Friday 2 December

10:00 – 13:00


Visit 1: Vienna Design Week

Visit 2: exhbition frei-raum

Visit 3: House of Philanthropy

Visit 4: ERSTE Campus

VIENNA DESIGN WEEK is Austria´s largest design festival, with a variety of locations and events in Vienna. The festival, curated by Lilli Hollein, will enter its 11th round. Opening up creative processes and giving scope for experimentation on site are core elements of the festival concept. During VIENNA DESIGN WEEK, the city becomes a platform and showcase of design.

Mesteshukar ButiQ (MBQ) is one of the organisations we will visit at the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK. It is a Bucharest based social enterprise working on revaluing traditional Roma craftsmanship. We provide premium lifestyle products with a story and design that stands out in any context, using a blend of centuries old techniques combined with contemporary design. Our product line is comprised of jewellery, clothes and home- decor objects developed from a selection of natural materials such as wood, copper, leather, wicker and fabrics.

Almost 30 year after the fall of the “Iron Curtain” Vienna still is described as a gateway between “East” and “West”. This fact has to do with the history of Austria as former empire. Vienna indeed was a melting pot of different nations at the end of the last century. On the other hand Austria’s role as a neutral country of the “West” and receiver of Gastarbeiter in the 1960s and 1970s adds to this.

Especially post-1989 Vienna was a host for artists and scholars from the neighboring countries and thereby continues this long history of cultural exchange. The themes of friendship and exchange, social movements and activism, the historical dimension of imperialism and its impact on the present and the strengthening of new nationalisms lie at the basis of the artistic productions. A number of events offer an opportunity for temporary exchange over the entire duration of the exhibition and emphasize the process-related character.

The House of Philanthropy is a co-working space of Austrian foundations and other organizations enabling and supporting social start-ups, impact investing and social businesses. It has only be founded in November 2016 on one floor in the well-known building of the Old Stock Exchange in Vienna on Ringstrasse. The House of Philanthropy was co-iniated by Peopleshare Foundation, Essl Foundation and Ashoka Austria.

Currently some 10 organizations have moved their premises, including Bluehendes Oesterreich, Internet Privatstiftung Austria and the Association of Charitable Austrian Foundations, working on very different social and environmental issues. A delegation of these organization will be hosting you and is looking forward to connect and share experiences with the delegates of the Grantmakers East Forum.

A tour of the ERSTE Campus, including the tour of the ERSTE Foundation + Library and one of the art exhibitions in the ERSE Campus – Art in Architecture (

It is a project with artists all over the CEE region who were commissioned works that are now in the building on different levels. The curators will give participants a special tour.