Festival managers of all ages, nationalities, gender identities and levels of ability who are interested in digital evolutions and new technologies and interested in becoming part of a network to construct and share knowledge related to the topic are invited to the training. 25 participants from 25 countries in 5 continents have been selected to take part in this inspiring training session.


Ali Mohamed Ibrahim

Ali Mohamed Ibrahim, born in the Comoros Islands, graduated in entrepreneurship and business development at the University of South Africa. Founder of Comores Festivals Association. He is a dynamic and ambitious young entrepreneur who enjoys learning and understanding the world of diplomatic cooperation in artistic and cultural development. In 2018, he created International Festivals Magazine 3 months after being trained Festival Manager by the Festival Academy in Sweden. Today, he works to promote artistic and cultural activities in his International digital festivals Magazine.

Danas Skramtai

Danas Skramtai is working for the National Philharmonic Society of Lithuania and Vilnius festival as a producer of international projects, exchanges and tours for 20 years. Danas is in charge of programming, promotion of artists, educational projects. Organized exchanges on the State level with Scandinavia, South America, China, Caucasus region.

Emily Granozio

Emily Granozio has worked in the classical music industry for the past 10 years, first as an agent for international composers, conductors and instrumentalists, before joining the management of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. Since March 2020 she has worked for the Edinburgh International Culture Summit Foundation. She originally received an AHRC scholarship to study for an MMus in Ethnomusicology at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) where her research focused mainly on classical music performance and practice. Now researching the EICSF 2022 Summit themes from her home city of Edinburgh, she enjoys taking in the bigger picture and finding new avenues of inspiration. In December 2020 she was approached to project manage a new digital classical music series for St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, and will oversee a summer festival in May and June 2021.

Fahmida Hanif Ela

Fahmida Hanif Ela lives in Norway, a citizen of Bangladesh. She has been selected as an ICORN guest writer in 2020 and left her country. She finished her Bachelor and Masters in Social Anthropology. After that, she worked for a wide range of national and international NGOs, including ICDDRB, BRAC, Asia Foundation, International Rescue Committee (IRC), Terre des Hommes (TDH), Solidarities International and the UNHCR. She loves to introduce herself as a feminist activist, a writer and a human rights worker. She has written 50+ articles in the different national and international newspaper, blog, online portal. Her first book ‘Maiyafoyar Kohon’ (Speeches of Women), has been published in Bangladesh, which is a storybook inspired by true events of Rohingya Refugee women and female humanitarian workers. Ela dreams of a gendered equal world. She hopes her voice and pen against patriarchy will not stop until her death.

Ignacio Priego

Ignacio Priego is a music development specialist with creative, economic and social focuses. In 2001 he founded Loop Circus, working internationally for over a decade as music promoter, event producer and DJ in forums such as Venice and Havana Biennales or SXSW. Creator of the touring programme Music Mobility Fund (Concerts SA, SAMRO), he has in-depth knowledge of the African live music sector, having supported 200 tours in over 20 different countries. Founder and co-director of POST POST music agency and record label (with BLK JKS drummer Tshepang Ramoba), he is the project manager at NewMusicSA and managing director for the World New Music Days 2023.

Jan Widmer

Jan Widmer, 29, is a Lighting Designer, Technical Director and Project Manager from Cologne, Germany. Since 2015 Jan Widmer works for professional independent Theater, New Circus and Dance Companies and Artists as well as fixed engagements in independent Theaters in Cologne, like studiobühneköln, Freis Werkstatt Theater and Tanzfaktur. His freelancing works range from lighting designs for artists like Saskia Rudat, Kimchibrot Connection, Hippana Theater and Adrian Castello to organising, hosting and executing Freie Performance Kultur, a non-profit platform to spontaneously showcase local artists.

Jerry Adesewo

Jerry Adesewo is a writer, theatre producer/director and cultural administrator. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Arojah Royal Theatre, a private theatre outfit which operates in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja, and which has become a household name on account of its effort at sustaining the theatre culture in Nigeria, especially in Abuja.

