Stories

Culture and connections at COP26

This month all eyes turned towards the city of Glasgow as world leaders assembled for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). Inside the SEC Centre negotiations commenced and pledges were drafted. Outside the streets and public spaces filled with the clamour and passion of activists and artists engaged in a global dialogue and working […]

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How culture keeps us feeling happy and human

At some point in our lives, most of us have found ourselves powerfully moved by the arts. Whether it was the soaring crescendo of a musical performance, the breathless overload of encountering some beguiling and brilliant painting, or the rousing effect of powerful writing brought to life by a talented thespian – the effect of […]

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Sustainable Theatre? and touring without travelling

In cities across Europe and the USA, actors took to the stages of local theatres and participated within one singular production. They performed under simultaneous dual direction, both from their local director and from a remote production director, who offered more instructions about energy usage and bulb wattage than on the actor’s movements or line […]

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Festival of Politics 2021

Edinburgh International Culture Summit is delighted to continue our programme of digital events with our partners, this month in collaboration with the Scottish Parliament. The 2021 Scottish Parliament’s Festival of Politics returns this year as a digital festival with global reach. With events running 20–24 October, it brings together a range of voices to discuss […]

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Announcing two new Culture Summit events in partnership with the Scottish Parliament

Our planet has officially entered the Anthropocene, the geological age in which human activity has become the dominant influence on climate and upon the environment. Which direction we move in is now up to us, the responsibilities we assume, and the decisions we make today. At the Edinburgh International Culture Summit we believe that those […]

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Reshaping the world between the chisel and the gene

The chisel is a blunt tool used by artists to reshape matter. The Gene is a highly complex function and unit of heredity. According to Neri Oxman, a professor working at the MIT Media Lab, the two together should represent “the split personality of every designer and architect working today.” Traditional engineering follows a systems-centred […]

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Ways of speaking, ways of hearing

They say you can never understand language until you have two under your belt. Reading and speaking in more than one language gives you a new sense of perspective. In the first of our digital events, we asked what internationality means in a time of no travel and are now reflecting on one of the […]

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Cultural migration – the new normal?

The cultural sector thrives on a cross-pollination of people, their stories and the varied textures within them. By embracing and celebrating alternative visions, new ideas, and techniques, artistic expression develops via a process of tessellating influence and experimentation. Listening to the creative voices of other people enable us to expand and enrich our understanding of […]

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Are we engaged? Using online platforms as a more democratic model

While the digital experience can never replicate or replace traditional ways of engaging with culture, it does certainly facilitate several unique advantages of its own; that new possibility of a global audience, and giving agency to the individual in finding new international experiences. We have also seen digital engagement reduce the enormous carbon footprint created […]

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Bring Back Biodiversity

The plight of the planet and the impact we are having on its health is a topic of conversation we are all increasingly familiar with. From discussions of carbon emissions and the overexploitation of natural resources in the media, to forward thinking innovations aimed at reducing our reliance of fossil fuels, including the current plant-based […]

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Why Now is the Time to Develop 20 Minute Neighbourhoods

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we move and experience everyday life. One of the most fundamental changes relating to our mobility, both as individuals and as a community, revolves around the question of central vs local access; where before we would travel from city to city to work, explore and experience, during the […]

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Audio Moth Endows Landowners and Conservationists with Audio Agency

It is hard to imagine our lives without the various and numerous bits of technology we rely upon to help us navigate our day to day. From radio playing alarm clocks to robot cleaning devices, technology geared at making our lives easier is woven into the fabric of many societies across the globe, some would […]

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Fusion Skills essential to success in the 21st Century

Thinking of the word Fusion can conjure up images of innovative types of cuisine, but some would argue that Fusion is in fact central to 21st Century life, and that the world we live in is characterised by fusions of identities, cultures and even industries. As a concept, Fusion and indeed the Fusion movement, acknowledges […]

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An Introduction to the Creativity Culture & Capital platform from Nesta

