Forum Istanbul

Global Challenges – Cultural Visions

The Istanbul Forum “A Soul for Europe”: Global Challenges – Cultural Visions, which took place on 12 and 13 October 2010 at Tophane-i Amire Culture Center, initiated a laboratory to define and implement new forms of collaboration between political decision makers and civil society - including the business sector and the individual citizen - to develop Europe as a cultural project.


Among the speakers were Doris Pack (Member European Parliament, Chair European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education), Şekib Avdagiç (President 2010 Istanbul European Capital of Culture 2010), Bahadır Kaleağası (International Coordinator TUSIAD - Turkish Industry & Business Association Representative EU and BUSINESSEUROPE Brussels), Beral Madra (Director of the Visula Arts department 2010 Istanbul European Capital of Culture), Paul Scheffer (Professor, University of Amsterdam), Pier Luigi Sacco (University IUAV, Venice), Radovan Jelašić (former governor, central bank of Serbia), Ferenc Miszlivetz (Professor, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Director, ISES - Institute for Social and European Studies Foundation), Yolanda Onghena (Senior Researcher, CIDOB - Barcelona Centre for International Affairs), Nevzat Bayhan (General Director, Istanbul Municipality Kültür A.Ş.), Nele Hertling (Co-founder, "A Soul for Europe" Strategy Group Member), Dr. Korhan Gümüş (Architect, Founder, IYD - Human Settlements Association, Executive Board Member, Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency), Memet Ali Alabora (Theatre Actor, Activist), Gülseren Onanç (President, KAGİDER - Woman Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey) as well as a large group of engaged young Europeans from many different countries, including the members of the "A Soul for Europe" Strategy Group.


The Istanbul Forum: Global Challenges, Cultural Visions has been a crucial step in laying the foundations of one of the newest projects of "A Soul for Europe": The European Culture and Economy Platform. Some leading representatives from both the business and culture sector strongly agreed about the need of such platform which is a long term project of the "A Soul for Europe" initiative and its partners in the culture and economic sectors. It is meant to be a European-wide platform of individuals from the culture and economic sectors with invited European politicians. It will function as a think-tank to develop common strategies, actions and policy proposals and recommendations to ensure the sustainable development of Europe, its regions, its cities and communities in a global contest. The platform is a pure civil society initiative and differs form other institutional platforms. It draws its inspiration from the "European agenda for culture in a globalizing world" COM(2007) 242 final and constitutes one of its concrete and far reaching implementation.


An other important result of the Istanbul Forum: Global Challenges, Cultural Visions has been achieved at the Istanbul metropolitan level. Various personalities involved with Istanbul European Capital of Culture 2010, artists and others civil society actors have expressed their serious commitment to create a multi-sector platform to deal with the results of the 2010 European Capital of culture project and its long term sustainable effect for the Istanbul metropolitan area after 2010.


Finally most of the participants recognised that a fundamental need to find common visions among all sector of society to find solutions for the sustainable development of Europe and the world.

The results and consequences of the Istanbul Forum were taken into the 4th Berlin Conference "Towards a Citizens' Europe" held on 20 November 2010. This offered the chance of a continuing and deeper analysis for Global Challenges - Cultural Visions.

Press coverage:
Istanbul cultural policies criticized at ‘Soul for Europe' forum Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review
Will Turkey enter Europe with an open face? Ralitsa Kovacheva
Video Interviews to: Radovan Jelašić, Pierluigi Sacco, Levan Khetaguri, Ferenc Miszlivetz
Inteview with Paul Scheffer: Resolving the immigration problem means to redefine what it is to be a citizen
Interview with Javor Gardev