Nomadic University

Welcome to join NUROPE
Nomadic University for Art, Philosophy and Enterprise in Europe, A Joint Initiative by European Cultural Parliament and Åbo Akademi University – in cooperation with Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto and other actors in Europe
Go to www.nurope.com

The aim of this project is to establish a mobile philosophical laboratory for reflection on the challenges European leadership is facing in the creative tension between business and art. We wish to exploit the full potential of the meaning, role and contribution of art in the transformation of society, organizations and enterprises. An important exploratory pre-conference took place at Chittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella (Italy) hosted by Michelangelo Pistoletto, also member of the European Cultural Parliament. The final initiative from Åbo Akademi University to start up a Nomadic University for Art, Philosophy and Enterprise in Europe received massive support at the European Cultural Parliament’s session in Lisbon (December 2005), attended by José Manuel Barroso, chairman of the European Commission. The project subsequently received support from the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.

The nomadic expedition was initiated in September 2006, in connection with the European Culture Parliament’s session and Finland’s chairmanship in the European Union, with Åbo/Turku (Finland) as the first oasis. The Nomadic expedition then continues to the second oasis of the first expedition, which will take place at Cittàdellarte in Biella (Italy) February 9-12 2007. Finally, the last oasis of this first nomadic expedition will visit Kassel and Documenta June 27-July 1, 2007.

Our plan for the second expedition includes oases in Istria, together with Centre for Drama Art in Zagreb (Croatia), in Istanbul (together with the Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center) and a final third oasis on different sites around the Baltic Sea (Åbo/Turku, Stockholm, Tallin). Little by little, a fixed route will be determined and further partners will be involved in this exploration of contemporary European models for new leadership.

Background
Today the transformative power of the economic and technological globalisation challenges all artistic, cultural, social and political processes in Europe as well as around the world. In this situation, art is increasingly recognized as a strategic resource for economic growth, in order to generate creativity and innovations. The contemporary strategy to create European dynamics for global competitiveness is now in urgent need to be counter-balanced by investments in cultural resources capable of contributing to enterprises and society without being consummated and eliminated, but also to strengthen both the individual and the institutional capacity to create identity and meaning.

We wish to contribute constructively to these challenges by detecting new forms of leadership to manage the cultural resources in companies, public authorities and civil society. A deepening of the cultural dimension of the European project is growing in demand in accordance with the European Culture Parliament’s conviction that the ethical and aesthetic values are the soul and essence of European societies.

Aim
The motto of the Nomadic University is to “think global and act local”, which means that the nature of the project is fundamentally glocal. According to this motto we want to confront the economic and cultural challenges in Europe by means of philosophical reflection and a trans-national optics that put art at the centre of the transformation of society, enterprise and people. The dynamics between “nomads” and local participants within culture, politics and business will enable the Nomadic University for Art, Philosophy and Enterprise in Europe to implement this ambition. The dialogues arise from the concrete challenges in the local situation and the aims are:

to make a contribution to the cultivation of the complex formation of glocal identities in a trans-national Europe in transformation where art and culture are expected to function as resources both for growth and for identity constructions in open communities;

  • to offer both post graduate students, researchers and leaders within culture and economy a platform to develop and reflect on questions concerning the synergies between art and economy from a glocal European perspective;
  • to offer a multidisciplinary academic course for European postgraduate students;
  • to document every oasis by a series of research reports, publications and media productions for comparative and cumulative learning and research initiation on European leadership;
  • to share experiences and develop creative models for education and research in social and cultural as well as economic entrepreneurship.

Participants
The Nomadic University is an intellectual arena available for participants both as an open conference and as an academic course (for mainly postgraduate students). The oases serve as integrated multifunctional platforms with several entrances and exits. A core group formed by “nomads”, travelling together during a one year expedition with three or four oases (four days each), will join different local communities for lectures, work shops, panel debates and art events. The pedagogical model will focus on the learning process and the reflective capacity of the participants, but some of the arenas will also be available publicly to a wider local audience.

The arrangement will be communicated both in association with the local context around each oasis and in the broader network represented by the delegates of the European Cultural Parliament. By the means of designing an advanced creative learning process we wish to establish a dynamic learning process between participants from the ECP network, local business leaders, art institutions, artists of various fields and executives from different industries, all together with lecturers, researchers, decision-makers and (post graduate) students. For the last mentioned group, a framework is constructed by which three oases together form an academic course with separate introduction and examination:

The preliminary nomadic oases and expeditions

Expedition A: Visual Arts

  • Nurope I: Åbo/Turku, Finland (11-14 September 2006)
  • Nurope II: Biella, Italy (9-12 February 2007)
  • Nurope III: Kassel: Documenta, Germany (27 June-1 July 2007)

Expedition B: Performing Arts

  • Nurope IV: Istria (Zagreb), Croatia (September 2007)
  • Nurope V: Istanbul, Turkey (January 2008)
  • Nurope VI: Åbo/Turku-Stockholm-Tallin (May 2008)

Expedition C: Music and Poetry

  • Nurope VII: Camargue, France (October 2008)
  • Nurope VIII: city will be announced later (January 2009)
  • Nurope IX: Åbo/Turku, Finland (May-June 2009)

Interested in joining Nurope?
The project is directed by Professor Bengt Kristensson Uggla and Project Coordinator Mona Nylund, both associated with Åbo Akademi University. The Centre for Continuing Education at Åbo Akademi University is responsible for the administrative support. Professor Pierre Guillet de Monthoux, from European Centre for Art and Management and Stockholm University, will also be involved as “Schwung-professor” responsible for input and creative synergies. Also Nina Kivinen and Christian Wulff are involved in the organization of the academic dimension.

Filippo Fabbrica, Paulo Naldini among others at Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (Italy) are responsible for Nurope II, the oasis in Biella in February 2007, and a close partner in development and documentation of the expeditions.

Maria Finders, special project manager at Art Basel, will be responsible for Nurope III, which will take place as scenario sessions at the Documenta in Kassel, Germany, 27 June-1 July 2007.

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