I wanted to drop you a line to let you know about another project I am working on. It is called TCP Ventures, LLC and it is the for-profit enterprise we have set up to do work in areas like cultural diplomacy, cultural entrepreneurship and some of my own arts projects. It is my great pleasure to announce our first major project has just gotten underway. It is called CultureSummit 2017, Abu Dhabi: The Global Cultural Leadership Summit. It is an event we are doing in conjunction with theAbu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and The FP Group, publishers of Foreign Policy Magazine.
Next April, we will bring together top artists as well as leaders from government, museums, performing arts presenters, film, video, new media and other cultural organizations from around the world to discuss some of the most important next generation issues this community faces. It will be unlike any other event of its kind and we could not be more proud to be playing a leading role in shaping it--as the curator of its cultural and arts content--and with me as a member of the four person steering committee overseeing the entire event. It is a multi-year commitment and we very much hope to build this into a must-attend event for the people shaping global arts, culture, and media today. Please take a look at the official press release below.
UAE TO HOST WORLD’S FIRST GLOBAL CULTURAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
2017 Event to Convene Government, Arts and Media Leaders to Address Emerging Challenges and Opportunities Associated with Culture in a Connected World
September 13, 2016 - Abu Dhabi, UAE—Abu Dhabi will be the site of a high-level international summit that will bring together leaders from the worlds of government, the arts and the media to address the role culture can play in addressing some of the great challenges of our time. It will also explore how new technologies are changing the very nature of culture and cultural interactions worldwide with major consequences for education, our economies, politics and virtually every other dimension of our lives.
Announcing the event, HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), said, “This event underscores our commitment to culture and the arts as well as to exploring the next generation issues that are of importance to each of us in the UAE and to citizens of every country worldwide.”
The event will be hosted by TCA Abu Dhabi and presented in conjunction with The FP Group, publishers of Foreign Policy Magazine, and TCP Ventures, LLC, a producer of artistic ventures and an advisory firm focused on issues associated with the arts and culture.
“This event perfectly complements the other cultural priorities here in Abu Dhabi especially those in the Saadiyat Cultural District. It will share in its first year a common theme with them, identifying universal concepts and ideas that link us all worldwide. And it will bring an exceptionally influential group of thinkers to Abu Dhabi for an event unlike any other anywhere,” Al Mubarak added.
HE Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairwoman of Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi and twofour54, commented: “Never before has there been an event dedicated to the role of global cultural leadership in world affairs. Abu Dhabi is a hub of cultural diversity, dialogue and exchange, which makes it the ideal place to welcome our international and regional friends and step up this important conversation. We believe that engaging both the regional and international community is crucial to achieving a future where coherence and tolerance are the new normal. I’m delighted to be part of this groundbreaking event.”
The summit will seek to bring together delegations (live and virtual) representing almost every country in the world to discuss common interests, create new collaborations and address in concrete ways challenges ranging from the preservation of cultural heritage to understanding the disruptions likely to be associated with emerging technologies, from bringing arts education to the young to finding new ways to finance the arts, from combating threats like extremism to developing public policies that promote creativity and social development.
David Rothkopf, CEO and Editor of the FP Group, said, “We are on the verge of a historical watershed, for the first time ever every person on the planet will be connected together thanks to new technology in a single global cultural ecosystem. That offers the promise of greater understanding and also is perceived as threatening our unique cultural heritages. How we grapple with those issues has profound consequences for the planet.”
Carla Dirlikov Canales, CEO of TCP Ventures said, “Since our focus is culture, a vital part of the meeting will be using the arts to illustrate key points, creating new collaborations and seeking to identify ways to mobilize the talents of the artistic community to help address the biggest problems we face worldwide.”
The event will take place from April 9-13 at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi and at other selected cultural locations throughout the UAE. For further information, see the attached overview document or contact: Maria Ory at The FP Group in Washington, DC at email@example.com.
THE GLOBAL CULTURAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2017
Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
April 9-13, 2017
The Cultural Leadership Summit will convene the leaders of the world’s art, media and cultural policy communities for the first time ever to address their shared opportunities and challenges. The event comes at a watershed moment in human history. For the first time ever, we are just a few years away from every individual on the planet being connected in a single man-made system. That system, the Internet, thanks to the advent and rapid dissemination of smart phone and computing technology, will enable the creation of a single global cultural ecosystem. Whereas in the past, geography has determined the divides between cultures and thus led to both a richness of different perspectives and creative visions and idioms and at the same time has produced tensions that torment us to this day.
