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Agents of Transformation in Art and Design

source: ELIA

Second Cycle 2022

Student-driven conversations about the New European Bauhaus

Second cycle, third conversation
Thursday 7 July 2022
14:00 – 15:00 CEST


► Register here


Join the third conversation of the second cycle of Agents of Transformation which will be held on Thursday 7 July  2022 from 14:00 – 15:00 CEST  bringing students together in a public dialogue with EU Youth Coordinator Biliana Sirakova.
Following the first and second conversation, students will present their ideas and visions regarding: 

  • sustainability and climate awareness in higher arts education;  
  • inclusivity, well-being and protocols of care within institutions;  
  • impact models and circularity for climate-neutral and smart cities.

Students from all disciplines, interested and engaged in sustainability, inclusivity, accessibility and innovation, are invited to actively participate in the conversation.


Art and design play an important role in societal transformation, cultural identity and cross-sectoral innovation. They help create shared visions and utopias, foster empathy, change attitudes and mindsets. Art and design provide emancipatory potential, open new perspectives and foster purpose-driven impact. Agents of Transformation helps to leverage the potential of art and design for a sustainable, inclusive and pluralistic society. The initiative was started in 2021 by ELIA and Berlin University of the Arts to engage students around the topics of the New European Bauhaus. The activities continue in 2022, with a yearly cycle of different episodes, covering student engagement, expert consultation, public dialogue and follow-up.

The second AOT conversation on Friday 10 June at 10:00 – 11:30 CEST aimed to bring together students and representatives of European institutions to discuss questions regarding the sustainability, inclusivity, well-being and impact models for climate-neutral cities. Following the first conversation and workshops on topics of: protocols of care, challenging role of arts in an era of populism, climate awareness in arts education, impact models and circularity for climate-neutral and smart cities, the students would present their first visions in how to make steps forward.

First Cycle 2021

Student-driven conversations about the New European Bauhaus

The third conversation of Agents of Transformation was held on Tuesday 6 July 2021 from 10:00 – 11:00 CEST when students would present and discuss their ideas, in direct conversation with European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth Mariya Gabriel.


The New European Bauhaus initiative fosters systemic approaches to pressing societal challenges by creating new networks among relevant stakeholders, and building bridges between arts, culture, technology and science. The initiative seeks to link questions of sustainability, inclusiveness, economy and aesthetics.

Higher Education in Art and Design has an important and essential role to play in the transformative integration and development of diverse fields of study and practice. The societal challenges of climate change, social cohesion, democratic resilience and digital transformation must be addressed in innovative educational programmes. And the perspectives of students should be taken into account from the beginning. Students are the agents of this transformative integration – they will drive new approaches, provide critical inspection and render the inclusive, affordable and sustainable future tangible.

ELIA and the Berlin University of the Arts are setting the stage for our students to make their voices heard. We are initiating a pan-European, interdisciplinary dialogue about the role and responsibilities of Higher Education in Art and Design and the field’s contribution to envisioned systemic change.

The first conversation of Agents of Transformation in Art and Design was held on 28 April 2021 and facilitated a lively conversation and reflections from 35 students, from seven institutions: Berlin University of the Arts, Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (Milan), School of the Arts of the University of Évora, St. Joost School of Art & Design (Breda), Willem de Kooning Academy (Rotterdam) and Zurich University of the Arts. The students shared their visions, expectations and critique of the New European Bauhaus and the role that art, design and higher education should play in this initiative.

The second conversation on 28 May 2021 brought together arts students and representatives of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), in charge of running the New European Bauhaus. The students presented their visions for a sustainable, inclusive, and aesthetic future and set the agenda for their input to the New European Bauhaus initiative.

The third conversation is an open event. Students from higher arts education institutions are especially invited to take part and engage in an active conversation.

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