Published on Wednesday 9 November 2016

The Summit brought together over 380 delegates from nearly 90 countries to debate new approaches to cultural leadership

With the theme, At the crossroads? Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century, the World Summit focussed on the aspirations of artists, government leaders and cultural operators against a backdrop of new technologies, global security concerns, new patterns of migration and changing national contexts. 

As IFACCA gathers and analyses the reports from each of the sessions, which will be posted online, some recurring themes arose. In particular, the urgent call for action on global issues affecting our societies and how leadership from the culture sector can play a more critical role than ever. 

World Summit delegates agreed that by working together at regional and global levels, much could be achieved. Delegates were particularly inspired by keynote Arn Chorn-Pond (Cambodia) on the role of arts and culture in transforming lives and by the final session, moderated by Robert Palmer, on where to next. 

The Summit's 12 Parallel sessions enabled delegates to drill down on the details of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  

In an extraordinary set of circumstances, that illuminated the Summit theme, the Programme Director, Nina Obuljen, had to return to her home in Croatia during the Summit as she was called upon by the Prime Minister to take on the role of Minister of Culture. Ms Obuljen, able to return to the World Summit on the final day in her new role, was warmly congratulated by World Summit delegates and partners on such a prestigious recognition of her work.  

‘The World Summit has demonstrated global leaders’ roles in shaping and leading the cultural sector, as well as providing an understanding of the diversity of contexts in which we all work. The World Summit was an exciting opportunity to share inspiring new ideas, form international relationships and collaborations. It also reinforced that we are stronger when we have a collective voice’ said Stephen Wainwright, Chair of IFACCA and Chief Executive, Creative New Zealand.

The 7th World Summit was staged in the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, Malta. As IFACCA’s flagship networking event, it brought together key figures from the global arts and culture community. The World Summit provides a vital and unique space for international peers to connect, collaborate and collectively strengthen the sector and it is a direct response to needs expressed by IFACCA members and the wider arts and culture community. For European members, the Summit provided a unique opportunity to create meaningful connections with ministries of culture and arts councils attending from the Pacific, North America, Asia, Africa and Latin America. 


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Photo Credit: Therese Debono