Aveiro Hosts ‘Culture Next’ Network Conference

Aveiro will host the 8th Culture Next Conference. The event will take place on 13 and 14 October, in a key moment of this network, which brings together candidate cities or cities with the title of European Capital of Culture. The moment will also allow for the meeting with entities and networks such as New European Bauhaus, EIT Culture & Creativity and MESOC, as well as the cultural community of Aveiro. The meeting gathers around 20 European cities, including the Croatian city of Rijeka and the Latvian cities of Liepaja (European Capital of Culture 2027) and Elefsina (European Capital of Culture 2023). 

The conference starts on 13 October with an opening session with the participation of Ribau Esteves, Mayor of Aveiro, Stefan Teisanu, Secretary General of Culture Next, Andras Farkas from Culture Next and Carlos Martins, who is part of the network board and represents the candidature of Aveiro 2027. 

In the context of Aveiro Tech Week, participants are invited to attend the New European Bauhaus – NEB Goes South conference at Teatro Aveirense. The New European Bauhaus is a creative and interdisciplinary initiative that aims to generate a movement that links science and technology to the world of art and culture in order to become a driving force to give life to the European Green Deal, based on sustainability, inclusion and aesthetics, bringing it closer to citizens.  

The movement brings together architects, artists, scientists, engineers, digital experts, students and citizens, inviting them to imagine and build a sustainable and inclusive future that is beautiful for the eyes, minds and spirit.  

In this meeting, the city of Aveiro hosts one of the most important project laboratories of the New European Bauhaus – NEB Goes South which focuses on the theme of climate change, with emphasis on its impacts in southern European countries, such as signs of extreme weather events, rising temperatures, islands of overheating, desertification or drought. Moreover, these countries also share rich histories and a rich cultural heritage that needs protection and enhancement.  

The project is organised by 6 schools of architecture from Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia and Greece. Its goal is to create an open and collaborative platform to learn, debate, design and inspire actions that combine sustainability, aesthetics and inclusion. 

Also attending the event will be the MESOC network, which studies the impact of culture on social inclusion, as well as its coordinator, Lluis Bonet, Professor of Applied Economics and Director of the Postgraduate Cultural Management at the University of Barcelona. MESOC is a Research and Innovation initiative designed to propose, test and validate an innovative and original approach to measure the social value and impact of culture and cultural policies and practices, related to three themes of the new European Agenda for Culture: 1) Health and Well-being, 2) Urban and Territorial Renewal and 3) People’s Engagement and Participation. The overall objective is to respond to the challenge posed by Horizon 2020 (“Developing new perspectives and improving methodologies to capture the broader social value of culture, but also beyond its economic impact”). To this end, MESOC adapts and develops a “transition-based” impact assessment method derived from a previous UNESCO publication, building a structural model of the Social Dimension of Culture, as defined by one of the strategic objectives of the European Agenda. The model will be tested in 10 pilot European cities: Athens, Barcelona, Cluj, Gent, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Milano, Rijeka, Turku, Valencia and Warsaw.  

Later there will be an informal networking session to establish contacts and partnerships between the invited cities and cultural agents from Aveiro and the Region.  

Culture Next is an informal network dedicated to mutual support and collaboration between cities currently or previously candidate to the title of European Capital of Culture, and Aveiro is one of the founding cities of the project. Their eighth conference is being conceived as a meeting place and inspiration for cultural managers and public representatives from 20 European cities and will also serve to establish links with the New European Bauhaus network, the newly created EIT Culture & Creativity and the MESOC consortium. Plans for the next two years of Culture Next will also be made, its current projects discussed, and objectives set as a force for cultural policy. 

Any current or past European Capital of Culture candidate city can take part in the event, regardless of whether it belongs to Culture Next or not. What matters above all is the interest of the cities in getting involved in the project.