Leading artists, practitioners and cultural influencers join Culture Ministers from around globe to collectively address the challenges of culture in a globalised world

This year’s Edinburgh International Culture Summit brings together internationally respected names from literature, politics, arts and media to discuss Culture in a Networked World, one of three strands being explored at this powerhouse of international discussion from the 22nd – 24th August 2018.

The overarching theme of Summit 2018 is Culture: Connecting Peoples and Places. Building on the succinct and successful format of previous editions, Summit 2018 will address three key themes; Culture and Investment and Culture and Wellbeing and Culture in a Networked World, the details of which are announced today. Each theme will be the focus of a plenary session in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament, supported both by private policy discussions and workshops.


Culture in a Networked World:

Reaching peace and prosperity in a radically shifting world will depend on an ethos rooted in the principles of internationalism, respect and mutuality. By exploring facets of our complex and plural identities, artists encourage citizens to understand and respect difference. This highly networked world makes demands on society in unprecedented ways. It is these new challenges and opportunities presented by such rapidly developing boundaries and identities which practitioners and policy makers shall seek to address during the Summit 2018 as part of the Culture in a Networked World strand.


Speakers & Stories:

Setting the scene for the focus on Culture in a Networked World Joshua Ramo, Vice Chairman and Co-Chief Executive, Kissinger Associates, USA speaks at the opening of the Summit urging culture ministers from around the world that no government has yet fully understood or is acting upon the effect of digital communications on our international networks be that Facebook, Amazon or Al Qaida. He argues that it is no longer enough to speak multiple languages, we need to be brought up to have fluency in many cultures.

Akram Khan, Artistic Director of the Akram Khan Company, one of the world’s leading choreographers shares his personal story of making sense of the world as a migrant, through culture; always being from two places, living in one while paying tribute to the other through the traditions and innovations of dance.

Ong Keng Sen, Artistic Director of Theatreworks, Singapore demonstrates that you cannot make sense of his country without understanding multiculturalism. For a new production of King Lear, Ong recruited actors from different cultures who perceived power and the abdication of power differently. Actors drawn from various different cultures did not speak one common language until they came to understand and trust each other through making and performing in theatre.

Fairouz Nishanova, Director of the Aga Khan Music Initiative introduces music and musicians from disputed territories and threatened cultures in Central Asia and discusses the value and challenges of sharing artistic and musical heritage in contemporary settings.

Wesley Enoch, Festival Director, Sydney Festival, Australia is an indigenous Australian whose life’s journey has been a quest to find his identity, usually gathered and pieced together through fragments of storytelling, theatre and ritual.

Suhair Khan, Lead on Google Arts & Culture Projects for the Google Cultural Institute speaks about increasing access to culture. She will discuss the increased ability to see famous works of art from anywhere in the world and question how to get more people engaged and accessing art.

Other figures addressing the Edinburgh International Culture Summit include Renato Quaglia, Project Manager at The Future Forum of Udine, Italy brings his expertise as former Managing Director of the Venice Biennial and Director of the Napoli Teatro Festival, offers his perspective on how multiculturalism and immigration impact cultural relations in Italy and across the networked world; Matt Baker, Orchestrator of The Stove Network, talks about integrating creative practice into social, political, and economic systems and the importance of cultural regeneration outside of urban metropolises. Continuing the conversation on regeneration, Anna Gesualdi and Giovanni Trono, Directors of AltoFest, discuss the challenges of founding a festival in Naples, a city with a reputation for hard crime, and the benefits of creating safe spaces for cultural practice.

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW; Martin Rose, a Visiting Fellow at the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for Islamic Studies; England; Devika Ranjan, Fellow, Georgetown Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, USA; and Emilie Torp Henriksen, Member, Think Tank for Youth Culture, Denmark also address the Summit.

The youth element which was introduced in Summit 2016, has been developed and further integrated into the Summit programme with greater international participation, marking the 2018 Year of Young People in Scotland. In partnership with Creative Scotland, Faith Liddell, a Visiting Professor at the Institute for International Cultural Relations, will lead a workshop on global youth engagement. What happens when teenagers advise on arts policy? Who has the agency to shape the future of art and culture across the globe? Daniel McCormick, Founding Member of the National Youth Advisory Group (NYAAG) will also address the Summit. Speakers for the other two themes Culture and Investment and Culture and Wellbeing will be announced soon.