EFC 2018 Conference: “Culture Matters: connecting citizens, uniting communities”

29 – 31 May 2018 – Brussels, Belgium


Brussels 22 May 2018 – Have you ever wondered how the arts survive in times of crisis? How culture can shake up, energise and connect communities?  How heritage can help engage and empower citizens to shape the future?  Over 500 philanthropy professionals will tackle these and other important questions in Brussels on 29-31 May, at the European Foundation Centre’s conference “Culture Matters: connecting citizens, uniting communities”.

The three conference plenaries, complemented by over thirty sessions addressing different aspects of culture, will feature several keynote speakers including:

  • Jan Goossens, Director, Festival de Marseille
  • Cem Mansur,Conductor, Music Director and Founder of the Turkish National Youth Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Croatian Minister of Culture
  • Martine Reicherts, Member of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Luxembourg and former Director General for Education and Culture (DG EAC)
  • Jenny Sealey, Artistic Director, Graeae Theatre
  • Lemn Sissay, Author, poet and broadcaster

The conference also features several diverse cultural activities and visits, including “Walk and Talk” networking sessions, a private visit to an exhibition organised by the King Baudouin Foundation and other major European foundations in the Musée du Cinquantenaire, and an EFC-hosted exhibition in Philanthropy House, showcasing a wide range of its members’ projects on improving social spaces and the restoration of buildings, parks, museums etc.

Taking advantage of the conference, the EFC, along with DAFNE and EVPA, will organise a “Philanthropy Scrum” on 28 May.  It will bring together 120 actors from the philanthropy sector, policymakers and other stakeholders to explore ways of working together to create a single market for philanthropy in Europe.  Press are invited to attend.

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About the Conference

The EFC’s Conference is the largest international conference in philanthropy, engaging the European and global philanthropy sector to grapple with deep societal issues that are relevant to the future of Europe and the world at large, such as inequality, social injustice, and inclusive and participatory societies. This year the theme is Culture Matters: connecting citizens & uniting communities”.

The conference offers a unique opportunity for over 600 heads and senior managers of major philanthropic organisations from across Europe and the world to meet with their peers, exchange know-how and experience, test new ideas, and form partnerships. Delegates benefit from the experience and insights of top-level keynote speakers who frame current topics and trends, and open up debate on institutional philanthropy’s role in these issues.

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The Conference Committee of the EFC’s 2018 Annual Conference

The success of the conference depends on the vital contribution of the EFC’s members and other foundations in the host country. The Committee comprises representatives from Europe’s most prominent foundations and philanthropic organisations: Luc Luyten (Conference Chair) – Belgian Federation of Philanthropic Foundations, Dawn Austwick – Big Lottery Fund, Stefania Coni – Fondazione CRT, Rui Esgaio – Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Adriana Esmeijer – Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Corinna Hörst – German Marshall Fund of the United States, Seçil Kınay – Vehbi Koç Foundation, Ignasi Miró Borràs– Fundación Bancaria “la Caixa”, Stefan Schäfers – King Baudouin Foundation, Michael Schwarz– Stiftung Mercator, Anna Talasniemi – Kone Foundation, Frédéric Théret – Fondation de France and Max von Abendroth – DAFNE. 

Practical information

Conference venue: Square Brussels Meeting Centre, Mont des Arts, 1000 Brussels

Key timings

Monday, 28 May, 11.00-17.00 – Panoramic Hall

Philanthropy Scrum: Co-creating a Single Market for Philanthropy – https://www.philanthropyscrum.com/

Tuesday, 29 May, 11.30 – Gold Hall

Conference Opening & first plenar

Wednesday, 30 May, 09.00-12.30 – Meeting point: The Square, bottom entrance of the Cube

Walk and Talk networking visits

17.00-18.15 – Gold Hall

Middle plenary

Thursday, 31 May, 11.45-13.00 – Copper Hall

Conference closing


About the European Foundations Centre

The European Foundation Centre (EFC) is the platform of institutional philanthropy with a focus on Europe, but also with an eye to the global philanthropic landscape. It is a network of foundations and philanthropic institutions committed to the development and promotion of institutional philanthropy in Europe and globally.

With the aim of being the voice of institutional philanthropy in Europe, the EFC promotes and communicates the value of institutional philanthropy to society thus contributing to an environment in which philanthropy can flourish. It serves as a hub of sector exchange and intelligence, to help its members increase the impact of their added value in society. www.efc.be

Press contact

Participation in the conference is complimentary for the media. If you would like to attend the Philanthropy Scrum or receive accreditation for the conference and/or interview one of the conference speakers, the conference chair or the EFC’s Board or Chief Executive please contact:

Catherine Lennon  |  EFC  |  tel.: +32.2.512.8938  |  mob.: +32.478.251.588  |  email: clennon@efc.be  

Follow us on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/The_EFC

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/european-foundation-centre/


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