BAUTOPIA – the first Hubs’ Meetup happened in Brussels!

ECHN and the MakersXchange partners have proudly completed BauTopia, a side event of the New European Bauhaus Festival. On the 8th and 9th of June in Brussels, creative hubs members reunited to learn and share their stories and perspectives on some of the most urgent topics for creative hubs and the CCSIs as a whole: Re-shaping Knowledge, Engaging Communities and Cultivating Empathy. 

Re-shaping Knowledge

The first session was dedicated to the exchange between creative and educational practices. To start off, ECHN and Fab Lab Barcelona presented the main results of the MakersXchange (MAX) Project. MAX accumulated knowledge and experience after launching its very own mobility scheme for makers – Hyper Global/Hyper Local – and mapping the good practices already out there. ECHN and FLB showcased the outcomes of some of the most interesting exchanges of makers, together with a series of important recommendations on how to set up a mobility scheme for makers.

For this session’s keynote, the floor was taken by Theo Anagnostopoulos, co-founder and General Manager of SciCo, an international social enterprise aiming to make science simple and to promote science education. Theo won his audience by showing how SciCo implemented creative strategies for its scientific dissemination, towards an effective STEAM approach.

Theo’s keynote served as a perfect introduction to the final parallel sessions, one dedicated to interconnecting art and creativity to education, and the other to skills development and inclusion through mobility.

Engaging Communities

The second session focused on creative initiatives as a means to bridging and strengthening communities.

Vassilis Charalampidis, director of ECHN, gave a thorough presentation on the role that creative hubs hold within the CCSI.

The introductory keynotes were offered by Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky (Artists at Risk) and by Jeanne Astrup-Chauvaux and Sarah Bovelett (Floating University). These two different initiatives are a great example of how physical or online platforms can have a direct impact on creative professionals and on the environment.

Three parallel sessions closed the first day with an insight on collective creativity in different hubs of Europe, the future of sustainable creativity in textile design and creative communities in times of urgency.

Cultivating Empathy

The last session was fully dedicated to a series of initiatives as a reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Katjia Blazheichuck & Eva Yakubovska introduced VITSCHE, a supporting platform based in Berlin and dedicated to displaced Ukrainians. Vera Logdanidi told us how the electronic music scene is Ukraine has reacted to the war through its spaces and communities; the artist Nikolay Karabinovych showed how his art built a bridge between Ukraine and the “heart of Europe” in Belgium.

Lastly, the latest appointment of the Lighthouse Sessions shed some light on some resilient Ukrainian creative initiatives as best examples of support for displaced refugees.

As a conclusion of this dense two-days event, ECHN invited all the participants of the Creative Europe Networks Programme. Representatives of six different organisations supported by the Creative Europe Grant gathered for the first time to touch base on the common objectives of their activities and the EU agenda.

Check out all the pictures and videos of the event, all the sessions were recorded so you could watch it if you missed it!