Wednesday 27 September


13:30 – 17:30

Pre-conference event on Philanthropy Development @ ERSTE GROUP officices

Pre-conference event on philanthropy development @ ERSTE GROUP office

  1. Introduction and linking to previous meetings (Brussels in February and Warsaw in June)
  2. Three break-out workshops
    • Endowment building
    • Investment mechanisms
    • Community philanthropy
  3. Plenary discussion: what is the infrastructure needed to have impact in the areas discussed in break-out / include a perspective on the operating environment?

For more info on the pre-conference event, please contact Ali Khan at


19:00 – 20:30

Public evening session @ Semperdepot

Content to be added soon


Boris Marte, ERSTE Stiftung

Vesna B. Agic, Mozaik Foundation and Chair of the Grantmakers East Forum


Christiane Erharter, ERSTE Stiftung




Thursday 28 September @ Ankerbrotfabrik

09:30 – 10:45

Opening plenary

During the opening plenary we will set the scene for the discussions throughout the day.


Boris Marte, ERSTE Stiftung

Werner Binnenstein-Bachstein, Community Arts Lab, Porticus


Vesna B. Agic, Mozaik Foundation and Chair of the Grantmakers East Forum


Prof Michael Meyer, Vienna University of Economics and Business

Eva Sobotka, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights


11:00 – 12:30

Morning breakout sessions

Culture Production Space

The fall and rise of funding art and culture

The role of philanthropy in promoting cultural exchange and contemporary art, again, is increasingly growing: Over the last years, we have seen cuts on cultural budgets by national governments as well as private players. These circumstances have made the role of philanthropy even more vital in this sector. Experts working in foundations that have a strategic focus on art and culture will share their expertise and discuss their experience. We invite practitioners who understand their work as a link between art and culture and society to participate in the discussion. We perceive this panel as a great opportunity to strengthen the network of cultural foundations and look into the possibilities of cultural policies as well as lobbying.


Christiane Erharter, ERSTE Stiftung


European Cultural Foundation (Netherlands)

Fritt Ord Foundation (Norway)

Fundació Bancària ”la Caixa” (Spain)

Open Society Foundations (USA)

Koç Foundation (Turkey)

Sabanci Foundation (Turkey)


Education Space

Schools as spaces for co-creation empathy and creativity: the potential of arts in education

Children and young people approximately spend between 700 and 1200 hours a year in their schools, most likely more time then they spend in any other organized activity and sometimes more time then they spend with their family. Hence they are an important place for the education and personal development of the young generation.

But can schools also be a place to strengthen the ‘social capital’ of a community? Can they be a space to develop roots for a vivid civil society? What is the potential of arts and culture to empower schools to fulfil this role and nurture a ‘holistic’ development of their students? How can arts and culture help schools to reach out to their communities and vice versa?


Markus Janzen, Porticus


Dijana Pejic, Genesis Project

Harald Katzmair, FAS Research


Public Spaes

Creating New Public Spaces

Public spaces play a vital role in shaping the social and economic life of communities. New types of public spaces offering opportunities for meeting, connecting and co-working are now being created around the world.  They serve as an important social resource and stimulate collaboration for positive impact through offering inclusive physical places to activists, artists, and social entrepreneurs.  The session will feature some of the most recent projects in Eastern Europe and talk about how these spaces have created hubs for social impact.  The speakers – representatives of public, private, and philanthropy sectors, and a blogger with a critical view on commodification of public spaces – will outline their roles and discuss their views on this variation of collective good, which opens new platforms for ever more marginalized civil society actors.


Ketevan Vashakidze, Europe Foundation


George Ferguson, former Mayor of Bristol (TBD)

Valeri Chekheria, Ajara Group Hospitality

Patrick Dooley, PostPravda



13:30 – 15:00

Afternoon breakout sessions

Safe Space

SAFE and SOUND: Arts and Culture in a Time of Crisis

In today’s world, where socio-political and economic instability and forced migration is our everyday reality, improving the conditions of co-existence is more important than ever. Thus, reaching the broadest audience possible and ensuring more active participation in public life through arts and cultural activities play a substantial role. Adopting public engagement in the arts paves the way for improvement in many fields such as cultural rights, participation in public life, social integration and arts education. In the long term, it brings about an enrichment of cultural life, opens up more space for art within our daily routine and helps large masses to embrace its power and importance in terms of critical thinking and participation.

This session will give a close up look into the arts and cultural scene in south eastern Europe, explore how participation in and production of arts and culture is effected by economic crises, war and political crises. Based on research, field experience and arts production practices, the speakers who are coming from diverse backgrounds like academia, NGO sector and arts, will give examples and engage in discussion on the role and power of arts and culture in creating safe spaces for all.


Seçil Kınay, Vehbi Koç Foundation


Leni Konialidis, Greek Turkish Youth Orchestra

H. Ayça İnce, İstanbul Bilgi University

Sejla Kamaric, Artist

Zeyno Pekunlu, Artist and Curator (TBC)


Social Entrepeneurship Space

Shrinking space for civil society motivates creation and development of new and innovative solutions that will provide resilient and sustainable responses to various social problems. Thus, the rise of social businesses and social entrepreneurship emerged as a logical trajectory towards solutions that do good to society and do well in the market place. After years of dwelling over theoretical issues surrounding the term, we are finally ready to dive in and discuss practical topics concerning social entrepreneurship – what makes a social entrepreneur, is there a specific mentoring for impact businesses, what are specifics for social businesses using art and culture for their impact, what the ecosystem for SE development should look alike.

In this session, we will bring together three panellists who will open and try to answer questions about practice of establishing and developing good ecosystem and successful social businesses.


Georg Schön, Ashoka Austria


Matteo Bartolomeo, Make a Cube3

Vesna Bajšanski-Agić, Mozaik Foundation

Dušanka Ilić, Kutpoint ltd


Technology & Digital Space

The role of Memory & Heritage Institutions empowered by new technologies in Strengthening Civil Society: The Role for Foundations

Memory and heritage help us understand who we are and when we come from. They often serve as tools in creating identities: personal, national and European. With the rise of populist governments and the overwhelmingly populist rhetoric dominating the public discourse, the empowerment of the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) Institutions are particularly important.

As many cultural institutions, the GLAM  (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) have been struggling with coming up to speed with the societal change catalysed by the internet. More and more resources are digitised, but do not attract users’ attention. Attendance rises in big and recognised cultural institutions, but the small and local need to reinvent themselves in order to find audiences.  


Anna Sienicka, Techsoup Global


Aleksandra Janus, Open Culture Studio

Alicja Peszkowska, National Gallery of Denmark


15:15 – 16:15

Interactive Music Workshop by Rafael Neira Wolf, Superar

Based in Vienna and active in Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland, Superar offers free, high-quality musical training for ALL children, to empower those taking part to ultimately boost their chances in society of the future.

Together with Rafael Neira Wolf, an experienced Superar trainer and artist on stage at the Vienna Music School, Vienna Concert House and the private University of Music- and Art in Vienna, we will experience the positive energy unleashed by music, which is able to generate empathy and transcends borders. Don’t be afraid, all that is requested is your openness to make a transformative experience and co-create a space of joy and harmony.


17:00 – 18:30

Closing plenary

In the closing plenary three expert speakers will connect the different discussions of the day and look forward to what it is philanthropy and civil society can do together to reclaim civic spaces.


Alina Serban, ERSTE Stiftung


Kati Marton, Trustee of the Central European University (confirmed)

Katherine Watson, European Cultural Foundation (confirmed)

Third speaker TBC