He is currently the National Director of Productions of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, a leading member of the Assitej Nigerian Centre, FCT Representative of Arterial Network Nigeria and Nigeria/West Africa Coordinator of the UK based INDRA Congress.

In 2020, he founded the online version of an art based talk show he has been running a few years back for the purposes of keeping in touch with fellow artistes and stirring discussions on series of issues during the pandemic lockdown. He is one of very few people who find a way to keep up artistic activities despite the challenges of the coronavirus with the introduction of a zoom based ‘Play Reading and Interactive Session’ which has featured writers in Nigeria and beyond. Another of his initiative found expression during the lockdown with the ‘Storytime with Aunty Shine-Shine’, targeted at young children between the ages of 6 and 12.

The monthly Nigeria-Northern Ireland Cultural Exchange Programme is another of Jerry/Arojah Theatre’s initiatives which found expression during the lockdown and has been growing in bounds, as it draws participation from around the world – Norway, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Poland, America, Kenya, India, Iran and Zimbabwe among others having participated.

Jerry is the Founder and Festival Director for the Abuja Children Theatre Festival (with 3 editions so far) and a fourth and expanded edition scheduled for September 2021 and the Abuja International Theatre Festival and Awards (ABITFA) which would be staged in biennially from 2022.

John Namai

John Namai works as a storyteller, festival producer, arts educator and community organizer. Here is an excerpt of him describing his recent work: "I am doing a Storytelling Orature project as storytelling is an important aspect of my group Zamaleo Act in order to preserve culture and pass stories to the next generation. I perform in schools, share traditional stories and connect those tales to curriculum by focusing on core life skills, confidence building, oral interpretation and public speaking". Also, John is working with young Somali Community, mentoring them and encouraging them to embrace the art of storytelling through a program called '365 tell a tale.' And each year he travels to share Kenyan folklores in international festivals abroad. He helps in organizing the annual Sigana International Storytelling Festival to promote the art of storytelling that has given platform to renowned storytellers worldwide. Together with the organization TICAH (Traditional indigenous culture and heritage), he has been using storytelling to disseminate knowledge at the National Museums of Kenya and also been behind the production of Re imagined storytelling festival -, that draws on age-old African traditions of storytelling in order to revive the art, re-imagining African folktales to keep alive oral traditions increasingly under threat in the internet and smartphone age. The festival has shed light on the important role of folktales today as a powerful tool of examining and criticizing history. He was also involved in the Story, story Come! production of narratives that speak to issues that are fundamental to Africa's development in a way that is unconventional but true to the past traditions of oral storytelling. He coordinates and leads various research projects within the continent and abroad. Recent being a lead historian in the 100 Africa story project on social media that seeks to tell the historical excerpt about Africa to an online audience. Recently, adapting to covid-19 restrictions, he has been active hosting and organizing storytelling festivals, events online and offline.

Julia Gräser

Since Julia Gräser started her professional working life, she is based in the cultural field. She studied Business Relationship Management in Denmark (Syddansk University) and got her first job as a marketing and project assistant in the cultural melting pot ZUGHAFEN - a network of young and creative minds (FATINK-printing company, LOTUSLUMINA - Lights and Media Content, Photography, KLEINE RAMPE (Coffee shop)) who supported the artist CLUESO (German Hip Hop, Electro, Pop) in his career. In this network, she learned how creativity and long-term vision go hand in hand, but also how values and goals change with the people who work in them. Afterwards, she started working as freelancer for the Thuringia Bach Festival. Classical music is not exactly her hobbyhorse - however, the small team and flat hierarchies make it possible to live out one's ideas in many areas, to get to know new cultural perspectives, to build networks beyond the classical field and to create new points of connection with different genres (Classical music with modern dance, electronic music, very specific venues). Besides that, she is working in the cultural department of the municipality of Erfurt - a totally different system with old structures, but which is going to be moving to younger generations. Furthermore, last year after the first Corona crisis, the Bach festival and 3 local event Initiators developed just within 4 weeks the festival TwentyFastForward (www.20ff.de) - a intimate concert format for one month with genres from pop, classic, cinema, singer songwriter and electronic music. She indicates a few words about herself:she is good in organising, she likes to work in the background (mainly marketing) and she is good in creating a feel-good-atmosphere through the way she is.

