At the crossroads? Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century

Yesterday was the opening day of the 7th world summit on arts and culture in Valletta, Malta. The summit will bring together government and cultural leaders from over 80 countries to explore Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century. Find out more about the theme and program here.

On Thursday during the open sessions we will have the opportunity to present The Fika project and our results.

Welcome to our book launch!

booksPerspectives and Narratives on Cultural Leadership
Book Launch – Presentations – Networking – Reception
Wednesday 22 June 2016 | 14:30 – 17:30
ARTS 56 – Avenue des Arts 56, 1000 Brussels

The books “Perspectives on Cultural Leadership” and “Narratives by Cultural Change Makers” are an anthology of research and essays and a collection of life and career stories by experienced cultural leaders representing one of the first public manifestations of The Fika Project.

We hope you can join us to hear more about The Fika Project and its plans, including the aim to launch a cultural leadership course for international change-makers.

The launch is also an opportunity to participate in Fika, a Swedish word for a work break with coffee/tea and something sweet to eat where surprising conversations, creative ideas and new collaborations can happen! You will also be able to buy the books at a reduced rate.

This event is organised in the framework of a Day of European Cultural Leadership in Brussels, that also includes the 6th Annual ENCATC Policy Debate (10.00–13.00). It will be an occasion to discuss cultural leadership development in a European context, from theoretical, contextual and pedagogical perspectives with the authors of this publication.

Both events are free and take place in the same venue, but you need to register asap (so we can order enough cakes). Places are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Register now for free!

Order copies by sending an email to:

Perspectives on Cultural Leadership: 20 € + shipping (5 € within Europe)

Narratives by Cultural Change Makers: 15 € + shipping (5 € within Europe)

Both 30 € + shipping

In Sweden: Order your copies on

The Fika Project

Our project is moving forward and on June 22nd we would love to share our results with you at our launch in Brussels. More information will come soon! We have now changed the name of the project to The Fika Project. Below you can read why.

The Fika Project: Empowering Cultural Change Makers

What is it?

Fika is a social institution in Sweden. There has been evidence of the word fika for over a hundred years. It is a transposition of “kaffi” (a variation of the Swedish word for coffee). To fika means to take a break from work to have a coffee with colleagues. You may well have buns and cake along with your coffee. And a chat – a fika break is a great opportunity to discuss anything and everything.

In similar fashion, The Fika Cultural Leadership Programme offers you a chance to replenish your reserves, both physical and mental, and helps you to develop your work in a significant way. These are challenging times and The Fika Programme is about building leadership capacity to face these challenges.

How did it come about?

The Fika Project was developed in five steps:

  • An examination of the leadership CPD (Continuing Professional Development) needs of the cultural sector, focussing on Europe: summary on the project website:;
  • A survey of existing cultural leadership training in different parts of the world: summary on;
  • Narratives by Cultural Change Makers: international case studies of the professional lives of ten cultural leaders published in book form and made available on;
  • Perspectives on Cultural Leadership: an anthology of research and essays published in book form and made available on;

…and will finally result in:

  • The Fika Cultural Leadership Programme: an intensive residential and distance learning programme that invites cultural change makers across the world (particularly – though not exclusively – those operating at small scale) to take a break from their day-to-day responsibilities. Not just to drink coffee and eat cake, but also to meet colleagues and mentors, share experiences, learn from others, take the opportunity to reflect, access new networks and make new collaborations

Who did it?

We are the partners behind The Fika Project, which is supported by the EU Erasmus+ education and training programme and Region Västra Götaland in Sweden:

Karin Dalborg (Project Manager), Anna Johansen Fridén and Mikael Löfgren, Nätverkstan Kultur: independent cultural organisation based in Gothenburg, Sweden, providing education, financial and technical services, project management and consulting to the cultural sector:

Birgitta Persson, Trans Europe Halles: European-based network of cultural centres initiated by citizens and artists:

Sue Kay and Annick Schramme, ENCATC: European network for cultural management and cultural policy education:

Sandy Fitzgerald and Paul Bogen, Olivearte Cultural Agency: providing wide-ranging support to the European arts and cultural sector: