Date: Monday, 21 November 2016, 12:30 pm
  • Mike van Graan, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow, Robert Bosch Academy; Technical Expert on the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, UNESCO


With the fast-approaching 2015 deadline for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the 2009 conference in Brussels on “Culture as a Vector of Development” emphasized the creative industries as key drivers for generating the resources that African, Caribbean and Pacific countries would need to pursue the MDGs. Now, 2016 marks the start of the next international development phase with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set as targets to be attained by the end of 2030: What is the relevance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the African continent? What is the significance of culture to development in Africa generally, and more particularly, to the SDGs? What are the prospects for the creative industries to contribute to development in Africa?

In the context of globalization, large-scale migration and high rates of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in many African countries over the last two decades, we will spend an interactive Lunch Talk discussing these questions with our Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow Mike van Graan.

Until recently, Mike van Graan served as the Executive Director of the African Arts Institute (AFAI), a Cape Town-based NGO engaged in advocacy and training in cultural policy, entrepreneurship and leadership rooted in African experience. He was the founding Secretary General of Arterial Network, a Pan-African civil society network of cultural activists, creative NGOs and practitioners that grew to have a presence in more than 40 African countries, with the ambition to advance Africa’s creative sector and its contribution to human, social as well as economic development. After the 1994 elections that ushered in a non-racial democracy in South Africa, he was appointed as a Special Adviser to the minister responsible for arts and culture and played an influential role in the development of post-apartheid cultural policies. He currently serves as a Technical Expert to UNESCO on its 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Creatively, Van Graan works as a playwright and has garnered numerous awards for his work. His latest play (commissioned by Ibsen International, a Norwegian theatre company) explores the topical theme of migration and will be produced by the Market Theatre in Johannesburg in early 2017.

Registration for this event is closed.