Tune into a series of virtual conversations that aims to open the discussion on how to develop resilience in changing environments and sustain sociocultural work in the wider region of South Eastern Europe. The Unlearning Talks is part of the concluding events of the program START – Create Cultural Change and builds on its vast knowledge and networks. For five consecutive years, the capacity building and fellowship program supported 150 creative minds to kick-start cultural initiatives that generate a positive social impact, engaging more than 25.000 citizens in their local communities all around Greece.
Throughout these years, START Fellows were facing multiple challenges in their sociocultural quest, stemming from the economic, the refugee, and environmental crisis. Combined, these challenges made practices that harness resilience key to their efforts. The covid-19 crisis has emphasized the diachronic value of resilient models of practice, including the challenge of un-learning established practices and re-learning new ones. In practice this means adapting to challenges as they arise, at the same time shifting perspectives to capture emerging opportunities as well.
We are inviting the START community as well as active citizens and professionals in the sociocultural sector of South Eastern Europe to join us in this conversation.
The event will take place ONLINE for free. If you would like to share your story, pose questions or simply watch the Unlearning Talks, register here!
Thursday, September 10, 17.30 EEST
The first talk that will launch the series of the Unlearning talks seeks to deepen our collective understanding of the fundamental issues of adaptability and resiliency. Two different approaches on how to navigate uncharted waters and adjust to continuous changes will be presented by three prominent speakers, who will share light on how to build a resilient system and incorporate Futures Literacy principals in the sociocultural sector. Right afterwards, a fishbowl conversation with the 2019/20 START Fellows will follow to discuss their personal experiences in setting the building blocks of their resilient endeavors that will “bounce forward” to a better more equitable future.
- Riel Miller, Head, UNESCO Chair on Futures Research
- Lina Liakou, Managing Director for Europe and the Middle East, Global Resilient Cities Network
- Epaminondas Christofilopoulos, Head in Greece, UNESCO Chair on Futures Research, FORTH/PRAXΙ
Moderator: Maria-Louiza Laopodi, Project Manager START & Unlearning Talks Co-Curator
CYCLE 1: COPING WITH EMERGING CRISES, CHALLENGES & TRENDS
September 15, 16 & 17, 2020, 18.00 EEST
The covid-19 crisis, a new global threat during which the shortcomings of recent decades have quickly become apparent, poses major challenges for all humankind. Not yet visible are many new concepts people all over the world are implementing right now to help us cope with this situation. However, the current situation creates a lot of confusion in a broad spectrum of sociocultural work. But confusion can also be the mother of innovation that leads to new solutions and new policies. A whole host of new practices are currently emerging in many places in our region – most of them simply out of creative necessity. Many will disappear again, but some have the potential to change the system.
During the past six months uncertainty on the scale of disruption in the cultural sector has been tremendous. Pre-existing vulnerabilities, like the precarious livelihoods of artists and cultural workers or the tight budgets of many public cultural organizations that fuel the creative industry with less commissions every year, are now magnified. As the crisis develops around the world, everyone working in this field is pivoting from the immediate impact of the crisis towards examining the long-term structural changes that should be seen in the cultural sector. In this talk we will hear from a diverse group of changemakers their efforts and point of view on how to ensure culture has a central role in public policies and contributes to a sustainable future.
İpek Çınar, Cultural Producer, Turkey
Olga Daskali, President of the Messolonghi Community Council, Greece
Corinne Eichner, StadtKultur Hamburg, Germany
Filip Jovanovski, Faculty of Things that can’t be Learned, North Macedonia
Confinement measures around the world and in the region of South Eastern Europe in particular have shown the importance of culture in order to connect, learn and entertain. Schools have modified their curriculum, whilst cultural institutions such as galleries, museums and theatres have rapidly developed new digital cultural products and educational materials and made them available online. These initiatives helped local communities to build resilience and supported the cultural sector with a new portfolio of activities. During this talk our speakers will reflect on the conditions of this transition from physical to digital, the unlearnt lessons they took, and will share their input of whether this crisis could lead to a transformative change.
Maria Asteriou, The People Behind, Greece
Milena Berbenkova, Intercultura Consult, Bulgaria
Valentina Socratous, Emerge, Greece
Jennifer Tharr, Neustart, Germany
In almost every country of South Eastern Europe cultural life has taken a hit in one way or another, in terms of both social and economic impact. The covid-19 pandemic has exposed some structural vulnerabilities within and between countries. Within countries, the pandemic has further revealed inequalities facing vulnerable groups, in particular women, refugees and people with disabilities. The line-up of speakers in this talk will reveal their experiences adapting to the new conditions and offer valuable insights on how to surpass obstacles and always keep putting people first.
Stela Anastasaki, Mind’s Eye, Greece
Katerina Antoniou, University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus
Maria Botsoglou, Artist, Greece
Iskra Geshoska, Kontrapunkt, North Macedonia
Myrto Papadogeorgou, Drastic Awareness Campaigns, Greece
CYCLE 2: RESILIENT MODELS OF SOCIOCULTURAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
September 22, 23 & 24, 2020, 18.00 EEST
The impact of the covid-19 is being felt by all businesses around the world. Social innovators and community leaders are navigating a broad range of interrelated issues that span from keeping their community safe to reorienting operations and navigating complicated government support programs. This cycle of the Unlearning Talks will try to take stock of the aftermath of a pandemic and how the sudden external shocks stresses social entrepreneurship. It will also look at ways in which more resilient entrepreneurial solutions to problems can be crafted and the opportunity for progress and equity seized for the societies at large.
