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Unlearning Talks Webcast

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

16.00 GMT / 17.00 CEST / 18.00 EEST

Achieving Social Impact II: An outlook in the periphery of South Eastern Europe

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.


Featured Speakers

Greg Haji Joannides, Nisyrio, Greece

Matti Kunstek, Nellie Nashorn, Germany

Diana Malaj, ATA Group, Albania

Rania Mavriki, Cultopia, Greece

Yanina Taneva, Ideas Factory, Bulgaria


Moderator: Maria-Louiza Laopodi, Project Manager START 


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Greg Haji Joannides


Greg Haji Joannides , is a visual artist that lives and works in Nisyros, Greece. He studied BA and MA in London and Athens. Initially a self-taught photographer, he developed his artistic voice through the guidance of photographer Panos Kokkinias. His personal artwork has been presented to solo and group shows in Greece and abroad. He is the founder and artistic director of Sterna Art Project (2014), an art residency/exhibition program running in Nisyros. His NISYRIO project is a platform to keep waste within the island and make it sustainable through cultural activities, including workshops, visual and applied arts, new architectural material, design.

Matti Kunstek

Nellie Nashorn

Matti Kunstek is involved in cultural creation for more than 20 years now. Socioculture, participative and democratic approaches to culture are one of his main points of interest. Steering cultural projects to success and quality he proved in a variety of institutions and enterprises of different sizes. Educated in Sociology and Social and Cultural Anthropology, equipped with professional knowledge in managing projects, wit and apt decision making he has never shunned a challenge to add some value in people’s lives.

Rania Mavriki


Rania Mavriki is the co-founder of Cultόpια, a social cooperative enterprise that offers a complete spectrum of cultural management services, while it develops its own sociocultural work, focusing on rural areas. With an academic background in Business Administration and Cultural Management, she considers herself an intermediate, both between the contemporary artist and the institutions and between the artistic language and diverse audiences and communities, trying -in both cases- to find common ground, for sustainable development. She has collaborated with various institutions such as Onassis Stegi, Eleusis 2021 ECoC, NEON Foundation, and Municipality of Athens. She is a former fellow of START-Create Cultural Change program, Phase I and a former curator-fellow at the exhibition “Summer of love”, curated by Katerina Gregos, at the Artspace Pythagorion in Samos, supported by the Schwartz Foundation. She lives and works in Athens and enjoys connecting with professionals around the world, through international projects.

Diana Malaj

ATA Group

Diana Malaj is one of the founders of the activist group ATA, which priority is the fight for the use of cultural spaces in the city of Kamza, Albania. Diana is a law graduate and an activist focusing on the social justice, and the right of the accessibility to culture in the periphery, with a specific focus on the role of women in art and literature. ATA which in English means “Them” try to build a valid alternative of cultural life in a city, which has been always considered as "the periphery of Tirana", with "second class citizens", and with strong difficulties in advocating with local government, struggling with institutions, and the precarious state of land and house ownership. Through activism with the ATA group, she has been able to explore various disciplines such as law, journalism, anthropology, art, literature, all of which are ways of re-conceiving the dimension of social movements and activism.

Yanina Taneva

Ideas Factory

Yanina Taneva is founder of the Ideas Factory in Sofia/Bulgaria – an organization serving as an ecosystem catalyst for socially adequate and innovative solutions by connecting in a new frame challenges, creatives and authorities and thus – long lasting innovative solutions to old problems in cities and rural areas. Recently the Ideas Factory and Yanina herself are busy building up the idea of BABA Residence – a residency aiming at finding solutions for the vast problem with depopulating villages and rapid loss of knowledge and traditions in those shrinking rural areas not only in Bulgaria, but also the Balkans and South of Europe. The Ideas factory works with ca. 400 changemakers in the country and abroad on helping them build feasible, adequate but also new solutions by providing capacity and experiential building programs, networking opportunities and also an international forum, EMPATHEAST that puts all that efforts under the lights. Yanina is also great believer in the power of unleashed spontaneity and this is mainly what she and her team are creating in their environment – a better quality of human relations trough creative means.