CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Horizons of Sustainability: The Power of Creative Innovation for Transformation of Rural and Non-Urban Futures

25-27 September 2024

Šibenik, Croatia

The “Horizons of Sustainability: The Power of Creative Innovation for Transformation of Rural and Non-Urban Futures” Conference will take place in Šibenik, Croatia, from 25 to 27 September 2024, organised within the project IN SITU – Place-based Innovation of Cultural and Creative Industries in Non-urban Areas. This event is led by the IN SITU partners Kultura Nova Foundation in cooperation with the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra. It is supported by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme (under Grant Agreement no. 101061747) and the Central European Initiative.

IN SITU is a four-year project that combines research and experimental actions to advance the innovation-related practices, capacities, and potentials of cultural and creative industries (CCIs) based in non-urban and rural areas of the EU. The project aims to better understand their forms, processes, and governance needs and to advance the ability of non-urban and rural CCIs to act as drivers of innovation, competitiveness, and sustainability. Ultimately, the aim is to contribute to a more informed and sustainable future for practitioners in cultural and creative industries based in non-urban and rural areas.

This first international conference of the IN SITU project will explore the transformative power of innovative approaches of cultural and creative agents in forging more equitable and sustainable communities beyond urban centres.

In this event, we wish to inspire new ways of learning from one another. We aim to create an intimate environment that enables meaningful discussions and networking opportunities across research, culture-based creative practice, and planning and policy-making spheres. Therefore, within the conference, we will create different spaces and opportunities to foster exchange and dialogue with non-conventional approaches that fully place participants in the context of the place where the event is located. This also means that the number of presentations will be limited to allow for these other approaches.

We invite proposals for presentations of papers and projects from scholars, researchers, artists, cultural practitioners, activists, policymakers and decision-makers from across the world and a broad range of disciplines.

All proposals should make an original contribution to the topic of place-based innovation and the transformative power of the creative and cultural sector in forging more equitable and sustainable communities in rural and non-urban areas.

Conference themes

Main theme

The conference takes a broad and forward-looking perspective, envisioning a future that unlocks the potential for positive, lasting changes in less urbanised areas through creative and cultural initiatives. In a world recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and facing severe crises, ranging from climate change and wars to energy challenges, migration, and inflation, the need for significant positive transformations has reached an unprecedented urgency.

The conference focuses on rural and non-urban communities that are especially vulnerable in times of crisis due to limited resources and often facing depopulation challenges. Recent policy trends reflect a growing focus on the well-being and sustainability of extra-metropolitan communities in non-urban and rural territories. These communities exhibit a creative capacity for responses to contemporary challenges. Many scholars have highlighted the role of cultural actors across Europe, illustrating how they focus on place-based innovations, injecting a fresh energy and novel insights for the sustainability of their communities.

Sustainability needs creative, place-based innovation. In today’s complex global landscape, sustainability has matured into an all-encompassing paradigm spanning climate, energy, finance, food, health, education, heritage, culture, and numerous other domains. Achieving a lasting and balanced utilisation of resources is integral to sustainability, which demands economic, technological, soft, and social innovations to propose creative solutions tailored to local communities’ specific characteristics and needs.

The conference explores the potential, synergies, and challenges involved in reshaping social, economic, environmental, and cultural sustainability with attention to showcasing and analysing place-based innovation and creativity as forces in this transformative process. In non-urban and rural settings, these place-based innovations are particularly significant. They can effectively address local challenges and remarkably enhance the quality of life, vitality, and the overall sustainability of communities and territories.

Sub-themes

A particular thematic focus of the conference will be care and children and youth’s creative engagement within these communities, recognising them as pivotal components of sustainable and resilient rural and non-urban societies.

