One of the most deeply enjoyable gigs I did last year was to be the opening facilitator, and conference blogger, to "Cultural Encounters" - a meeting of 22 cross-continental winners of European funding for humanities projects, organised by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area), based in the University of Galway, and funded by the European Commission.
The final event, on 1-2 October 2013, was held in Dubrovnik's Hotel Palace - here's an archive of the presentation slides given. And the domain leader, Sean Ryder, writes an excellent introduction to their strategy and intent.
A blog accompanies the process, and I wrote three entries leading up to and reviewing the conference. As I note in the blogs, for me this was an exciting return to an engagement with humanities scholarship that I began over 25 years ago, doing English and Film/TV studies at Glasgow University (I've explored this intellectual history here).
I chaired an event on "Knowledge Exchange" in Dubrovnik: but the whole conference was at pains to show how the critical and historical understanding of culture had great relevance to the societal challenges of the future (HERA is part of the European Commission's Horizon 2020 research programme).
I explore some of these issues in the following writings:
PK Hera Blog 1) Humanities and the Public Intellectual
PK Hera Blog 2) Encounters Inside Europe, Seeking Answers From Beyond
PK Hera Blog 3) The Power of Terminology
PK Hera Blog 4) A Natural Consilience
PK Hera Blog 4) Knowledge Exchanged, and Critiqued