Kamini Ramachandran

Kamini Ramachandran is a second-generation storyteller who inherited her late grandfather's repertoire of tales. Her storytelling is influenced by her childhood growing up in the jungles of Malaysia and her South Indian ancestry. Her work is highly collaborative and she enjoys working with musicians, visual artists and different mediums and forms. She is currently developing the next edition of O/Aural Waves exploring live storytelling, foley, sound and installation art as an immersive experience through wireless headphones. She founded the non-profit organisation The Storytelling Centre Limited to advance the art of storytelling through the Young Storytellers Mentorship Programme. She is also the creative producer of StoryFest: International Storytelling Festival Singapore. Commissioned by SIFA, The Arts House, the Esplanade and other arts institutions, she has travelled globally and presented her Asian stories abroad. Known for the site-specific storytelling experiences, she has created story tours and immersive storytelling experiences. Her SIFA commission saw her activate heritage monuments like The Armenian Church with indoor and outdoor storytelling; she produced In Search of the Gelam Tree, combining walking tours, visits to heritage spaces, and stories culminating with a traditional meal; she has designed in-gallery and object-based storytelling programmes for museums and galleries and has been a featured performing artist consistently for ARTWALK Little India. She has developed storytelling courses for the National Heritage Board on museum-based learning

for docents and guides. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts with a BA (Hons) English Language & Literature from the University of Reading (UK) and a MA in Arts Pedagogy & Practice from Goldsmith’s, University of London (UK). A respected teaching artist, she is a specialist storytelling lecturer for tertiary level programmes in Communications Studies, Arts Management, Art Therapy and Performing Arts at LASALLE College of the Arts. She designed the module on Narrative & Storytelling for the Expressive Arts Postgraduate Diploma at Singapore University of Social Sciences and currently lectures the course.

Lisa O'Brien

With a true passion for arts and culture, Lisa O'Brien has been working in photography, digital marketing, public relations, brand awareness and art direction over the past five years. Currently residing in the West of Ireland, Lisa is driven by creative projects that aim to grow and nurture creative communities. Lisa holds a BA Honors degree in Fine Art Photography from Limerick School of Art and Design and is currently furthering her studies in UX Design. As the world acclimatises to the new digital realm, Lisa is dedicated to exploring new digital avenues through User Experience. Representing Killaloe Music Festival, Lisa is delighted to share her current findings of digital tools that will help to bring this year’s festival to both a local and international audience.

Madalena Wallenstein

Madalena Wallenstein began her training in the Movement for Education for Art, at the Gulbenkian Foundation in the 1970s, in the areas of music and theatre. She studied music at the National Conservatory in Lisbon and graduated in Education.

She has been working as an artistic educator since 1987, alternating her activity between contexts of artistic creation and formal, non-formal education, intervention in social pedagogy for children and young people, and training for teachers and artists. Her research activity has been constructed based on the critical reflection on the experience of transversally, between the artistic field and the educational field, and the exploration of the potentialities of artistic education as a specific space of the aesthetic dimension.

She is a PhD student in Artistic Education at the Faculdade das Belas Artes, of Porto. Since 2008, she has been a programmer and coordinator of CCB [Fábrica das Artes - educational project]. She is the author and coordinator of the books "Se não havia nada, como surgiu alguma coisa?”(Art, childhood and philosophy) and "Raizes da curiosidade" (art and neuroscience); " Nós Todos Pensamos em Nós” (issues about artistic creation, childhood and public), edited by the CCB.

