Monthly Highlights
“Changing the game – strategic thinking for creative organizations”:
How global arts administrators collectively combat in the turbulent times
Group photo for the speakers at the 2012 Cultural Leadership Summit.
Over 200 cultural leaders from across the world spent three days of total immersion in Hong Kong to reflect on how to deal with the turbulence that affected the arts world.

The global and local arts administrators and practitioners exchanged their views at the 2012 Cultural Leadership Summit, co-organised by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) and Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association, that themed “Changing the game – strategic thinking for creative organizations”.

“I think it is really important for the people running art organisations in Hong Kong to recognise there are some extraordinary challenges being experienced across the rest of the world,” said Michael Lynch as he delivered the opening speech for the first time as chief executive officer of WKCDA.

“Hong Kong is in a fortunate position - we must be one of the few places in the world where government funding in the arts has been increasing, and the government continues to invest in the arts. But we should also learn the lessons from our counterparts elsewhere.”

Mr Lynch cited the key trends and drivers– namely demographic shifts, technology innovation, governance, environmental consciousness and social responsibility – that affected the business sectors should be the main factors that arts administrators understand how they could survive in the new future.

Over 200 participants gathered at the first keynote session.
World class arts administrators such as Karen Brooks Hopkins, President of The Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York; Graham Devlin, Arts Consultant and Former Deputy Secretary General of Arts Council of England; Lieven Bertels, Director of the Sydney Festival; Pawel Potoroczyn, Director of Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Poland; Kingsley Jayasekera, Director, Communications and Digital Strategy of Sadler's Wells, London; Wang Zhengming, Vice President of Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts; and Edward Chia, Managing Director of Timbre Group, Singapore, delivered speeches on various aspects of successful creative organizations, including Strategic and Artistic Planning, Branding and Creative Marketing, Nurturing Supporters at all levels, Engaging the Community and Building Audiences.

They interacted with and inspired local cultural leaders Ada Wong Ying-kay, Founder & Honorary Chief Executive of Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture; Wilfred Wong Ying-wai, Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council; Louis Yu Kwok-kit, Executive Director, Performing Arts, of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; Michael MacLeod, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, Executive Director of New World Development Company Ltd, and Benny Chia, Director, Hong Kong Fringe Club.

Michael Lynch delivered his opening speech on May 30th 2012.
Mr Lynch borrowed the same quote from French first culture minister André Malraux whom he quoted last year and thought was still extremely relevant to the present situation.

“Arts is what that remains when the rest has vanished,” he said. “In turbulent times we need to remind ourselves arts is really about creation of work - work that changes people’s lives, work that is going to change the world we are living, and work that is going to have a profound impact well beyond of our time – and that is what best situates us as we move in the crazy times.”