7th World Summit on Arts and Culture: At the crossroads? Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century

The 7th World Summit on Arts and Culture is jointly hosted by the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) and Arts Council Malta (ACM), the Maltese Government’s national agency for development and investment in the cultural and creative sectors.

The World Summit is the most important and longest running international gathering of professionals and practitioners involved in cultural policy and arts funding.  Held every two or three years, the World Summit on Arts and Culture is the only international event of its kind in the arts and culture policy field. World Summits provide a distinctive platform for national arts councils, ministries of culture and other agencies active in the global arts and culture sector to:

  • discuss and exchange experiences and ideas about key issues affecting public support for the arts and creativity
  • engage in insightful, stimulating debate and discussions among policy makers within the context of contemporary global and national challenges;
  • challenge or affirm current practices by benchmarking good practice;
  • create networking opportunities to build relationships and potential partnerships; and
  • develop the networking, organisational and advocacy objectives and interests of IFACCA and its members.


Theme: At the crossroads? Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century malta

The 2016 Summit will be held in Malta – a country situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, always found at the crossroads, where cultures have been meeting and interacting throughout history. A wonderful place to host this unique international event and to stimulate international discussions.

The 7th World Summit will bring together key decision-makers and actors involved in addressing the challenges of funding the arts; supporting the development of the creative industries and the cultural development of communities; and promoting to the world the initiatives and achievements of the arts and culture sector. Given Malta’s Mediterranean location, the Summit also offers a unique opportunity to consider the intersections between Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

The focus of the 2016 World Summit on Arts and Culture, will be on Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century.  The arts and culture can be considered to be at a crossroads – faced with many challenges and opportunities at the global, national and local level such as: the impact of new technologies on the production and distribution of cultural goods and services; threats to global security; new patterns of migration; changing contexts at the national level including austerity measures and continuous requests for reform; aspirations from artists and culture operators to extend their impact and outreach to other sectors, while also struggling to guarantee freedom of expression and ensure cultural diversity.

Cultural leadership which understands and takes into account the changing realities of today’s world becomes fundamental for ensuring that the arts and culture are seen as pillars of social development in the 21st century. Traditionally, the concept of leadership was associated with the top-down approach. Today, leaders can no longer be identified solely based on their positions in governmental or governance structures, but rather on their ability to articulate a vision and bring about change. It is crucial to affirm also the role of artists, leaders of networks and advocacy groups or professional organisations, whether they are at the local or international level, to maximise the range of stakeholders involved in actively debating and proposing solutions for the contemporary challenges of the arts and culture sector.

Aimed at reflecting on the changing perception and role of leadership at different levels, the programme of the Summit will be organized around three thematic clusters:

  • Global developments having an impact on reforms of the governance of culture in the 21st century
  • National arts and cultural policies in need of vision, innovation and leadership
  • Bottom-up approaches and trends: the role of leadership at local levels

The debates during the 2016 Summit will focus on number of questions – who are the key players? How are the decisions being made? Who provides leadership for development opportunities? What does the concept of leadership represent for different cultures and how do we address the needs and expectations of future generations? How do we articulate priorities and who is responsible for innovative solutions and changes?  How do governments and civil society share responsibilities and collaborate?

My Presentation: Intrapreneurship and Innovation as Vectors of Cultural Leadership in the New Global World

It is an honor for me that my proposal is accepted and I will attend the World Summit as a speaker and panelist. Such a wonderful opportunity! I intend to focus on cultural leaders as intrapreneurs and the need for creating intrapreneurial climate as well as to constantly innovate in order to run a cultural organisation in a sustainable mode. I will be presenting key theoretical concepts, models and cases from diverse countries.

Today we live in a globalized and connected world that brings new international opportunities as well as obstacles for cultural organizations and their leaders. In the context of scarcity of financial resources worldwide, the 21st century cultural leaders require more than ever strategies and methods to create an intrapreneurial innovative climate in their organisations and projects in order to achieve sustainability, to reach global audiences, to increase their international image, and to find new partners. Cultural leadership nowadays is no longer associated just with the position in an organizational structure, or with personal traits. It requires special abilities for creating an intrapreneurial climate of ongoing innovation and seeking opportunities for sustainable financial models through engaging diverse stakeholders on international scale, while at the same time undertaking certain amount of risk.

The term intrapreneurship, or internal entrepreneurship, is a relatively new phenomenon, still very little explored in arts and culture sector and rarely connected with the theory and practice of cultural leadership. Intrapreneurial climate is usually described in the management literature as one where the team is given freedom and opportunities to innovate and is encouraged to do so on a long-term. Creating an intrapreneurial climate in the arts and culture sector in public institutions, nonprofit organisations and business ventures depends on several variables, among them: organisational structure, leadership style, size of organisation and sector in which it operates. One of the general rules is that the more flexible, open, collaborative and international the organisation is, the easier it becomes to foster an intrapreneurial climate.

My presentation focuses also on several key characteristics of intrapreneurial climate, created by a successful strategic leader: flexible organisational structure, innovative and autonomous team, feeling of shared ownership, ongoing experimentation and innovation, organisational sociability, risk-taking behavior, appropriate motivation techniques, securing ongoing investment in research and development, and more.

nina-fotoThe Programme Director of the 7th World Summit

Nina Obuljen Koržinek graduated from the Academy of Music and Faculty of Arts of the University of Zagreb. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph. D. in Political Science from the University of Zagreb. She has also completed a one-year programme at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. Nina Obuljen Koržinek works as a research associate at the Institute for Development and International Relations in Zagreb (IRMO). In 2004 she received the European Cultural Policy Research Award for her research on the impact of the EU enlargement on cultural policies which was published in the book Why we need European Cultural Policies: impact of EU enlargement on countries in transition, Amsterdam, 2006. Nina Obuljen Koržinek held positions of State Secretary (2008-2011) and Assistant Minister (2006-2008) at the Croatian Ministry of Culture where she was responsible for the sectors of arts, culture and media. From 2001 until 2006 she was a member of the Steering Committee of the International Network for Cultural Diversity. From 2012 until 2014 she was the Chairperson of the Programme Council of the Croatian Radio and Television. In 2013 she received the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture.


Over 400 delegates from over 70 countries are expected to attend the 7th World Summit on Arts and Culture. Delegates will include: IFACCA members and affiliates; arts funding agencies; ministers of culture and ministry representatives; senior arts leaders; cultural industry sector, arts companies; community arts organisations; arts supporters and advocates; artists and cultural workers; researchers and academics; arts educators and administrators; private foundations and more.

For further information, go to: http://www.artsummit.org

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