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Unlearning Talks

The talk series builds on the vast knowledge and networks of the program START – Create Cultural Change. 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.

The aim of the Unlearning Talk series is to open the discussion on how to develop resilience in changing environments and sustain sociocultural work in the wider region of South Eastern Europe. We are inviting the START community as well as active citizens and professionals in the sociocultural sector of South Eastern Europe to contribute to this conversation. This implies sharing experiences on:

  • How to cope with emerging needs and trends in the sociocultural sector?
  • How to establish new work models and strategies to acquiring scarce resources?
  • How to chart new ways of partnership and network building to sustain these efforts?


What are the Unlearning Talks?

3 weeks with 3 talks each week, covering a cycle with a specific topic.

  • Cycle 1: Coping with emerging crises, challenges & trends | September 15, 16 & 17, 2020
  • Cycle 2: Resilient models of sociocultural entrepreneurship | September 22, 23 & 24, 2020
  • Cycle 3: Building new collaborative methods of cooperation and networks | September 29 & 30 and October 1, 2020

Each talk consists of 1,5h presentation and discussion, including contributions from 3-5 experts and professionals of sociocultural practice.

Who can contribute?

Sociocultural professionals incl. cultural managers, artists, activists, community group leaders, cultural center programmers, foundation managers, scholars, entrepreneurs, advocates and thinkers from South Easter Europe and Germany: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.

How to contribute?

You can contribute by submitting an example of your experience that has proved to be resilient and sustainable. It can be an initiative from your field of action relating to one of the topics of the 3 Cycles highlighting the un- and re-learning process. Please submit your contribution with a brief video statement through this FORM.

What will I gain from contributing?

Exposure to a large network of change makers from South East Europe and Germany as well as opportunities for new cooperation. We offer to all contributors selected a remuneration for their creative effort of Euro 200.  Additionally, amongst the contributors, one from each Talk will be invited to join the Fellowship Celebration and the launch of the Unlearning Talks in Thessaloniki on September 10 with travel and accommodation being covered.

What are the deadlines?

Apply by July 17, 2020.

Confirmations of acceptance to the Unlearning Talks Series will be sent by email till July 24, 2020.

How to join?

If you want to send your proposal for a contribution to the Unlearning Talks, please click HERE.

If you want to simply join the Unlearning Talks during the Fellowship Celebration, you can register HERE. For the online participation to the Unlearning Talks, instructions for registration will come shortly.


Contact: If you have any questions, please contact:

Argyro Barata, Curator



Program overview

September 10, 2020

Launch of the Unlearning Talks

In the occasion of the Fellowship Celebration, the launch of the Unlearning Talks will be held as hybrid online and offline event as part of the Bazaar of Ideas: Shifting Perspectives celebration. A keynote speech will be followed by a Fishbowl discussion where the audience on site can join to comment or ask questions. Contributors from the following Unlearning Talks will be present. The rest of the Talk will happen online during the following weeks.


September 15, 16 & 17, 2020

Cycle 1: Coping with emerging crises, challenges & trends

Presenting coping strategies that address regional or global forecasts for the future. This cycle is focused on the trends of the next 5 years in the region. The Talks will look into the power factors that will shape future societies. In addition to the trends, this cycle will investigate what resources are needed to tackle upcoming challenges.


September 22, 23 & 24, 2020

Cycle 2: Resilient models of sociocultural entrepreneurship

Presenting organizational and growth models of social and cultural enterprises from the region that succeeded in the midst of consecutive crises. The focus is on the four pillars of sustainability (economical, ecological, social and cultural) and how those affect the growth model of organizations. Additionally, attention will be given to the essential resources for good entrepreneurial models to function.


September 29 & 30 and October 1, 2020

Cycle 3: Building new collaborative methods of cooperation and networks

Presenting examples of functional networks with recurring collaborative projects. The focus is on partnerships and networks and how they foster the sustainability of cultural interventions. The Talks will look into the parameters of good collaboration and the attributes of good networks, local, regional, and international.

Unlearning Talks

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