Berlin Conference 2023: “Resilient Futures: Building a Sustainable Europe”

The annual Berlin Conference will take place at Allianz Arena on 8 & 9 November 2023, next to Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The focus of the debates will be on the role and responsibilities of Europe and its citizens in contemporary challenges and in building a sustainable and resilient future.

More than ever, the international discourse is heavily influenced by the repercussions of the pandemic, economic instability, authoritarian governments, political corruption, and climate crisis. To effectively sustain and advance the initiatives for global change that have been set in motion, it is imperative to embrace an interdisciplinary approach that involves diverse fields of expertise, knowledge, and perspectives. 

For this reason, cultural leaders, politicians, artists, members of civil society, young people, and city representatives will all gather in the Allianz Arena for the annual Berlin Conference to discuss multidisciplinary methods for the urgent challenges Europe is facing. They will reflect on Europe’s role and responsibility in fostering positive change, explore how citizens can raise awareness and exert influence on these matters, delve into effective methods for integrating cultural values into sustainable policies, and discuss strategies for strengthening collaboration between citizens and the political sphere.

Various EFA Members, Cities holding the EFFE Seal for Festival Cities and Regions, and EFFE Hubs will be present in Berlin to put arts and arts festivals role at the centre of the conversations.


Wednesday, 8 November

4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Opening and welcome

4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. Sustainability and innovation, format by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

6 p.m. Pitch presentation

  • Democracy and its communities:

- “Urbanity and culture. A city is not a country” by Eric Corijn (zoologist, cultural philosopher, sociologist and author, Belgium)

- “AI and the Future of European Culture” by Haris Pašović (theatre director, Bosnia)

  • Sustainability as a holistic model:

- “How can we win a just, green future & beat the farright at the same time? A story of hope from Poland” by Dominika Lasota (climate justice activist Friday For Future, Poland)

  • Arts and Cultures as a vision:

- “Art as a vehicle of hope” by Bartosz Szydłowski (Director, Artistic Director of the Łaźnia Nowa Theatre Krakow, Poland)

- “To hear the world in a grain of sand. Embracing Europeas an aural reality” by Jelle Dierickx (Director and artistic leader of the Flanders Festival Mechelen/Kempen)

8 p.m. End of conference day one

Thursday, 9 November

10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Opening and welcome

10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Working group Part I

  • Democracy and its communities presented by: Eric Corijn and Haris Pašović 
  • Sustainability as a holistic model presented by: Dominika Lasota and Marieke van Doorninck
  • Arts and culture as a vision presented by: Bartosz Szydłowski and Jelle Dierickx

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Lunch Break

2 p.m. – 3.30 p.m. Working Group Part II

Further processing of the topics in the thematic groups

3.45 p.m. Plenary session in European House

Results of working groups are collected and presented

6 p.m. Entrance Europe speech in Allianz Forum

7 p.m. Start Europe Speech held by Roberta Metsola organised by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and Stiftung Zukunft Berlin 

The conference language is English; simultaneous translation will be provided. 

For more information, see the complete programme here

If you are interested in attending the Berlin conference, please send an email to info[@]