Arab Cultural Leaders Meet Their Counterparts From Around the World in London

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Thirty five cultural leaders from the UK, North Africa , the Middle East, Western Europe, and North America, will come together in London to develop their skills and professional networks through a 2-day British Council-run programme involving case studies, action learning sets, collaborative project planning, panel discussions with prominent speakers and networking opportunities.

Project participants. ©Oqba Faraj

Paul De Quincey, British Council project director: This meeting - the first to bring all the 2009/10 CLI participants together from across Europe, North America, the Near and Middle East and North Africa - represents a fantastic opportunity to explore the nature and demands of cultural leadership in important but different geographical regions.

On 8 & 9 July 2009 thirty five cultural leaders from the UK, North Africa , the Middle East, Western Europe, and North America, will come together in London to develop their skills and professional networks through a 2-day British Council-run programme involving case studies, action learning sets, collaborative project planning, panel discussions with prominent speakers and networking opportunities.

This event is part of the British Council's Cultural Leadership International (CLI) programme which aims to help future cultural leaders develop the skills and vision needed to strengthen the cultural sector and its role in building an open, tolerant and integrated society. CLI will cultivate and support international collaborations using UK cultural leadership expertise.

The project will also generate opportunities for the international exchange of knowledge, experiences and ideas, and support people in fulfilling their potential and realising their aspirations. This stems from our conviction that the arts are a valuable route to understanding cultures and societies and offer an exceptional way of interacting across boundaries.

It is an opportunity for all of our selected participants to come together as a group, to share ideas around culture and leadership and to work together on finalising their development plans. The event will also mark the formation of the international cultural network. This will be the first network of its kind, bringing together a diverse group of cultural leaders and speakers from around the world.

"Paul De Quincey, British Council project director: This meeting - the first to bring all the 2009/10 CLI participants together from across Europe, North America, the Near and Middle East and North Africa - represents a fantastic opportunity to explore the nature and demands of cultural leadership in important but different geographical regions."

"Paul De Quincey, British Council project director: I look forward to a fascinating and lively debate that will go some way towards creating a better understanding of the complexities of cultural leadership in an international context and the potential difference that good leadership of cultural organisations can make to our societies."

International Cultural Leaders Give Their Perspectives:
During the event on 8 July, prominent cultural figures from Europe and the Middle East will debate what it means to be a cultural leader, and discuss how a new and interconnected generation of cultural leaders could work together for greater impact on society. The speakers include; author and cultural commentator Ahdaf Soueif, writer and social activist Dr Naif Al Mutawa, British playwright and journalist Mark Ravenhill, British Council's Programme Leader Dr Philip Goodwin, Director of the Kampnagel Theater Hamburg Amelie Deuflhard, and John Holden speaker and cultural commentator.    

The panel discussion, 'Leaders in the Cultural Sector: International Perspectives' will examine the key challenges and opportunities faced by leaders in the cultural sector and the contributions that cultural leaders can make to social and economical developments.

The Participants:
CLI is for those who are already actively engaged in the cultural sector and who also want to play a key role in its future. Participants don't necessarily have high-level leadership experience, but they demonstrate a level of achievement and interest to their work, and importantly, a commitment to self-development, learning through experience, and to sharing with others internationally.

The participants selected from the Arab World come from Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Qatar, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, and Kuwait.

The programme will offer a varied and tailored programme of activities, such as:

  •     work-based placements
  •     networking opportunities
  •     coaching and mentoring
  •     creative collaborations and experiential learning

For more information you can read the background information for the CLI project and contact:
Rana Moughabghab, Regional Projects Communications Manager at British Council Lebanon
Tel.: + 961 1 428900

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