Edinburgh International Culture Summit 2020: The Transformational Power of Culture

Online, -, International, United Kingdom

Saturday, August 22, 2020 - 10:00 to Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 20:00

Edinburgh International Culture Summit returns with a radically different format in 2020, focused on exploring the powerful role, and transformational potential, of culture in key aspects of our lives, in the world we now live in.

Launching on 22 August at 10am (BST) the Summit’s Special Edition will take place exclusively online and will be available to all, free of charge, for the first time ever via www.culturesummit.com

Delivered in partnership by the British Council, Scottish Government, UK Government, the Scottish Parliament and the Edinburgh International Festival the Summit will introduce a fantastic range of contributors from around the world who will bring their voice and expertise to three areas of discussion – Culture and Education, Culture and Social Cohesion and Culture in Vibrant Communities.

The Summit’s Special Edition recognises the role of culture in different sections of society and areas of day to day life, making it vital to invite experts from the diverse fields of architecture, science, psychology, economics, philanthropy, medical science and the arts, to join the conversation about how culture in its many forms is an important part of the catalyst for change needed to move the world forward.

These experts, each drawing on years of research and experience, will appear alongside Ministers of Culture from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Scotland, UK, Ukraine and the USA.

At the Special Edition of the Summit, the contribution of artists and speakers has been grouped around three main themes; Culture in Vibrant Communities, Culture and Education and Culture and Social Cohesion.

All films will go live on the morning of 22 August, however from Monday 24 to Wednesday 26 we will focus in on each of the themes.

  • Monday 24 August - Culture in Vibrant Communities will explore how health and social factors impact design which, given that the COVID-19 pandemic has seen most of us spending extended periods of time inside, in either close proximity to others, or conversely in isolation, is a topic of huge relevance to all. Culminating in a live webinar at 5pm (BST) Culture in Vibrant Communities will re-examine our understanding and organising of cultural space. Those taking part in the Culture in Vibrant Communities strand are Dr Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, The Library of Congress; Farrokh Derakhshani, Director, Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Aga Khan Trust for Culture; Cameron Rashti, Director, Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme, Aga Khan Trust for Culture; Clara Miller, President Emerita, Heron Foundation; Tristram Hunt, Director, Victoria and Albert Museum; and Rahul Mehrotra, Architect and Professor, Harvard University. Registration for the webinar is open
  • Tuesday 25 August - Culture and Education will encourage discussion around the impact that the past few months have had on education, looking to existing cultural research and theories for potential solutions. Culture and Education will also culminate in a live webinar at 5pm (BST) on Tuesday 25 August with an open invitation to those interested to register and attend. Those taking part in the Culture and Education line up are Assal Habibi, Assistant Research Professor of Psychology, University of Southern California; the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles; Sistema Scotland; Dr Daisy Fancourt, Associate Professor of Psychobiology & Epidemiology, University College London; Andy Haldane, Chief Economist, Bank of England; and Daniel Lubetzky, Founder and Executive Chairman, KIND & Empatico. Registration for the webinar is open.
  • Wednesday 26 August - Culture and Social Cohesion will look at how, particularly during the era of COVID-19, we can use art as a way to connect with each other using shared experiences and stories to bring hope and to help us heal. Culture and Social Cohesion will culminate in a live webinar at 5pm (BST) on Wednesday 26 August and registration is open. Culture and Social Cohesion will include contributions by Professor Ismail Serageldin, Emeritus Librarian of Alexandria; Cynthia Schneider & Derek Goldman, Co-founders of Georgetown Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics; Dr Leah Pisar, President, The Aladdin Project; Andrew Gilmour, Executive Director, Berghof Foundation; The Trojan Women Project; and Elif Shafak, Author. Registration for the webinar is open.

In addition to the themed areas of discussion the Summit Special Edition will also share Special Messages from Music and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel; Secretary General of the European Festival Association, Kathrin Deventer; Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker; and Bulgarian politician and the former Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova.

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