At the beginning of March, Burning Man Regional Contacts, community leaders, and Regional Event leads from across the world will gather with Burning Man staff in Stockholm, Sweden, for the fourth annual Burning Man European Leadership Summit. The Summit is hosted by Burning Man’s Regional Network Team, in collaboration with the Nordic Burner community, and is intended to serve as a platform for peer-to-peer sharing for leaders from a broad geographical and cultural spectrum. Past European Leadership Summits were hosted in Berlin (2014), Amsterdam (2015), and Barcelona (2016), and the leadership event has been growing in size and popularity over the years. This year, Burning Man expects over 200 participants in the Summit, representing more than 24 countries.
Through three days of workshops, group discussions, and social activities, Summit participants will gain a deeper understanding of the broad range of initiatives happening throughout Burning Man’s global network. The European Leadership Summit is modeled after Burning Man’s Global Leadership Conference, hosted annually in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was created in response to the European community’s requests for a leadership gathering on their continent.
Hosting the Summit in a different city each year affords Burning Man staff and participants the opportunity to engage more deeply with a local culture. This year, the Stockholm community has stepped up in big ways. In addition to co-hosting the Summit, Stockholm Burners are offering up a range of discussions, workshops, and events inspired by the 10 Principles as part of a groundbreaking initiative, Burning Man Week Stockholm, which takes place before, during, and after the Summit. All are welcome to Burning Man Week Stockholm events, and admission is free. Offerings for the week range from effigy burns and fun-filled, theatrical subway rides to explorations of humanitarian responses to migration, city planning to most effectively facilitate artistic culture, and conversations around different approaches to leadership in a collaborative culture.
On Saturday afternoon, the Summit will open its doors to the public as part of Burning Man Week Stockholm for a “Saturday Showcase” featuring four inspiring talks and two rich panel discussions comprised of leaders, thinkers, creators, and instigators from across the world. Stockholm’s Alexander Bard will host a panel aimed at answering the question: “Can Stockholm serve as the next global hub for participatory culture?” and Burning Man’s Art and Civic Engagement Director Kim Cook will host a panel discussion on “The Art of Year-Round Engagement.” Among the “talks” on offer, artists Nix Davies and Agust Örn Helgason will give an overview of their art installation, Dream Yggdrasil, which they will build at AfrikaBurn, a Burning Man Regional event hosted annually in South Africa and funded in part by Swedish public funds through Kulturbryggan.
The Summit will culminate with an effigy burn of a Phoenix before participants depart Stockholm and return home to their local communities to hopefully share and implement their learnings from the European Leadership Summit.
Top photo: The Third Annual European Leadership Summit in Barcelona (Photo by Sascha Baridhara)