Magdalena Żelasko

Magdalena Żelasko is cinema enthusiast, film festival organiser (LET'S CEE Film Festival), film distributor (CEE FILMS), EU expert (EU Youth Cinema) and film curator. Originally from Cracow/Poland, has been living in Vienna for about 25 years now. The certified marketing and advertising expert with a diploma from the Business School in Cracow studied Slavic studies, journalism and communication sciences at the University of Vienna, which she soon after rounded up with a Ph.D. in 2005. She has worked as a manager for several international companies and as a well-published journalist for various Austrian and Polish media. The university lecturer with focus on culture and communication, documentary photographer and charity activist for human rights and integration projects is also organiser and participant in panel discussions and events across these areas.

Milica Popović

Milica Popović is born in Kotor, Montenegro where she currently lives. She holds a degree from Specialist's studies Field Of Study MaritimeM anagement from University of Montenegro as well as a degree as a Bachelor of Information Technology Field Of Study InformationTechnology from University Mediterranean. Milica is employed in the Cultural center since 2015. Worked as a program and festival organiser and now as an agency and marketing consultant and project manager. She has been participating in numerous projects and training course because she believes that a person learns while he/she is alive, and that by sharing experiences we can achieve more. She has a strong personal interest for opening the Montenegrin culture and values to the world, as well as to achieve international cooperation with cultural institutions in the world.

Mohamed Elshebeny

A poet and essayist. 

Nicole Adair

Nicole Adair is an award-winning interactive storyteller, game developer, and creative researcher who collaborates with organizations, institutions, and creators to use interactive technologies and game design in digital and XR storytelling. She has 12+ years of experience in the creative arts, a PhD in Comparative Literature, an MFA in Creative Writing, and the passion for pushing games and interactive experiences farther than they’ve ever gone. Adair has consulted for companies in science and technology, gaming, SaaS, education, product management, and nonprofits, on stories and design around neuroscience, artificial intelligence, fiction, healthcare, teaching and learning, and workplace gamification. A published author, trained music composer, and passionate university educator, she is also the founder of Mad Air Studios, a New York-based game developer and cultural innovation studio dedicated to exploring the new artistic possibilities of interactive technology, video games, XR, and immersive design.

Photo by Fabian Thüroff

Pascal Anselmi

Pascal Anselmi studied media communication and German language and literature at the TU Chemnitz and the Åbo Akademi in Finland. Here he learned the theoretical craft that he put into practice alongside his studies as a broadcast and podcast journalist for the nationwide online radio station detektor.fm. He worked for the State Office of Performing Arts Saxony e. V. as well as for the Service Agency FREIE SZENE to help develop the independent performing arts in Saxony and to network them nationally and internationally. In 2019, he co-founded the Association of Independent Performing Arts in Chemnitz e.V. in order to represent the interests of the artists at the local level towards politics and city administration and to further develop the local performing arts together with the actors and institutions. Since 2021 he is part of the team of Chemnitz - European Capital of Culture 2025 in the field of capacity building and program development in close cooperation with local cultural stakeholders.

Petra Terzi

Petra Terzi is an award-winning Greek filmmaker, producer and the creative director at the distribution platform Inspire-TV.com. She is a founding member at Cultural Company CINEART which organizes cultural international events in Greece and Cyprus since 2001 www.cineartfestival.eu. She is the artistic director of the Cyprus International Film Festival focused on first shown filmmakers since 2006 cyiff.eu and the Bridges International Film Festival in Greece focused on world cinema since 2008 bridgesfest.eu. Petra is a member of Greek Directors Guild, Cyprus Directors Guild and NYWIFT (Women in Film and Television in New York). She is a visiting professor at Communication University of China in Nanjing. She is a jurist at Jaipur International Film Festival and Cell Phone Cinema Humanitarian Awards by Karl Bardosh and founder of the chapter Women In Film and Television in Cyprus WIFTCY.

