The European Community Studies Association: Successful Workshop

Organizing the European Commission Studies Association (ECSA) Workshop with my tutor last week in Barcelona was by far the most interesting challenge in my career as cultural manager: Over 30 speakers from different countries joined the Workshop, most of them ECSA presidents in their countries (from Chile to Japan). In addition, there were speakers from the European Commission and a former President of the European Parliament (José María Gil-Robles).

Being an association dedicated to European Studies, several interesting ‘European’ issues were raised during the Workshop: the widening democratic deficit; the need to appease the markets; the status of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP); the Union for the Mediterranean; the dream of a ‘global agora’; among other things. The cultural programme that we organized for the participants included a cultural tour in Barcelona that I guided and a mini-concert by a small orchestra.

Finally, a quote (by Gandhi) shared by one of the speakers:
“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.”

You can read more about ECSA at:
http://www.uic.es/en/ecsa

My Cultural Walk for the European Studies Workshop (May 11th)

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the European Studies Workshop that I’m participating in organizing for the European Community Studies Association (ECSA) in Barcelona.

As part of the cultural programme of the Workshop, I will be organizing a cultural excursion for the participants (poster and itinerary attached). Next week, I will share some of the stories that I will tell during the excursion on my blog.

Workshop on European Studies in Barcelona (May 10-12)

This is the workshop I am currently working on in collaboration with the ECSA (European Community Studies Association) President. It will take place in Barcelona (May 10-12).
The workshop is organized by ECSA World, the umbrella association for 59 national and regional European Studies associations around the world. The main idea is to map the situation of the European Studies both through geographical and disciplinary approaches.

On Situation and Perspectives for the European Studies

Workshop on Humanities in Barcelona: Humanities in a changing world (Feb 15th)

In a few hours, I will be participating as speaker in a workshop / roundtable about Humanities at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona (poster below). Here are some pre-event reflections:

Studying humanities is not about studying a course or a master’s degree, but rather an ongoing learning process through which we learn how to listen, communicate, think and reflect, in an attempt to better understand the social, cultural and moral geographies of our time and of other times.

Studying humanities does not make you a doctor, an engineer or an IT expert, but it makes you able to assess and understand the impact of science and technology on the quality of human life and on the molding of modern societies. In short: how they affect the human condition.

As Mark Slouka elegantly put it:
“The humanities, done right, are the crucible within which our evolving notions of what it means to be fully human are put to the test; they teach us, incrementally, endlessly, not what to do but how to be.”

Humanities ensure the survival and the flourishing of such democratic values as liberty, multiculturalism and pluralism, and they help us make sense of the world in which we live because, as Carl Sagan once said:
“We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.”

Cultural Dialogue after the Arab Spring: My Scholarship Report Published (Jan 26th)

The Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) published a short version of my scholarship report that documents the symposium on ‘Cultural Dialogue after the Arab Spring’, co-organized on 28 October 2011 by the ifa and the Institut Carlemany d’Estudis Europeus (ICEE) of the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC) in Barcelona:

http://www.ifa.de/fileadmin/pdf/stipendienprogramm/symposium_report_mediterranean2011.pdf

International Symposium in Barcelona: Cultural Dialogue after the Arab Spring (Oct 28th)

Today I moderated the international symposium titled ‘The Mediterranean: Cultural Dialogue after the Arab Spring’, held at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC) in Barcelona and co-organized by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) and the Institut Carlemany d’Estudis Europeus (ICEE) of the UIC. There were two European speakers and 4 Arab speakers that tackled the following topics:
– Art and Culture
– Democratic Transition & Human Rights
– Civic Participation & Social Networks
– Gender & Women’s Rights
– Europe’s Perspective

The symposium focused on the expectations of the Arab civil society as to what the EU could offer in the post-revolution phase.

Many thanks to Dr. Enrique Banús for the incredible effort and the so much help that he provided throughout the whole thing.

Teaching Cultural Management in Barcelona: School Year 2011/2012

Today I start lecturing on “Tools for Managing Culture” for the students of the MA in Cultural Management at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC) for the second year in row. Always a learning experience, always a pleasure.