On the 23rd–24th of May, 2019, the European Capital of Culture Forum will be hosted at the amphitheatre of Žalgirio Arena. This Forum – an annual event initiated by the team of “Kaunas 2022” and inviting the leaders representing various creative sectors from all around Europe to meet in Kaunas. This year, one of the key objectives of the Forum is to boost the cooperation between culture and business.

“There is no universal attitude towards the relations between business and culture. In Lithuania, these sectors are still perceived as two different worlds, although some organisations are already reaping the fruits of successful cooperation. We strive to break down the stereotypes with regard to the allegedly huge gap between the fields of business and culture or arts – for this purpose, we have invited the world’s leading professionals to give concrete examples of how to create and develop joint business and cultural projects and how to measure the benefit achieved by such projects – notes Ana Čižauskienė, Head of International Relations and Programming at “Kaunas 2022“. 

According to Ana Čižauskienė, business representatives are encouraged to pay particular attention to the presentations and sessions given by Paul Bourne (United Kingdom), Fionn Dobbin (Germany), Mindaugas Morkūnas (MO museum), Paulius Motiejūnas (BC “Žalgiris” and Arena) as well as John Bonnema (Netherlands) and Agata Etmanowicz. 

Paul Bourne is director of a professional theatre, teacher of entrepreneurship and business consultant. He has been cooperating with the cultural institutions and bodies around the world, including the British Council, BBC, “Novartis, Procter & Gamble, Nike and Liverpool Football Club. The speaker is also a Fellow at Cambridge University and Professorial Fellow at Moscow School of Management. Paul Bourne and Agata Etmanowicz will give examples of how arts and business can help solve the challenges faced by the two sectors. 

John Bonnema was Executive Director for “Leeuwarden-Friesland, European Capital of Culture 2018” in Netherlands (LF2018) and was in charge of numerous fields: from finance and partnerships to risk management. At the Forum, John Bonnema will give examples of successful cooperation between cultural organisations and international companies, such as “Arriva” and “ING. 

Everyone willing to experiment and looking for non-traditional decisions will be invited by the organisers of the Forum to take part at interactive creative workshops dedicated to the intuition practice. The leader of this session Fionn Dobbin is Creative Director and partner at the design consultancy “Age5” and the social business production company “Mammu. As an innovation designer and creative consultant, Fionn Dobbin has worked for more than 30 brands, such as fortune 100 companies “General Motors”, BASF and “adidas”. At the Forum, he will speak about how to employ intuition in the process of management of an organisation, and with the help of a group of artists, he will provide the participants with a possibility to take part in a practical session based on intuition. 

Briefly about the European Capital of Culture Forum 2019 

This year, the umbrella topic of the Forum will be the “Human Factor”, inviting the participants to discuss on the welfare of the society and the future of cultural institutions, cities and Europe from an individual’s perspective. This year, the presentations, sessions and provocations at the Forum will cover such relevant topics as cooperation between art and business, audience engagement and social business. 

In the part dedicated to the cultural diplomacy, the Forum participants will look for answers to such questions as: what seems to be causing the deepening divide between the society and institutions as well as deepening political and social disputes in Europe. 

You are kindly invited to register for the European Capital of Culture Forum 2019 in advance at www.forumas.kaunas2022.eu. Taking part at the Forum is free.