An Introduction to the Creativity Culture & Capital platform from Nesta and a Q&A with Director of Arts Programmes and Investments Fran Sanderson Nesta, formerly the National Endowment for Science and the Arts, is a UK based charity with international reach and a quest to support innovation for social good. First launched in 1998 the […]

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The Impact of Streaming Culture

It is not unknown that streaming service giants such as Netflix, Amazon, Disney+ and Hulu did good business in lockdown. For many, if not most, many of these platforms became a staple of lockdown life. Netflix added 16 million new subscribers within the first quarter of 2020 alone, according to The New York Times. Cultural […]

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Climate change and COP26 Creative Commissions

As a global community we have been dealing with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic for more than a year now, and as things start to slowly open up and our lives look like they might one day return to some semblance of normality, individuals, organisations and government and public sector bodies are once again […]

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Layers of Language and Learning

The global pandemic has changed life as we know it – from how we shop and where we work, to where we can go and who we can meet, and the result of the ongoing restrictions is that many of us have more time on our hands and far less to do with it. For […]

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Summit Seeks an Executive Administrator

The Edinburgh International Culture Summit brings together Culture Ministers, artists, thinkers and arts leaders from around the world to share ideas, expertise and best practice, with a view to inspiring positive change in cultural policy and investment. Programming and production of the Summit is managed by the Edinburgh International Culture Summit Foundation which now seeks […]

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Of the People: Widening the Path

Library of Congress launches new initiative to connect more deeply with Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and other minority communities. History, as we know, is subjective and depending on who is in power as it is being committed to the history books, some voices and experiences are amplified and others are silenced through omission. In the West […]

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Distinguishing fact from opinion

What do we know about the younger generation’s ability to distinguish fact from opinion, and a look to the future of creativity. In the era of Trump and ‘fake news’, increasing engagement with social media and an ever-expanding pool of ‘news’ sources (available to most at the click of a button, or scroll of a […]

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Information Inequality in the Digital Age

The internet and the digital technology required to access it has never seemed more important to the daily success of our lives, and indeed our survival, as it does in 2021. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which took hold across the world in 2020, at the time of writing many are still dependent […]

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Intangible Cultural Heritage – What it is and Where to find it

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is, in brief, what happens when physical and intellectual wealth – think everything from concert halls, churches, to leisure centres, saunas and cinemas – combine and develop with the people and communities that use them. Defined by UNESCO as ‘a practice, representation, expression, knowledge, or skill, as well as the instruments, […]

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Arts improve health and wellbeing but where’s the evidence?

Arts and cultural engagement is linked with positive health and wellbeing outcomes. A scoping World Health Organisation report analyses data from over 3000 studies. In 2018 and 2019, Daisy Fancourt worked with the World Health Organisation on a report examining the links between arts and cultural engagement and health outcomes. Fancourt reviewed the findings from […]

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Culture Key to Surviving Fourth Industrial Revolution

Writer and broadcaster Stephen Armstrong discusses the vital role the creative sector needs to play in our recovery and long-term future with Chief Economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane. The culture industry has had a tough pandemic. Theatres struggling, TV and film production adapting slowly, live music, galleries and cinemas trying to survive. […]

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Complex role of Culture in Conflict

Renowned theatre critic and political and social commentator, Joyce McMillan talks to Andrew Gilmour, Executive Director of the Berghof Foundation and previously United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights on the eve of the Summit Special Edition 2020. ON THE DAY when we met online to talk about his contribution to this year’s Culture Summit, Andrew […]

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Making Connections: Impact of Music on Brain Development

Author and journalist Mark Fisher explores the impact of access to music participation with Assal Habibi, Assistant Research Professor of Psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California. Being a teenager from a deprived background must be especially hard during the pandemic. But one such group of youngsters have had an advantage. They’re […]

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The Transformational Power of Culture launches on 22 August

It feels like nothing in the world today is as it should, or was expected to be and the process of reimagining how we learn, socialise and even live side by side in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic is testing individuals, communities and governments internationally. In keeping with this need for change, Edinburgh International […]

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Euripides anti-war protest is a play for our times

