Edinburgh International Culture Summit 2016

Culture – Building Resilient Communities

Summit 2016 was held once again in the striking building of the Scottish Parliament, in Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh. The theme, ‘Culture – Building Resilient Communities’, reflected the Summit’s strong belief in the vital role that culture plays in the life of any successful community.

It acknowledged that how one defines that success is a matter of cultural, linguistic and environmental difference, and it is these ideas together that lie at the heart of the diversity of dialogues encouraged at Summit 2016.

Summit 2016 focused on three areas:

Culture and Heritage

Looking how we define and protect our cultural heritage? How we use the values of heritage to define our urban landscapes? How our sense of self, place and community shapes our heritage? How our investment in cultural heritage can best reflect and respect the diversity of identities and cultures that co-exist in our world? And what the most enduring and appropriate models of success in cultural and heritage tourism are?

Culture and Economics

Summit 2016 compared a variety of cultural economic models and considered a range of public and private sector support, with a view to addressing such questions as: What is a sustainable model for funding cultural endeavour in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis? What is the best mix of private, corporate, philanthropic and government support? How do models differ between emerging and more established economies? How can investment in culture best contribute to fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals? How do we ensure the most effective cultural impact from a range of public and private investments? And how do we develop and support our cultural leaders as entrepreneurs?

Culture and Participation

Despite the existence of universal platforms for the presentation and promotion of all manner of cultural enterprises – digital television and radio, content-sharing and social media websites, live broadcasts, to name but a few – numerous barriers still exist to greater and deeper participation in cultural activities by citizens across the world. Summit 2016 offered a lively discussion on ways of reaching larger and more diverse communities, and considered how to protect and create pathways for more artistic voices.


Knowledge Partners

Edinburgh World Heritage
USC Center on Public Diplomacy


Founding Partners

The Edinburgh International Culture Summit was established in 2012 by:

British Council
Edinburgh International Festival
Scottish Government
Scottish Parliament
UK Government: Department for Culture, Media & Sport

Strategic Board

The Edinburgh International Culture Summit founding partners are represented by a Strategic Board, comprising:

Sir Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive, British Council
Fergus Linehan, Director, Edinburgh International Festival
Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs
Ken Macintosh MSP, The Presiding Officer, The Scottish Parliament
Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport

Foundation Trustees

The Edinburgh International Culture Summit Foundation was formed in 2014 to support the ambition of establishing the Edinburgh International Culture Summit as an important biennial forum in which artists, cultural leaders and government ministers together to discuss substantial, global issues of mutual interest during the Edinburgh Festivals.

Sir Angus Grossart, CBE, QC (Chair)
Joanna Baker
Douglas Connell
Benny Higgins
The Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, QC
Dame Seona Reid, DBE
Professor Louise Richardson
Andrew Wilson


Programme Director: Sir Jonathan Mills, AO
Programme Advisors: Sir John Elvidge, KCB and Rod Pryde OBE
Executive Producer: Ben Spencer
Programme Manager: Marie Nivaigne
Partner Liaison Co-ordinator: Laura Stewart
Delegate Liaison Manager: Elisa de Waal
Delegate / Participant Liaison Officer: Tom Chrystal
Delegation (in country liaison) Co-ordinator: Naomi Rayner
Logistics Manager: Vikki Little
Youth Forum Manager: Faye Harland
Volunteer Co-ordinator: Nicole Noble


The Edinburgh International Culture Summit would like to thank the following individuals for their assistance in the delivery of Summit 2016:

Lloyd Anderson / Jacqueline Killeen, Director, British Council Scotland
Lisa Craig, Executive Producer (2015)
Rebecca Clutterbuck, Head of Arts and Culture Projects, DCMS
Roy Devon, Head of Events and Exhibitions, The Scottish Parliament
Dominic Lake, Deputy Director of Arts, Libraries & Cultural Property, DCMS
Ewan Mackenzie, Head of Engagement, Culture & Historic Environment, Scottish Government
Diane McLafferty, Deputy Director of Culture & Historic Environment, Scottish Government
Katie Paterson, Assistant to the Managing Director, Edinburgh International Festival
Laura Stewart, Edinburgh International Culture Summit lead, Scottish Government
Naomi Taylor, Executive Assistant to the Festival Director, Edinburgh International Festival
Fiona Cairns, Sheila Markham and Maureen Mitchell at Noble Grossart