+ conference papers. She is the co-editor of special issues of the Journal of Cultural Economics (New Forms of Finance and Funding in the Cultural and Creative Industries) and Cross-Culture and Strategic Management (Micro-Foundations of Small Business Internationalization), and a member of the editorial board of Social Sciences and Humanities Open. She holds a Phd of Applied Economics (Antwerp University), a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Musicology and Theatre Studies (Ghent University), a Master of Visual Arts (Karel de Grote University of Applied Sciences and Art, Antwerp) and a Master of Culture Management (Antwerp University).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

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