September 22: Achieving Social Impact I: Working on more equitable cities.
As the lockdown unfolded, culture was perceived as a source of well-being, solidarity and resilience as witnessed, for example, by the spontaneous concerts performed from balconies in different cities all around the world. Yet, harnessing culture and creativity in the cities of our region as a vehicle to become more inclusive, more just, and in general happier places to live, is something that still has not been achieved. In this talk, obstacles, pitfalls and new inventive ways to reshape our cities with sociocultural work that put people at the center will be explored.
Nora Dorogan, Teatru-Spălătorie, Moldavia
Malve Lippmann, Bi-Bak, Germany
Predrag Milić, Škograd, Serbia
Violeta Tsitsiliani, The Language Project, Greece
Action at the regional level is a vital lever for achieving social impact in the countries of South Eastern Europe. Communities in the periphery of our region address specific challenges with different constrains and different levels of scalability in their impact. At the same time, change in the outskirts of Europe, and not only, can be achieved with less resources and a lot of imagination. A number of regional initiatives will be presented during this talk that created an unorthodox solution mix for their challenges.
Greg Haji Joannides, Nisyrio, Greece
Matti Kunstek, Nellie Nashorn, Germany
Diana Malaj, ATA Group, Albania
Rania Mavriki, Cutlopia, Greece
Yanina Taneva, Ideas Factory, Bulgaria
According to a survey by the World Economic Forum about media consumption during the covid-19 lockdown, 80% of people said that they are more likely to be willing to pay for subscription to access online cultural platforms and media outlets than before the pandemic. Could this shift in media consumption be the beginning of changing the media landscape in the region? Three representatives of independent media, operating within the region will discuss whether they can come out of the covid-19 pandemic stronger than before.
Ștefan Ghenciulescu, E-Zeppelin, Romania
Elvira Jukić - Mujkić, Media.ba, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Fanis Kollias, Solomon, Greece
CYCLE 3: BUILDING NEW COLLABORATIVE METHODS OF COOPERATION AND NETWORKS
September 29 & 30 and October 1, 2020, 18.00 EEST
Beyond the dramatic impacts of confinement on the levels of human interaction, networks of collaboration are the key to overcoming turbulence and change in the 21st century. START’s increasing focus on partnership building has long been guided by the belief that no single business, or NGO acting alone can address the increasingly complex challenges in our societies. Collaboration is a critical capability for changemakers that seek to be sustainable with their cultural interventions. This cycle is shining a spotlight on the parameters of a good collaboration and the different attributes of local, regional and international networks in South Eastern Europe.
September 29: Introducing the future of a sustainable network.
As the wave of the covid-19 crisis has landed on our communities, workplaces, and economies, we are discovering that our collaborative initiatives are becoming even more important as a way to maintain momentum on important sustainability issues. However, building lasting partnerships in the region has always been a challenge. How can stronger partnerships be fostered? What are the main pillars for their sustainability? Join this discussion with a diverse group of changemakers.
Hermes Arriaga Sierra, Zagreb Impact Hub, Croatia
Marko Heinke, Zukunftswerkstatt Paul – Gustavus Haus, Germany
Sanda Rakočević, YouSee Network & Upbeat Hub, Montenegro
Nikos Vandoros, Culture for Change, Greece
Raluca Voinea, Tranzit, Romania
Culture can be the vehicle for new conversations to ensure the collaborative development of the region. However, the challenges vary considerably from place to place, thus building resilient networks of collaboration that are operating beyond borders, is more complex than it seems. This discussion maps the characteristics that define a fruitful international collaboration and together with our five panelists we will present practical strategies that improve a network’s ability to catalyze growth in South Eastern Europe.
Kleri Bakoura, Institute of Entrepreneurship Development, Greece
Jonida Gashi, DebatikCenter of Contemporary Art, Albania
Michalis Karakatsanis, Cyprus Music Information Centre, Cyprus
Darius Polok, International Alumni Center, Germany
Valentin Schmehl, Other Music Academy, Germany
While collaboration cannot always prevent crises from arising, changemakers with strong networks between peers, their stakeholders, and other sectors such as local government, are better able to act fast, innovate, and recover at scale. Especially community-led networks have the ability to grasp the collective intelligence and propose resilient solutions. But most importantly, these partnerships build new kinds of collaborative strategies in which communities play a central role.
Periklis Chatzinakos, Commons in residency, Greece
Jenny Goldberg, Raw//cc, Germany
Frantzeska Papagiannopoulou, Tinos Guide & Seek, Greece
Stefan Savić, Odron Art Collective, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Please, note that the program is subject to change, and will be updated continuously including the list of speakers. The opinions expressed by the participants are solely their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the START – Create Cultural Change program and/or its partners.