The Sciences Po’s collective project group

The Sciences Po’s collective project group

  • 21 November 2022

Thomas Riedlsperger, Lucy Hensel, Giulia Di Fino, Anni Tikkala and Kitti Fodor, members of our first LeCAKE workgroup have shared their views on sustainability, future and culture among others.

Can you introduce yourself ?

A.T : I’m Anni, a Master’s student at Sciences Po, studying public policy with a specialisation in cultural policy and management. I’m originally from Finland but I have lived abroad for the past couple of years for my studies. I’m interested in the cultural sphere in a rather global sense and I am especially fascinated by its relation to questions of education, democratisation and a sustainable transition.

T.R : My name is Thomas, I am 22 years old and originally from Austria. I did my Bachelor in Amsterdam in an interdisciplinary program called PPLE (Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics). After finishing my Bachelor in Amsterdam I moved to Paris to start a Masters in European Affairs, with a Specialization in Cultural Policy and Management. In this Masters program I am hoping connect my passion for arts and culture that I have had since childhood, with my academic and professional interest in (European) politics. It is my aim for the future to execute a job that unites my interests in both the political and the cultural world and allows me to make a meaningful impact on our society. I want to pursue a career promoting the formation of a European identity and community at the intersection of arts and politics and forward the thought of a sustainable, diverse and united European community. More concretely, I could see myself working at a cultural institution in Europe or in an EU cultural policy initiative such as the European Capital of Culture which deeply fascinates me and in my eyes holds the potential to strengthen the European Community internally as well as its position globally. 

L.H : I’m Lucy, 27 years old, and I studied political science, romance languages and classical singing in Leipzig. I’m originally from Germany, but I am very interested in intercultural exchange and have lived abroad for several years already. After my Bachelor studies, I worked for 1,5 years for a member of the European Parliament and did an internship at Goethe Institut in Brussels. That’s when I fell in love with the idea of working in the sector of international cultural cooperation.

G.DF : I am Giulia Di Fino and I am a master student of Sciences Po University in Paris. I am currently studying European Affairs with a policy stream in cultural management and policy. In May 2022 I completed my Double Degree in Art History and International Affairs at the American university of John Cabot in Rome. I have always combined the artistic and political fields because I am attracted by the way artistic expressions can become a mean to represent pressing issues in order to spread awareness and provoke the public. I am also incredibly attracted by the concept of democratization of culture and how certain cultural projects can be used as a social unifying tool between ordinary EU citizens and pressing current events. This is why I see myself working for a cultural institution that embodies these values and strongly collaborates with artists to make their work accessible and available to every citizen.

K.F : My name is Kitti Fodor, and I’m a first-year International Development Master’s student at PSIA. My concentrations are in Sustainability & Environment and Project Management, which fit the framework of the project very well. I like to think of sustainable solutions in a practical way: what can we change in reality – here and now? what are the ways we could transform the lives of citizens in ways that it feels like a good compromise for them? and how can we enhance inclusivity and living standards by sustainable means? I would like to work towards sustainable development in the future to answer these questions through my career, especially by the instruments of cooperation – whether it is cooperating in a local initiative, an international project or in global diplomacy. I see myself both as a practical actor who helps build projects ‘on the field’ but also as a mediator between different stakeholders, for instance environmentalists and public policymakers, or between countries in need and the parties who have the resources to help.

What place does sustainable development have in your life?

A.T : I think sustainable development is sometimes presented as a specific issue and discussed as a category by itself when I believe it should rather be seen as a horizontal concept, intercepting every area of our lives. On an individual level I would say I try to be conscious of my choices, but I am also painfully aware of how institutional change has to be in order to create lasting change. That structural change, especially in relation to the cultural sphere, is something I would like to be part of.

T.R : Sustainable development plays an important role in many aspects of my life. Especially in my personal daily life I try to include sustainability considerations in all my decisions and change my behavior towards more sustainable action in as many respects as possible. However, I believe that there is still much space for improvement in my behavior and much space for growing my knowledge about sustainable development, which is also one of the reasons why I joined this project.

L.H : I believe, that sustainable development should tackle all of us because we can only save our beautiful nature if we all adapt our lifestyle.

G.DF : I am deeply interested in ecological and sustainable themes which explains my collaboration with grassroot associations within my former university. Through these associations we tried to make students and locals aware about the urgent need of an ecological transition. For instance, we held multiple conferences at our university with professionals specialized in environmental studies or we organized monthly clean-ups both in the university neighborhood and in other districts of Rome, in collaboration with other local organizations invested in our same mission. Moreover, I believe that the mission of reconnecting people to the environment is vital to have a concrete protection of nature. It is only by spreading awareness about the intrinsic value of our surrounding green areas, crucial for a long-lasting survival of the planet, that we will be deeply engaged in the protection of such spaces. 