One of the crucial aspects of placed-based innovation of cultural and creative actors is defining their commitment to care – for children, the elderly, common goods, resource sharing, and so forth. Care is gaining prominence in sustainability discussions, with some theorists and advocates proposing it as an organising principle for society and the economy. Over the past decade, care has also become more relevant in political discourse, shifting from traditional family relations to a broader perspective focusing on reshaping and revitalising communities. Culture, as a space for dialogue, plays a central role in supporting the transition to a “society of care.” It has the power to identify various strategies and tactics to engage citizens, contribute to the democratisation of societies, and raise awareness about urgent issues and the need to create equitable and sustainable societies. For culture to fulfil this role, it must be accessible financially, geographically, and socially and serve as a space for dialogue and participation based on principles of cultural democracy, ensuring that every voice is heard and engaged.

A shared concern that resonates in various rural and non-urban territories across Europe is the depopulation of these areas, which stands out as a critical threat to their sustainable future. In this scenario, the pivotal role of children and youth in cultural life and their contribution to creative innovations emerges as one of the most significant issues. This international conference is held in Šibenik – dubbed the “City of Children” for its longstanding Festival of Children dating back to the 1960s – and aims to shed light on children’s creative and engaging role in innovation for transforming rural and non-urban futures. This emphasis arises from the imperative to rejuvenate aging communities in these territories and the sincere intent to actively involve new generations in discussions and actions shaping our collective future. In this regard, culture poses itself as the most persuasive strategy and means to encourage their engagement.

From all these points of view, the conference strives to open discussion on place-based innovation of culture and creativity and its transformative potential in preserving intrinsic values and contributing to the well-being of communities and societies. This approach evokes the need to encourage transformative cultural policy and a holistic approach to all public policies which regards culture as a connective tissue for social processes – an experimental, innovative, and creative realm for sustainable solutions in the public interest of local communities in rural and non-urban landscapes.

conference Programme

The Conference Programme will be announced soon.

Submitting proposals

We invite proposals for presentations of papers and projects from scholars, researchers, artists, cultural practitioners, activists, policymakers and decision-makers from across the world and a broad range of disciplines.

The conference invites innovative and sustainable examples from across Europe and worldwide. A special geographical focus will be placed on innovative and sustainable cultural and creative practices in remote areas of Central and East Europe, often underrepresented, peripheral corners of Europe.

Proposals have to make an original contribution to the topic of place-based innovation and the transformative power of the creative and cultural sector in forging more equitable and sustainable communities in rural and non-urban areas.

Submission guidelines

We accept proposals for individual and collective presentations. Proposals should be in English and composed using the e-form available through this link.

Each proposal must include the following:

  1. Title
  2. Author(s)
  3. Email for the corresponding author
  4. Organizational affiliation(s) of author(s)
  5. Country(ies) of organisation
  6. Abstract of paper or project (300 words maximum)
  7. Keywords (4 max.)
  8. Author(s) short biography (100 words per author, 300 words maximum)
  9. Audiovisual equipment required

Each author may submit one proposal only as the main author. There is no limit to participation as a co-author.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 20 June 2024 at 23h59 CET.

Proposals submitted by e-mail and/or after the deadline cannot be considered.

additional information

Assessment of proposals

All proposals will be reviewed by at least two members of the Scientific Committee.

The assessment of proposals is based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the Conference’s theme;
  • Relevance to rural and non-urban areas;
  • Innovative and sustainable examples of practices (for projects);
  • Quality of approach, argumentation, and methodological and conceptual frameworks (for papers).

The acceptance of papers and projects will be subject to available presentation spaces.

Presentation guidelines

All verbal presentations of accepted papers and projects must be in English. Each presentation is timed at 10-15 minutes with additional time for questions and discussion. In the Proposal e-form, please indicate any audiovisual equipment you will need for your presentation.

Full paper publication opportunities

We are exploring options for publication of selected papers and project profiles following the conference. More information will be provided via the conference page of the IN SITU website and by email to all registered participants.

