Preconference programme

RiHub (Ivana Grohovca 1a) // May 28-29, 2019
Cultural networking and cultural networks: a preconference professional development programme of Rijeka 2020 - European Capital of Culture and Cultural Diplomacy Platform

With their flexible formats and horizontal approach, international networks open up the process of transforming cultural policies.

For whom? | Why? | What? | How? | Facilitators| How to apply? | Costs


For whom?

  • Representatives from former / future European Capital of Culture (ECoC) cities;
  • Operators from the Croatian cultural sector;
  • Alumni of the Global Cultural Leadership Programme (EU Cultural Diplomacy Platform)

Experience of cultural networks a distinct advantage!


Cultural networks strongly promote trans-cultural cooperation. They leave their mark on international relations by encouraging interactions through which diverse cultures express their particularities, diversity and mutual respect. They enable our voices and views to be heard on a bigger and more influential scale than could possibly be achieved on our own. With their flexible and horizontal structures networks can thus open up the process of transforming cultural policies and supporting ‘networked cultures’.

The last 25 years have seen an explosion in cultural networks across and beyond Europe.  Through them we have been able to develop international partnerships and projects,take risks, pool resources, exchange cultural experiences and engage in meaningful intercultural dialogue.We have also been able to learn new things, build capacity and make lasting relationships, all of which feed back into our local context.

Networks and networking are ‘live’ and important issues for those working in culture. International cooperation is not only the best way to enrich and improve a cultural project it is also an opportunity to place our organisations and our practices in a global professional context, the better to tackle the challenging issues of our times.


This two-day programme will enable you to:

  • Reflect on, share and critique your experience of cultural networks,taking into account the creative,resource, ethical and policy dimensions
  • Consider the power of networks to inspire, include, support, challenge, protect and enable changein and through international relations
  • Explore networking as an important 21st centurypracticewhich has important implications for leadership, learning, resilience, networked cultures and your local cultural eco-system
  • Better embark on building/supporting the development of new/existing cultural networks (not least through a consideration of what ‘good’ networks look like and some of the pitfalls to avoid)
  • Engage in intensive networking with peers and potential international collaborators in the spirit of an emerging community of practice

As a result, you will have new contacts, ideas, insights and an enhanced toolkit for your own engagement with cultural networks, international cultural relations and policy development


This advanced learning programme will be practical, participative and collaborative. Using a varied methodology and relying heavily on group work, the emphasis will be on active engagement and ‘serious fun’, the better to explore key issues in cultural networks and networking.

This programme depends on the outcome of participants’ applications; their expectations, network experience, and other information gained in the application form. Therefore, the final programme schedule will be defined after the applications are completed. The result will be a tailor – made program that will be created according to the needs of its participants.


Sue Kay

Sue has worked in the cultural sector for over 30 years. She has a background in arts management and cultural administration – within performing arts organisations, funding bodies, development agencies and higher education. She has worked as an artistic director, producer, programmer, venue manager, planner (with the Arts Council in South West England), project coordinator, senior lecturer (Subject Director: Cultural Management, Dartington College of Arts in Devon) and as Executive Director, Culture South West (the erstwhile regional cultural consortium funded by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport). Since 2005 Sue has operated as a freelance consultant, educator and trainer, with a particular interest in cultural leadership, collaborative practices, capacity building, curriculum design and delivery and training of trainers. She has an MA in Cultural Policy and Management and a PhD in Leadership Studies. She serves on the board of Miracle Theatre in Cornwall. A long-standing (and former board) member of the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centres, and now resident in France, she works in Central and Eastern Europe, the Southern Mediterranean region and Nordic-Baltic countries.

Birgitta Persson

Birgitta works as a consultant and trainer for and with the cultural sector across Europe as part of Olivearte Cultural Agency. She has a special interest in value-driven organisational development, leadership and team work. Up until 2017, Birgitta was for 12 years the Secretary General of Trans Europe Halles (TEH), an international network of cultural centres. There she oversaw the development of TEH from 28 members to a figure approaching 100 in 2017 and she also initiated increased cooperation and joint advocacy among fellow European cultural networks. During this time, she led the network’s exponential growth in activity and outreach, including the securing of substantial European funding for both the network activities and several large cooperation projects. Before joining TEH, she worked as a promoter, project manager, fundraiser and head of marketingat the cultural centre Mejeriet in Lund, Sweden. She is currently the CEO of Point of Value, a company dedicated to value-based development of individuals, teams and organisations. She is alsothe chair of Mejeriet, board member of the Swedish theatre company Månteatern and board member of the arts residency association ARNA.

How to apply?

As places are limited and a diversity of attendees important, participation in this programme will be selective and those wishing to take part are asked to complete the following application form.

Applications will be evaluated based on the quality criteria. But, we need to emphasize that we will evaluate participants experience of cultural networks as a distinct advantage!.

Application form will be opened until Monday, 13 of May.

Chosen participants will be notified until 15 of May the latest.


This educational programme is free of charge. Participants which are not Rijeka residents are solely responsible for travel/transfer and accommodation costs.

Cultural Networking and Cultural Networks – pre-conference professional development programme is organised by RIJEKA 2020 and Cultural Diplomacy Platform