The Watershed: Dawn of a Single Global Cultural Ecosystem
The new environment will enable anyone anywhere to connect with anyone or everyone anywhere else instantly, at very low cost and with very high potential impact. The opportunities it presents for communications and knitting together societies are profound. Similarly, it is seen as presenting a threat to those identity-forming elements of culture many of our national, ethnic and religious systems see as foundational and defining. We are confronted with a challenge between the promise of the universal and new and great challenges in preserving what makes us unique.
At the same time, it is also true that the arts communities of the world—like the scientific communities—are leading indicators of change nationally, regionally and globally. They help drive changes that often establishment communities from government to the business world lag or resist. They have helped drive massive global changes in views toward climate change, the role of women in society, the LGBT community, the nature of human rights and countless other issues. With most citizens of the planet consuming via new media and traditional channels cultural products virtually through every waking hour (on average, Americans, for example, are consuming media products of one sort or another for almost 17 hours a day). That means that the principle source of ideas, motivations, emotional drivers, and other factors in people’s lives—the foundations of their belief systems—are derived or shaped through these cultural conduits. This creates a great opportunity for the arts and cultural organizations to do good and to lead—and it creates great opportunities for abuse.
The Cultural Leadership Summit has been conceived to create a forum to address these issues—but also to convene a group of leaders who can take action on an agenda they shape to produce the positive change these developments are making possible.
The attendees at the event will be drawn from almost every country on the planet (the UAE is literally at the center of the modern world—with two-thirds of the world’s population within an eight hour flight of Dubai or Abu Dhabi). Regional and national balance will also be important. They will also be drawn from the entire range of disciplines shaping global cultural outcomes. This will include ministers of culture and public policy officials, artists of every type, administrative leaders from arts institutions, media leaders, technologists, philanthropists and other thought leaders. A special effort will be made to include both established leaders and those who are the emerging leaders of tomorrow and half the participants will be drawn from the under-40 community.
Format, Themes and Philosophy
The format of the event will be designed to promote collaborations that might not have otherwise taken place. It will also include the creation of new art and, at the same time, explorations into how new technological developments will shape the cultural ecosystem that is now coming into focus. Plenary sessions will bring the whole group together to hear from and see examples of what is working, what is new, and what challenges are emerging. Workshops will present an opportunity to identify solutions.
The future and “arts with purpose” will be themes that are interwoven throughout every program element.
The entire event will be built around a Q-A-A structure: we will begin by trying to frame the questions we should be asking, then focus on identifying the best answers to those questions and then, importantly, define the actions the group should take to produce the best possible outcomes. Specific initiatives will be sought and concrete steps announced at the event—and on-going progress throughout each year, between annual summits, will be monitored and sought.
A Central Focus on Technology and the Future
New technological platforms—from an event app to a full range of interactive web-based community and content management features—will be created to prepare participants for the event, to enable their interaction at the event and to keep them in contact, up-to-date and working together throughout the year.
Exhibits and workshops during the event will present arts innovation from around the world—and make the event literally the cultural nerve center of the planet during its duration by creating a series of “virtual” satellite events during the course of the program linking participants to communities worldwide, especially those of the young and of disadvantages or challenged communities.
The Faculty and Honorees
The faculty for the event will be experienced, well-known, world-class artists and cultural leaders who will have shaped the program and who will chair sessions and help guide them to productive conclusions. The format will enable this faculty to meet daily and to shape the following day’s program based on the findings and feelings of the preceding day’s outcomes. This faculty will also present their own views and, where appropriate, performances or art projects linked to the themes of the program.
Other arts components of the event will include performances commissioned with 3-5 “artists in residence” and developed in an “arts incubator” that will create new collaborative combinations among artists under 40. We will also recognize the achievements of five “Cultural Diplomats of the Year” for artists, administrators and public policy makers who have used culture to address and help solve global problems or create new opportunities for cross-border communities.
The event will be hosted by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and presented in conjunction with The FP Group, publishers of Foreign Policy Magazine, and TCP Ventures, LLC, an active producer of artistic ventures and an advisory firm focused on issues associated with arts, culture, cultural diplomacy and cultural entrepreneurship.