70 Years-On Conversations programme - Arts Festivals Summit 2022

70 years ago, Swiss writer and philosopher Denis de Rougemont and Ukrainian conductor Igor Markevitch launched the European Festivals Association as a peace project, a dialogue platform, an expression of hope and reconciliation. 70 years later, this mission is still so true and lives its implementation in the daily life of the Association and its activities. In this light, EFA is inviting for a series of reflections and conversations at its 70th anniversary Arts Festival Summit 2022.

Tuesday, 13 September 2022 | 11.30-13.30 & 14.30-16.30

Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan, Yerevan

Prepared by a prominent group of festival leaders in a series of online thinking group meetings, the 70 Years-On Festivals Agenda speaking about what is at stake and of concern in festivals today, is at the centre of this 4 hours conversation (The 70-Years-On Festivals Agenda will be presented in Yerevan in detail).

The 70 Years-On Conversation invites 4 personalities from 4 perspectives to launch small group table discussions among Summit participants: you have the possibility to meet many colleagues you did not meet before through these in-depth, one-on-one encounters, and be inspired and triggered by 4 visionary kick-off statements: how should cities use the power of the arts and of arts festivals more efficiently? Why does the business world need the arts? What has changed for artists when using festivals as platforms for their work to meet audiences? What role for Europe when it comes to supporting festivals’ work for building a responsible community?

Under the motto ‘the unknown artist’, the ‘unknown businessman’, the ‘unknown mayor’ and the ‘unknown Europe’, a certain sense of idealism in these 10-15 minutes keynotes are ‘broken down’ to daily festival making and management in the successive group discussions.

The Speakers

11.30-13.30 | 70 Years-On Conversations: The unknown business leader and unknown artist

1. The unknown artist, with Shahidul Alam

Shahidul Alam, acclaimed Bangladesh photographer and initiator of the first photography festival, Chobi Mela, in Asia, challenged the minds of festival managers and guests with his opening provocation to mark the start of the 15th Atelier for Young Festival Managers running from 23-29 March 2019 in Valletta. He reiterated the experience during the panel 'Artists Changing the World' at the Atelier for Young Festival Managers from 16 - 22 June 2021 in Düsseldorf, both organised by The Festival Academy.

Alam openly shared his story, experience, and ongoing pursuit for social justice through media, education and culture, even in most harsh contexts, demonstrating the power of arts, community involvement and festivals as platforms for social change, resistance and possible ‘Spaces of Dissent’.

2. The unknown business leader, with Prof. Dr. Danica Purg.

Professor Danica Purg is President of IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia, and President of CEEMAN, the International Association for Management Development in Dynamic Societies. She is also President of Alliance of Management Development Associations in Rising Economies, co-founded by CEEMAN, to accelerate the growth of relevant and excellent management education in the global markets that need it most.

Danica Purg is a professor of leadership at IEDC. She authored and co-authored several books and numerous articles on leadership issues. Her research focuses on looking for inspirations for managers from art and other professions and she is the holder of the Chair for Creativity and Innovation at IEDC, the school that she founded in 1986 and which is designed as an art gallery and a place where leaders come to learn and reflect.

She has three Doctor Honoris Causa titles and two honorary professorship titles and is a frequent guest speaker at universities around the world and international conferences. From December 2019 to June 2020 Prof. Purg served as the Acting Chair of the PRME (Principles of Responsible Management Education) Steering Committee and successfully completed the task to transform PRME.

Prof. Purg has received numerous national and international awards for her outstanding achievements in the field of international business education. The President of the Republic of Slovenia awarded her with the Honorary Order of Freedom for her contribution to management development in Slovenia and Central and Eastern Europe. In 2010, she received the International Educator of the Year Award by the Academy of International Business (AIB) for her outstanding achievements in international business education. In December 2018, she received the highest French order of merit “National Order of the Legion of Honour” for her dedication and support in strengthening bilateral relations among France and Slovenia, especially in the field of management education and in July 2022 she was awarded the honorary order of Brazil “Rio Branco Order” for her significant contribution to strengthening international cooperation and friendship between the two countries, Slovenia and Brazil.

Prof. Dr. Danica Purg

14.30-16.30 | 70 Years-On Conversations: The unknown ideal territory under continual construction

3. The unknown Mayor, with Prof. Dr. Eric Corijn.

Prof. Dr. Eric Corijn is a cultural philosopher and social scientist, professor (em.) Urban Studies at Free University Brussels, founder of Cosmopolis, Centre for Urban Research, co-founder of the Brussels Studies Institute, director of the Brussels Academy, member of the jury Stadsvernieuwingsprojecten Flanders and of the Regional Development Commission of Brussels Capital Region, co-director Policy and Research of the Global Parliament of Mayors, board member of the Zinneke parade-Brussels and co-chair of Brussels 2030, the bid to become Cultural Capital of Europe in 2030. He is the author of many books, amongst which: "A city is not a country”.  

4. The unknown Europe, with Dominika Lasota.

Dominika Lasota is a Polish climate justice activist who has been an active organizer in the Fridays For Future movement. She is a founding member of the Consultative Council, created as the result of the October 2020 Polish protests.

Dominika Lasota

The moderators

Kathrin Deventer

Kathrin Deventer is the Secretary General of the European Festivals Association (EFA). Kathrin is a Co-founder and Board member of the European House for Culture, an initiative of EFA, a member of the Strategy Group of “A Soul for Europe”, co-initiator and board member of The Festival Academy (TFA) and launched with EFA the new programme for arts festivals EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe including its FestivalFinder.eu. She served as a member of the Culture Committee of the EU’s “New Narrative for Europe” project. She has a special interest in culture and its role in civil society engagement and issues connected to the recognition of the importance of culture in society. She believes in a cultural Europe which emerges from responsibilities and interactions between people and organisations from all sectors in society.

Kathrin Deventer