K.F : I believe I am personally greatly aware of the role and power of sustainable development, and what it means to our generation. I have faced during and outside my studies the consequences of the unsustainable development, not only in our future, but also in this very moment. Sustainable development is not only about environment; it is about inclusivity, it is about long-termism, and it is about not taking for granted all the resources and living standards we enjoy at the moment. My generation will have a decisive role in pushing for change and tangible results, and I feel responsible to have a role in the process – that is why I chose to study International Development in the first place. 

Why did you join this collective project?

A.T : LeCAKE-project brings together two elements, culture and sustainability, that I was interested in but never necessarily imagined concretely in relation to one another. It has given me a great opportunity to have conversations about how these two interact and what our role as students of the cultural sector can be in it. I am excited for the project to develop from these abstract ideas into something concrete, and I hope it can inspire others to explore these thematics, as well.

T.R : The cooperative project “LeCAKE“ caught my attention for one main reason: I am interested and want to participate in reimagining and innovating the cultural sector in Europe. Art and culture have been close to my heart since childhood as I have been making music and dancing since I was in kindergarten. My love for the arts continuously grew and I had the opportunity to be involved in creative projects and frequently perform on stage. Towards the end of my school years, I developed a growing interest in the organizational side of the cultural sector. I had the opportunity to explore this interest in professional environments, and ever since was set on pursuing a career in this field. One aspect of the arts and culture world however always bothered me: The fact that many actors and stakeholders in the field do not pay enough attention to making their field more ecological or struggle to incorporate more sustainable working methods in their practice.Having witnessed in my professional experience how much potential there is for innovation in the cultural field I have chosen the project “LeCAKE” as I would like to be part of the process of helping the arts and culture sector transition to more sustainable practices. I want to deepen my knowledge about sustainable practices in the arts and culture field and share this knowledge with others to shape the future of the field I hope to work in in the future. Further, The cooperative project “LeCAKE” appeared like a great opportunity to work in an international team of motivated like-minded people wishing to transform the cultural field and gearing it towards an ecological future. During Le Cake I am hoping to get to know students from different programs and schools as well as professionals, all eager to engage with the synthesis of ecology and the arts. Working together with partners from different countries I am excited to learn from peers and experts alike and hope to gain valuable insights into the potential of ecological innovation in the cultural field as well as make meaningful connections in the European creative industry. Lastly, I am just truly passionate and excited about the opportunity to engage in shaping of the future of the European cultural industry and hope to make a meaningful impact in a field that is so close to my heart. I hope to be able to contribute to a bright future for the arts and want to inspire others to join on the path of making arts and culture a greener industry. 

L.H : I joined LeCAKE because I believe the aspect of sustainability has been widely neglected in the cultural sector so far and I know that the ecological transition is just one of the big challenges the sector has to face. I want to explore how cultural professionals can contribute to this transition to a more sustainable world and I would love help the sector develop in my own professional future.

G.DF : I applied for the collective project LeCAKE because I found it a fascinating initiative through which I could have interacted with professionals of the culture-education-citizenship sector within the EU. Bruno Freyssinet is indeed a professional of cultural and political projects who is able to stimulate our creativity in the planning of the different stages of our workshop program on the New European Bauhaus. In addition, I applied for LeCAKE because the main values embodied by this initiative reflect the ideal career I am aiming at. Indeed, this program is based on the collaboration with European organizations, young people, and artistic professionals as a way to stimulate the learning of contemporary environmental issues, such as the ecological transition in culture.

K.F : I joined this project because I thought working on artistic projects was a very innovative way of spreading the concepts of sustainability. I believe, especially in our days when messages can go global quickly, art has a very important role in spreading ideas, in showing new perspectives, and in connecting people to something bigger than their direct environment and already existing knowledge. Art also has a great role in innovation and looking at alternatives with a creative eye, which can make concepts feel closer to people by their practicality and aesthetic features. Therefore, I thought, I myself could get a new perspective from artistic solutions by contributing with my background of sustainable development and forming new ideas through the lens of the artistic sector from my teammates. I am the only student in the group who is not studying Cultural Policy and Management, and it is an amazing opportunity to exchange ideas and perspectives with the others, because we can build new ideas from the different angles we see things in the beginning. The project is happening through the cooperation of 6 countries  – one of which is my home country, Hungary, and it made the project feel a little more special to my heart, because it would be fantastic to see that sustainability grows bigger in my country too via the instruments we are developing under the framework of this project.

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