The second day of the annual international convening, CultureSummit Abu Dhabi 2018, concluded its action-oriented agenda under the theme “Art, Technology, media and Culture Redefined.” 400 delegates from 80 countries discussed the concrete role that culture can play in addressing global challenges from women empowerment and poverty to climate change and combating extremism.
The second day of CultureSummit kicked off with a panel titled “The Big Disruptions: Visionaries Make Their Predictions”, featuring Ricardo Piquet, Director, Museu do Amanhã; Tom Standage, Deputy Editor, The Economist; Matsushita Isao, Vice President, Tokyo University of the Arts; and moderator Melissa Locker of FastCompany. The discussion delved into trends, ideas, and indicators that will impact the future landscape of the arts and provided insights into how the relationship between technology and media is transforming the ways audiences consume, preserve, and interact with local and international culture.
The second panel – “The Transformative Power of Culture” – saw David Rothkopf, CEO of The Rothkopf Group and CultureSummit’s Steering Committee member, moderating a discussion with individuals who have demonstrated the societal impact of culture through their work to enrich their local heritage and build bridges between various communities. The speakers included Joumana El Zein Khoury, Executive Director, Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development; Carla Fernández, Fashion Designer; and Odile Gakire Katese, Director, Women Cultural Centre (WCC).
Participant Joumana El Zein Khoury, Executive Director, Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development commented, “At the Prince Claus Fund, we believe in the power of culture to transform societies for the better. We don’t just believe it, we’ve seen it in the work of our partners, like that of my fellow panelists today, Odile and Carla. Coming to share these stories and discuss the impact culture can have was an opportunity we couldn’t miss! It’s exciting to be at CultureSummit to connect with others in the field who share our belief that culture can make real and lasting change.”
In “Arts and Culture on Demand: The Changing Models” moderator, Abdallah Elchami, Managing Partner & Editor-at-Large, MAD Solutions led a conversation withZeina Barhoum, Founder of Amman Opera Festival, Soprano and Jewelry Designer and Ali Nusef, Co-Founder & CEO, Manshoor on how technology has radically changed the way in which audiences find, consume, and interact with written, audible, and visual media.
Nell Scovell, Screenwriter and Co-author of “Lean-In” moderated “The Evolving Culture of Culture: The Changing Role of Women”, which considered the current and historical impact of women in the arts, technology, and culture. Scovell was joined by panelists Hannah Godefa, UNICEF Ambassador to Ethiopia; Keri Putnam, Executive Director, The Sundance Institute; Elke Ritt, Head of Arts, British Council Germany; and Yan Geling, Writer who together honored female leaders in their fields, discussed the challenges and obstacles they continue to face, and proposed solutions to increase women’s involvement in these fields.
Lunch sessions included “Tech & Art: The Unexpected Collaboration Between Past and Future” – a conversation between acclaimed visual artist and CultureSummit Artist-in-Resident Grimanesa Amoros and Carla Dilikov Canales, CEO & Founder, TCP Ventures/Classical Singer – as well as a special performance by Singer-Songwriter, Tcheka.
Additional performances throughout the second day of CultureSummit featured works by Aakash Odedra, Choreographer and Dancer and Afra Atiq, Poet and CultureSummit Artist-in-Resident.
The Workshop meetings continued, exploring how policy, technology/new media, artists, arts institutions, and philanthropy communities can create new and effective collaborations to address issues worldwide.
Additionally, the 50-60 artists of the Artists Incubator programme resumed their meetings which aim to identify new creative collaborations.
The evening concluded with the 2018 Cultural Diplomats of the Year Award Dinner at NYU Abu Dhabi, celebrating the contributions to culture and international relations made by the winners of CultureSummit’s Culture Diplomat of the Year honors. The honorees included Karim Wasfi, Conductor, The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra; The Prince Claus Fund, Joumana El Zein Khoury, Executive Director; Silkroad, Eduardo Braniff, Executive Director; The European Union Youth Orchestra, Marshall Marcus, President; and the late Hassan Sharif, Emirati Artist. The dinner also featured a special solo performance by Gidon Kremer and a concert performed by The European Union Youth Orchestra, conducted by Vasily Petrenko.
Running through 12 April, CultureSummit Abu Dhabi 2018 convenes global leaders to discuss the ways that culture can address the world’s most pressing challenges and be a force for positive change, under the theme of “Unexpected Collaborations: Forging New Connections Between Heritage and Innovation, Near and Far, Creativity and Purpose”. The agenda will continue tomorrow with another series of panel discussions and workshops under the theme “Setting Goals and an Agenda for the Year Ahead”. It is an invitation-only event, but will be live-streamed for the public exclusively on the CultureSummit website and the Abu Dhabi Culture mobile app.