Important dates

Deadline for submission of proposals20 June 2024  
Notification of proposal acceptance1 July 2024
Early bird registration period1 – 30 July 2024
Regular registration period1 August – 15 September 2024
Conference – live in Šibenik!25 – 27 September 2024

REgistration fees

 Students *Other participants
Early bird fees
(1 – 30 July)
250 Euro / per person280 Euro / per person
Regular fees
(1 August – 15 September)
280 Euro / per person310 Euro / per person
Students *
Early bird fees
(1 – 30 July)
250 Euro / per person
Regular fees
(1 August – 15 September)
280 Euro / per person
Other participants
Early bird fees
(1 – 30 July)
280 Euro / per person
Regular fees
(1 August – 15 September)
310 Euro / per person

These fees cover the costs for participants at the conference, consisting of 2 dinners/receptions, 3 lunches, and refreshment breaks during the event, conference materials (e.g., e-book of abstracts), and transfers for study visits.

* For student fees, documentation of these is required. When registering, please email scan of student card to in-situ-conference@ces.uc.pt.

Conference cancellation policy
If you should have to cancel your registration, notification in writing should be sent to in-situ-conference@ces.uc.pt. Please make sure you state the name of the conference in the subject line of your email.

  • A refund of 75% of the full amount paid will be given for cancellations received until Tuesday, 30 July 2024.
  • A refund of 40% of the full amount paid will be given for cancellations received between 1 and 31 August 2024.
  • No refund will be issued for cancellations received after 31 August 2024 nor failure to attend.

*You will be directed to Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra webpage

TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATIONS

Travelling to Šibenik

The nearest airports are:
  • Split Airport – 59 km from Šibenik
  • Zadar Airport – 75 km from Šibenik
  • Zagreb Airport – 351 km from Šibenik
Though the greatest distance is between Zagreb and Šibenik, there are regular bus lines driving from Zagreb Bus Station to Šibenik and the ride is 3,5 hours long.

Accommodation

There are several boutique hotels in Šibenik centre as well as hostels and private accommodation options. More affordable hotel capacities are available on the borderline of the town, well connected by public buses with the centre of the city.

Accommodation capacities can be found on:

Organising and
scientific committees

Organising
Committee

Dea Vidović, Kultura Nova Foundation, Croatia

Antonija Letinić, Kultura Nova Foundation, Croatia

Tamara Zamelli, Kultura Nova Foundation, Croatia

Marta Jalšovec, Kultura Nova Foundation, Croatia

Nancy Duxbury, Cantre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Paola Di Nunzio, Cantre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Scientific
Committee
members

Isabel Albergaria, University of the Azores, Portugal

Jon Aldazabal, Mondragon Innovation & Knowledge, Mondragon University, Spain

Nicola Cortinovis, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Nancy Duxbury, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal (co-chair)

Yana Dzharova-Karakoleva, National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts “Kr. Sarafov”, Bulgaria

Maryline Filippi, INRAE – Agroparistech, France

Martina Fraioli, European Network of Cultural Centres, Belgium

Bjarki Þór Grönfeldt Gunnarsson, Bifröst University, Iceland

Julius Heinicke, University of Hildesheim, Germany

Beate Kegler, University of Hildesheim, Germany

Ilona Kunda, Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia

Pauliina Latvala-Harvilahti, University of Turku, Finland

Pilar Damião de Medeiros, University of the Azores, Portugal

Piotr Michalowski, European Network of Cultural Centres, Belgium

Oleksandra Nenko, University of Turku, Finland

Hugo Pinto, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra; University of Algarve, Portugal

Bergsveinn Þórsson, Bifröst University, Iceland

Josune Prieto, Mondragon Innovation & Knowledge, Mondragon University, Spain

Mark Justin Rainey, University of Galway, Ireland

Maria Leonor Sampaio, University of the Azores, Portugal

Daniela Soares, University of the Azores, Portugal

Milene Tessarin, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Andrè Torre, INRAE – Agroparistech, France

Lidia Varbanova, National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts “Kr. Sarafov”, Bulgaria

Helena Walther, University of Hildesheim, Germany

Ieva Zemite, Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia

Dea Vidović, Kultura Nova Foundation, Croatia (co-chair)

Contact

Any questions about proposal submissions and/or the conference should be e-mailed to in-situ-conference@ces.uc.pt.

File uploaded!

Registrations will be open from 1 July 2024