Programme structure

The final World Summit programme is available in English, French and Spanish

Download a copy of the World Summit Programme at a glance

For an outline of keynotes, panels and roundtables, see the programme description

The opening ceremony of the Summit, on the evening of Tuesday 22 September, will include welcomes from a variety of government and arts and cultural leaders interspersed with some of the best entertainment from the African continent.

On each morning of the Summit, keynote speakers will explore the ‘big issues’: intercultural dialogue in a globalised world, cultural diversity in peace and conflict, and challenges in addressing cultural differences and synergies through support for the arts. The keynote addresses (and the respondents) will set the tone for discussions around the primary themes, to provoke debate and to stimulate thinking in new directions for policy-makers. Proposed themes include:
• Sword or Plough, Bridge or Dynamite: the arts as vehicles for intercultural dialogue in a globalised world
• Cultural Diversity: Essential for peace or the root of all conflict?
• Saving the arts…so the arts can save the World

Further details and keynote speakers will be announced in coming weeks.

Following each keynote speech, panel sessions will examine more specific topics stemming from these issues, such as: art as an instrument for public good, freedom of expression, the global economic downturn, art in conflict zones, climate change, and the arts and culture in post-Apartheid South Africa. Topics and speakers will be announced in coming weeks.

Workshops or roundtable discussions will complement the programme. Delegates will have a wide choice of workshops from which to select. While the first day’s workshops will focus on theoretical issues (with practical consequences), the second day’s sessions will focus on practical ideas that could be catalysed at the Summit.  Details of topics and presenters will be announced in coming weeks.

Discussions and presentations will be interspersed with arts performances from around Africa, practically demonstrating the role of the arts in intercultural dialogue. The Summit’s artistic programme will be combined with Arts Alive – the Johannesburg arts festival, which is being held during the month of September.

Thursday 24 September marks Heritage Day.

Finale: On Friday 25 September delegates will have the opportunity to look to the future: how do we continue these discussions in our own countries? How do we advocate for the arts, nationally and internationally? The final day will also feature the announcement of the host country for the Fifth World Summit on Arts and Culture.