BtO explores the future borders and edges of culture and moves beyond those conventional assumptions, beliefs and practices that impede the contribution of culture to social and economic regeneration at a local, national and European level. It allows the discourse to embrace broader political challenges – and not only policy ones.
BtO challenges the classical elements of a conference to spark inspiration and new dialogues
by proposing different formats for speeches and conversations,
by tailoring unusual rhythms between institutional moments and uncommon dialogues,
by engaging its participants in hands-on working sessions in a “laboratory-style”,
by allowing direct exchange and connections throughout the whole gathering.
BtO enables and facilitates collaboration between actors from different sectors of our societies seeking answers to common challenges by putting culture at the heart of the public decision-making and debate.
Each year, BtO connects the European cultural community with the one of the hosting city in a mutual exchange beneficial to the empowerment of both communities and individuals.
Culture Action Europe (CAE) is a European network of artists, cultural producers and activists, and membership organisations dedicated to promoting culture as an essential element of sustainable development both locally and on a European scale. It also contributes intensively to the European debate on culture through the expertise and the practice of a wide community of cultural organisations and practitioners from different disciplines across Europe.
For twenty years CAE has organised annual conferences with its members giving voice to over 80,000 cultural organisations from all over Europe, and engaging thinkers and decision-makers from different backgrounds to discuss and challenge the role of culture in the future of Europe, its people and its democracy.
In 2013, CAE designed a brand new concept for its annual gathering: Beyond the Obvious (BtO). The concept was conceived to allow for privileged and inspirational exchange between the European cultural community, civil society, researchers, thinkers, activists, institutional and political representatives.