Edinburgh International Culture Summit underway

The Edinburgh International Culture Summit (EICS) is underway, with Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and UK Prime Minister Theresa May kicking off proceedings.

EICS brings together 44 cultural delegations from Saudi Arabia to Singapore, Romania to Rwanda. They will hear stories, speeches and insights from 150 speakers and over 80 artists.

“Their presence here speaks to our shared belief that culture is of central importance to any society,” said Sturgeon. “It also demonstrates our shared commitment to improve the way we support, develop and promote our cultural sectors.”

Added May: “This summit is an incredible opportunity for everyone here to share their experience and to look at policy ideas and interventions.”

This year’s summit has three themes: ‘Culture in a Networked World’, ‘Culture and Investment’ and ‘Culture and Wellbeing’. Sub topics include unequal access to digital technology; the benefits and drawbacks of investment in major arts centres; and the potential of art to aid ageing societies.

Vicky Featherstone (artistic director, Royal Court), Elizabeth Diller (founding partner, DS+R), Akram Khan (founder, Akram Khan Company), Ahmad Al-Maziad (CEO, Saudi Arabia General Culture Authority) and Wesley Enoch (festival director, Sydney Festival) are among the speakers.

EICS is a collaboration between the British Council, Edinburgh International Festival, Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government and UK Government.