18 October 2022
Lisbon, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

The concept of “leadership” is not much discussed in the cultural sector. Furthermore, we tend to think that “leaders” are the directors within a cultural organization; and, consequently, to think that leaders are the people at the top of a hierarchy.

It is our own understanding of leadership – conditioned and limited – that results in Culture not being considered a relevant and essential partner in the construction of policies for the country. Culture continues to be seen as a luxury or an accessory, and not as a necessary factor for us to imagine where we want to be – as individuals, but also as a community – in 10 or 20 years’ time.

Thus, we wish to reflect on the following questions:

  • What qualities and characteristics do we recognise in a person we consider to be a leader in our field?
  • Are leaders born or trained?
  • What conditions exist in the cultural sector to identify possible leaders and give them space to develop their capacities and ideas?
  • How is leadership manifested?
  • How is it perceived?
  • What kind of leadership do we need today in the cultural sector?


9.30: Opening
Helena Barranha, Access Culture President

9:45 – 10:30: Inside out
Margarida Sampayo, Cultural Mediator (Portugal)
Where does leadership begin? Where does the transformation the institutions seek begin? Who can be the actors of this transformation?
After the communication, Margarida Sampayo will be talking to Alice Azevedo.

10.30-11:  Interval

11-12.30:  Panel 1 – Leadership: born or trained? 
Patrícia Portela, Rui Catarino, Vânia Rodrigues (to be confirmed), Zia Soares
Convenor: Francisca Carneiro Fernandes

12.30-14: Lunch

14-14.45: What is culture for? The purpose of cultural leadership
Pawel Lysak, Artistic Director of Teatr Powszechny (Poland)
What is the point of cultural activity, or can it give us an answer to the problems plaguing humanity? What ideas connect people and what tools they can use to change the world together.
After his speech, Pawel Lysak will be talking to Maria João Vaz.
With simultaneous translation English-Portuguese | Portuguese-English

14.45-16:  Panel 2 – Leadership: how is it expressed?
Ana Botella, Cátia Terrinca, Luís Sousa Ferreira, Sofia Botelho
Convenor: Rita Pires dos Santos

16-16.30:  Interval

16.30-17.30:  Open mic
Time keeper: Sandra Borges

Participants who want to share their thoughts regarding the conference theme, or talk about a person they consider a leader in the sector, will be able to register during the break. Each one will have 5 minutes of “open mic”. With an hour at our disposal, we will have the opportunity to hear approximately 12 people. Time control will be strict, therefore, people who register to speak must present their ideas clearly and concisely.

17.30-17.50:  Final comment
Mónica Guerreiro

17.50:  Closing