Robert Verch

Born in 1985, Robert Verch studied visual communication at Bauhaus University Weimar; subsequently worked as a freelance artist for several years, then after moving to Chemnitz in 2016 focused on cultural management with a view to urban development for the cultural and creative industry association Kreatives Chemnitz e.V.; since 2018 honorary board of Klub Solitaer e.V.; since 2021 full-time for Klub Solitaer mainly in project management and curation. www.robert-ver.ch

Sofia Cardim

Sofia Cardim was born in Lisbon, and she studied Communication at the Lisbon School of Business Communication. She also attended the Master's Degree Course in Communication, Culture, and Information Technology at ISCTE-IUL, University Institute of Lisbon.

She has been working for two decades with the Marketing and Communication team of Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB). She is a Press Officer, so her main task is to work with the Press and create media partnerships in order to increase the news about the centre and promote all of its cultural and institutional events. Sometimes she also has to perform some PR tasks, producing editorial contents, editing texts or managing social media.

The biggest challenge of working at the CCB is the diversity of the programme and the numerous possibilities that arise for presenting it – classical music, opera, jazz, fado, pop rock, other forms of music, dance, theatre, new circus, cinema, exhibitions, literature, poetry, installations, shows and workshops; for adults and the elderly, for children and babies; shows with just single presentations, others with several sessions; cycles, festivals, parties, literature days; performed in auditoria, outdoor spaces or other places in Lisbon.

She has worked on all of the CCB festivals, major lecture cycles, conferences and debates: "Festa da Música" (2000-2006, a classical music festival in coproduction with La Folle Journée in Nantes, France), "DocLisboa" (2002, an international film festival), "Percursos" (2002-2004, a performing arts festival for a young audience), "Dias da Música em Belém" (2007 – a music festival), "CCB Fora de Si" (2007-2011, the CCB summer festival), "Festival Pina Bausch" (2008), "Lisbon Jazz Summer School" (2008-2016), "Big Bang Festival" (2010-2019, a European music festival for young audiences), "Ulysses Conference 2018 – European Democracy: an idea whose time has come?" (2018, a reflection on the major issues that are set to mark the European and global agenda), "Sete Vidas, Sete Debates. O Futuro do Jornalismo" (2019, a weekend of debates to talk about the future of journalism in a time of fake news and populism). She also participated in the promotion of other cultural events that took place at the CCB, but which formed part of other festivals held in Lisbon: Alkantara Festival, Festival Temps d’Images, Festival de Teatro de Almada, Festival Verão Clássico, Artista na Cidade.

The most striking moment of her professional experience was the first edition of the Festa da Música, in 2000, due to the sheer size and grandeur of the event, with so many concerts taking place in such a short time (80 classical music concerts in two days) and involving artists from all over the world. And all of this was organised just with the use of a fax!

Triinu Arak

Triinu Arak is a freelance music enthusiast from Estonia. She has a multicoloured background which gives her a bless to work in many layers of the art sector depending on the need and flow: project manager, CEO, producer, surveys, marketing, field development, event process development etc. She is a founder of many initiatives and a team member of many productions/projects. She has a crush on musicians and theatre people, her love belongs mainly to choral music, music composition projects and special projects. People and/or ideas can drive her almost everywhere..!

Zane Estere Gruntmane

For a decade Zane Estere Gruntmane has been working with cross-sectoral project management for various cultural events in Latvia and internationally. Since 2019 her home is in Portugal. Working professionally Zane has developed skills to recognize the potentiality of ideas, that manifest itself as a form of knowledge and public growth. Zane's curiosity and passion rely on innovative approaches of collaboration and partnership building at the international level, practices in creation and sustainability, audience and community engagement. It is the essence she applies at her work in the team of Aveiro 2027 (www.aveiro2027.pt). She is a founder of the artistic platform "pigeon-bridge" based in Latvia (www.pigeonbridge.com), a member of the Advisory Committee of the network IETM (www.ietm.org) and a member of the Strategy Group of the “A Soul for Europe” initiative.