CultureSummit 2017 Abu Dhabi will bring together an extraordinary group of the world’s top creative minds to discuss culture and the significant role they play in addressing the universal challenges faced in our present time.

Over 300 participants from more than 80 countries, including key players involved in the fields of government, arts, philanthropy, heritage preservation, education, media, science and technology, will gather from April 9 – 13 2017, at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, to explore a multidisciplinary approach a wide range of topics all focused on answering how cultural tools can be used to help address significant international challenges and seize emerging opportunities.

The summit’s programme is notable both for the calibre of its speakers and for its focus on identifying actions that the group of leaders can take to help address key global challenges. These range from combatting extremism to reversing climate change and from cultural preservation to promoting the arts in education worldwide.

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of TCA Abu Dhabi said: “It is our mandate and responsibility to promote Abu Dhabi’s rich cultural heritage and sustain its growing art scene, side by side with the diverse vibrancy of cultures it embraces, and from within its distinctive location in the world. It is through international events like the CultureSummit 2017 Abu Dhabi, that Abu Dhabi’s unique and tireless efforts towards the preservation of culture and advancement for arts are naturally revealed.”

He added “We are proud that so many exceptional leaders will gather in Abu Dhabi to discuss the challenges facing today’s world and devise actionable next steps in pursuit of positive social change. The summit’s agenda demonstrates the diversity of attendees who will participate in the discussions ensuring broad perspectives are considered, and incorporated, in the actionable outcomes.”

Highlights from the daily plenary sessions during the event will include:

  • Case Studies in Connectedness: New Collaborations for a New World featuring Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairwoman, Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi and twofour54, HE Noura Al Kaabi, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Robert Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts.
  • Global Culture Hubs: The Role and Lessons of New Cities in an Urbanising World featuring HE Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, Rula Jebreal, journalist, author, foreign policy analyst, and Ana Cristina Vargas, Award-winning Architect.
  • The Universals: What the Arts Can Tell Us About How We Can Come Together featuring Sabine Choucair, Artistic Director of Clown Me In, Amb. Cynthia Schneider, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Georgetown University, and Dustin Yellin, Founder, Pioneer Works.
  • Globalisation and the Other: Lessons from Refugees and the Dislocated featuring HE Faryad Rwandizi, Iraqi Minister of Culture, Sherrie Westin, EVP, Global Impact & Philanthropy, Sesame Workshop and Natalia Kaliada, Co-founding Artistic Director of the Belarus Free Theater.
  • The Different Cultures of Funding Culture: A Look at Private Philanthropy, State Support and What Lies Between the Two featuring Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, Angela Migally, Executive Director of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, and Werner Bin nenstein-Bachstein, Director of the Community Arts Lab of the Porticus Foundation. 
  • The Why and the How of Cultural Preservation in the Coming Decades HE Dr. Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh,Cultural Advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs , HRH Princess Dana Firas, President of the Petra National Foundation, Zaki Aslan, Arab States Representative, ICCROM, and Märiet Westermann, EVP of the Andrew Mellon Foundation.
  • Problem Solving Through the Arts: Case Studies in Social Solutions featuring 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Tawakkol Karman, Bassem Youssef, Comedian and Political Satirist and Panmela Castro,President, NAMI Rede Feministe de Arte Urbana.
  • The Arts and Fighting Climate Change featuring Sibylle Szaggars Redford, Artistic Director, The Way of the Rain, Fabrice Monteiro, Photographer, and Aurora Robson, Founding Artist, Project Vortex.
  • The Arts and Gender Equity featuring Alyse Nelson, CEO, Vital Voices, and Adejoke Tugbiyele, Artist and Advocate.
  • Expo 2020 Dubai Preview featuring Dr. Tarek Al Shayya, Director of International Affairs Department at the Minister of State office & Board Director, Expo 2020, Manal Al Bayat, Senior Vice President Business Development and Integration, Expo 2020, Dr. Hayat Shamsuddin, Senior Advisor Culture, Expo 2020, and moderated by Dyala Nusseibeh, Director, Abu Dhabi Art,Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
  • The Arts and Advocacy: Confronting the Challenges of Our Time a conversation with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
  • Innovators Roundtable: Visions for a Different Tomorrow featuring Aaron Koblin, technologist, artist and Co-Founder of Within virtual reality platform, Horacio Lecona, Creative Director, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Tracy Fullerton, Chair of USC Interactive Media & Games Division, and Matthew Putman, Nanoscientist, Musician and Board Chair, Pioneer Works.
  • The Unintended Consequences of Technological Change featuring Bill Bragin, Artistic Director, NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center, Kristy Edmunds, Artistic Director, Center for the Art of Performance, UCLA, and Samantha Diamond, CEO, CultureConnect.
  • The Future of Culture featuring HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Deborah Rutter, President, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Princess Alia Al-Senussi of Libya, Chair of the Tate Young Patrons Board and Advisor, Art Basel, and Adrian Ellis, President, AEA Consulting.

In addition to these plenary discussions, the programme will feature daily workshops designed to help the group shape a collective action agenda. There will also be displays of the artwork of participating visual artists and performances and presentations by an extraordinary array of globally known musicians, singers, dancers, composers, and others

The event is organised by TCA Abu Dhabi in conjunction with The FP Group, publishers of Foreign Policy magazine, and TCP Ventures, LLC, a cultural advisory firm.

Attendance at the event is on an invitation-only basis. The entire programme is available online at www.culturesummitabudhabi.com