European Music Council
January 31, 2020
Dear readers,
SHIFT? Do you remember? These Shared initiatives for training with 9 partners - co-funded by Erasmus+ - aim to develop tools for cultural leaders regarding 3 SDGs: Inclusion, gender equality and climate action. Let's start with our kick-off meeting...
Let's get the SHIFT started
(picture from left to right: Carolyn Auclair-EMC ; Sophie Dowden-ECA ; Maria Hansen-ELIA ; Mieke Renders-TEH ; Ruth Jakobi-EMC ; Ása Richardsdottir-IETM ; Simone Dudt-EMC ; Manuela Matran-EMCY ; Silja Fischer-IMC ; Sonja Greiner-ECA) & Marie Le Sourd-OTM and Yohann Floch-FACE online
Climate change, gender equality and inclusion of minorities are key challenges for our rapidly changing world. The project SHIFT will provide training initiatives for cultural leaders to face such global challenges recognised in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The partners will produce online manuals and guidelines during these two next years (until December 2021) on the following themes:
► Cultural leadership
► Climate change
► Inclusion
► Gender & power-relations
The SHIFT kick-off meeting on 16 December 2019 in the UN City Bonn, Germany got together all the partners, some online due to strikes.
This first gathering enabled all partners to set goals, rules and clear some unkowns of the project. All participants will work together on themes estimated highly relevant in the coming years. Ms König, director of the Culture Office of the City of Bonn, also welcomed the international guests and pointed out the relevance of the project themes.
→ Further info soon at
Thoughts from the partners
Silja Fischer
"The UN SDGs are the “to-do list” for the entire world until 2030. IMC is very pleased to see that, after our (unsuccessful) campaign to have culture as a stand-alone goal in the 2030 Agenda, the role of culture for the achievement of the agenda is increasingly recognised by governments. SHIFT demonstrates that cultural networks feel deeply concerned by the SDGs and wish to own them as well as contribute to their realisation. The themes to be addressed by SHIFT are of great importance to IMC; some of them have been already on our agenda in the past. SHIFT will allow us to find new inspiration, provide guidance with concrete tools to cope with current and future challenges. Questions around cultural leadership are of particular relevance to IMC as we engage in a strategic transformation process.
As leader of an international network, I take a personal interest in governance matters and look forward to improving my competences and skills in the areas of inclusion, gender and power relations, environmental sustainability in order to be able to empower others to take our organisation forward, notably on these topics."
Sonja Greiner
"I expect this to be a high quality project since it is unusual in a European cooperation project to have partners with such experience. SHIFT came just came at the right time for us, since the importance of the topics addressed by SHIFT and the fact that we must include some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in our strategic thinking has been rising over the last year. The results of SHIFT should help us in the office with our team, they should inspire our Board, and the guidelines should be useful for us when working with partners and members on future activities under our label. In summary, SHIFT will help us to achieve goals in which we have some knowledge but no practical experience."
Manuela Matran
"EMCY is happy to collaborate together with the other 8 partners in the SHIFT project. In 50 year since its foundation, EMCY organised projects for its members and their prize winners, which included topics as cultural leadership and inclusion. The new guidelines that will be developed will be an extension of our last cooperation project GIVE MUSIC A FUTURE, where through music, that is the universal language, young musicians engaged with people with fewer opportunities, facing important topics like inclusion. In these fast-changing times, we truly believe the cultural sector plays the most important role in bringing together people from different social backgrounds. Improving the quality of the leadership is therefore, the first step to achieve high standard activities, on several levels."
Ása Richardsdottir
"IETM is happy to work with other networks on the important topics of the SHIFT project. All four topics are high on IETM's agenda; inclusion having been a main strategic focus of our network for the past 4-5 years, leadership an on-going theme for us and our members and environmental sustainability a current main focus of our publications, policy and strategy work. IETM will lead the package on Gender Relations. Our aim is to deliver a set of tools, which the European Culture field, organisations and individuals, can use to deal with an exposed changed reality after #METOO and provide ideas for a lasting empowerment of women in the sector and structural change."
Maria Hansen
"The SHIFT project covers three topics that are all part of ELIA’s strategic focus. The project is a huge opportunity for us to work on these topics and to be part of creating content that we can use ourselves and also share with our membership. The timeline of the project is really short but for us that is good because we feel some urgency on this. ELIA is invested in all of the work packages because of this strategic focus. ELIA itself will be leading the environmental sustainability package which is a topic that may seem easy but it isn’t. It isn’t easy because there is so much ‘anecdotal’ information about it and many opinions out there. Many of you have worked on it, and others have worked on it – what is happening with that? It feels a bit chaotic and part of our purpose will be to reduce the chaos a bit, at least for ourselves. We want to know what we can do, what we should do and what we shouldn’t do. Last but not least: the leadership project attached to SHIFT touches on a lifelong passion of mine – we all have small organisations but have to manage a huge community effectively. I think my community can contribute to this and this also we look forward to. Finally – I am happy to be working with networks that are not in higher arts education but cover other communities and expertise which will be very refreshing!"
Mieke Renders
"I agree with the other partners' intentions and expectations for this SHIFT project. We need to create easy and useable outputs in this inspiring and multi-layered project. We shift from the personal, to the organisational and towards transnational level: from within to without.  Setting the rules and framework on how we will work together is important as we should absolutely avoid that there would be a permanent conflict. How can we set up rules and what would we do in case of a conflict? This project SHIFT will be transformative for our whole cultural sector!"
Yohann Floch
"I am happy of the general interest of the project, we address burning issues and are empowering the cultural sectors.
For me there are two important things, build the capacity of professionals and raise the awareness of all the work that has been carried out by others. Many organisations have been working on these key topics, what I am expecting it is to be practical & concrete steps."
Marie Le Sourd
"Our expectations for being part of this project are to find a useful and humble way to contribute to tools on key issues that concern us all in our projects and mission (without duplicating the numerous tools that already exist), to work on a common project with colleagues from European networks and to learn more from a management perspective more about the ERASMUS+ strategic partnerships' programme."
Ruth Jakobi
"I share many points of what has been said, and I also believe that this is a very strong partnership. I am looking forward to have more in-depth knowledge on the themes that we will deal with, and it is crucial  that we encourage our members to actively participate in the project so that they can benefit to a great extend from what we will produce. Being a partnership of cultural networks, we have an enormous potential for outreach and can achieve a great impact. We might be reflecting if there is potential for a follow up after the life time of the project?"
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