By Charlotte Eagar and William Stirling Mohammed walked centre stage of the vast Pentland Theatre at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. “I lived in a cellar for two years,” he told the 750-strong audience. He’s tall, six foot four, with knife-edge cheekbones and eyes that used to be dark with despair. Mohammed was interrupted by […]

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No Silencing This Big Noise

Big Noise is an intensive, immersive model of music education which delivers benefits far beyond instrumental skills. Inspired by El Sistema, set up in Venezuela in 1975, increased confidence, greater resilience, improved focus and discipline are just a small number of the benefits associated with participation in Big Noise, as identified over several years of […]

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Seeing the Crisis through Pandemic Objects

Brendan Cormier, Senior Design Curator, V&A. The first days of lockdown in the UK will be remembered as strange and surreal: the news cycle in hyperdrive, every day new instructions from the government, and everyone everywhere trying to pivot as fast as possible to a constantly changing scenario. Particularly striking was how a handful of […]

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Transformational Heart of the Arts

Belief in humanity, even in the darkest of times is the enduring lesson of Jan Karski’s extraordinary life. A Polish World War II hero, Holocaust witness, and late beloved Georgetown Professor, his legacy is explored in a powerful monologue Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski, delivered for the Special Edition by Oscar-nominated actor David […]

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Mission Critical Investment

When the Heron Foundation revolutionised its investment model it raised eyebrows and plaudits across the spectrum from small non-profits to Wall Street. Its mission to help people and communities help themselves out of poverty drove a massive revision of its strategy resulting in a commitment to invest in organisations able to help achieve its mission […]

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NEWS: Edinburgh International Culture Summit 2020: Special Edition: The Transformational Power of Culture

Edinburgh International Culture Summit 2020: Special Edition: The Transformational Power of Culture Stories from around the world will clearly demonstrate the transformational power of culture as told by artists, economists, educationalists, strategists, architects, medical scientists, philanthropists and Ministers of Culture. The Summit will consider ideas and perspectives embedded in our cultures that can support new […]

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Update on Edinburgh International Culture Summit this year.

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on peoples and countries across the world continues to grow, the Edinburgh International Culture Summit has taken the difficult decision, in tandem with Edinburgh’s Summer Festivals, to announce that the 5th edition of the Culture Summit in August 2020, cannot now proceed, as originally planned. All the Summit […]

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Connecting Through Culture – Summit 2018

With the cultural centre of gravity about to shift to Edinburgh for the summer, British Council have published the Edinburgh International Culture Summit report.  ‘Connecting Through Culture’ reflects discussions held in the Scottish Parliament during the last Culture Summit.  It focusses on three topics: culture in a networked world, culture and wellbeing, and culture and […]

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Delegations from over 40 countries to attend Edinburgh International Culture Summit 2018

OVER 100 ARTISTS, CULTURE MINISTERS INFLUENCERS AND PRACTITIONERS PREPARE TO COLLECTIVELY ADDRESS ISSUES OF CULTURAL HERITAGE, CONNECTIVITY, INVESTMENT AND WELLBEING. IN SCOTLAND’S YEAR OF YOUNG PEOPLE 2018 THE SUMMIT INCLUDES 13 INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DELEGATES AND 20 YOUTH CONTRIBUTORS PARTICIPATING IN  EVERY ASPECT OF THE PROGRAMME Countries attending include: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, […]

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Edinburgh International Culture Summit announce opening session speakers 2018

The Summit today announced the well-known global figures set to share special messages with the delegates at the opening session. The Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland will welcome the international ministers, artists and delegates sharing her insights into Scotland’s success through culture; The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Prime Minister of […]

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Edinburgh International Culture Summit 2018 gathers globally renowned thinkers and practitioners to collectively explore the vital cultural solutions to health and wellbeing

This year’s Edinburgh International Culture Summit brings together internationally respected names from healthcare, politics, arts and education to discuss Culture and Wellbeing, one of three strands being explored at this powerhouse of international discussion from 22 – 24 August 2018. The overarching theme of Summit 2018 is Culture: Connecting Peoples and Places. Building on the […]

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