a student driven platform for systemic change through arts and design
Arts and Design play an important role for societal transformation.
They help to create shared visions, change mindsets and attitudes, open up new perspectives, provide emancipatory potential, and foster purpose-driven impact.
We engage students from arts and design to foster their potential for a sustainable, inclusive and pluralistic society, bringing them into conversations that matter.
And we help institutions and decision makers in politics and industry to understand the future through the lense of the next generation.
David Reitenbach, Creative Technologist and Visual Designer at Imperial College London
"A form of teaching and learning is required that makes students aware of the agency and responsibility they have, by giving them the tools they need for a sustainable transition."
Yris Apsit, Artistic Researcher, Zurich University of the Arts
"We need to consider earth and beyond as living spaces and not just territories and borders, thinking otherness as a fundamental part of our diversities as ecosystems. For us to thrive, we need empathy and collective intelligence, understanding fully that we are interdependent."
Lisa Hoffmann, Filmmaker and Researcher, Member of Klasse Klima at Berlin University of the Arts
"We clearly see the need for the fostering of interdisciplinary studies between art and science and the cooperation between faculties as well as universities and companies to share their knowledge."
Daniel Kletdke, Architect and PhD student at Norwegian University of Science and Technology
"As a creative community of artists, designers and architects, we should use the tools we have to visually communicate our ideas and visions. The visual representation helps people to follow along and share them!"
Dalis Pacheco, Interdisciplinary Artist, Berlin University of the Arts
"We need to move away from a Eurocentric perspective in order to relearn the global history and to see people from other territories as producers of knowledge and not as objects of study.”"
Laurane Le Goff, Costume Maker, Central Saint Martins / University of the Arts London
"As students we have a sense of urgency that is not represented within policymaking. Having students as consultants [within the European Union] is a way to ensure we are making change as fast as we can."
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth at the European Commission
"Solutions to sustainability challenges are not only technical. You have mentioned it very clearly as an outcome of your conversation. The green transition requires a profound transformation of the lifestyle and the direct engagement of citizens. I think that art and design and creative sectors in general have an immense power to transform our society."
Biliana Sirakova, EU Youth Coordinator at the European Commission
"I love the words that you have chosen for this project. Because there is this idea of young people acting and being agents of change. We talk about them being architects of their own lives. This is something that is very foundational for the EU Youth Strategy."
Elahe Rajabiani, Designer at the EU Policy Lab of the European Commission
"We need to have creative samurais. We need to change the system from inside. This is a call for more artist and designers to get into the strategic roles and policy making entities within the European institutions or local governments. Try to take roles that are usually not for creatives"
Alessandro Rancati, Policy Analyst at the Joint Research Council of the European Commission
"When I entered the commission as a designer, I was convinced that my way of looking at things can change the culture in policy making. But I realized that it is a lot more difficult, not because people do not want change, but because their languages are different. So what is really important now is to create a platform that allows for these missing conversations and exchanges."
Andrea Braidt, President, ELIA
"We felt that what was still needed within the movement of the New European Bauhaus is the voice of the arts students. We joined forces with Berlin University of the Arts and created this project with the major aim to have students make their voices heard in this transformational project."
Prof. Dr. Norbert Palz, President, Berlin University of the Arts
"When facing the future way of living, to all of us, it is very important to involve the young generation, listening to them, hearing their voices. Creating this truly interdisciplinary exchange is another key factor when shaping new vision and co-producing new ideas. Be bold, brave, outspoken, blunt, dream big!"
Bernd Fesel, Interim Chief Executive Officer EIT Culture & Creativity
"You demand that students have more time to exchange. So what would happen if a curriculum gives credits for peer to peer learning without any agenda? The problem is that education institutions are often not willing to experiment and to produce unexpected results. But this out of the box thinking must be part of the curriculum."
Ingo Bunzeck, Director at EY Global Climate Finance and Sustainability
"Tapping into different forms of knowledge is very important! Transdisciplinary crossovers is crucial for designing a sustainable future."
Maria Hansen, Director, ELIA
"We want to enable a mode that allows to learn from the next generation. Therefore we help institutions and decision makers to bring the next generation to the table."
Prof. Dr. Florian Hadler, Creative Entrepreneurship, Berlin University of the Arts
"It is great to see that the agency of students from arts and design is taken seriously! Because these disciplines have very vivid examples of how to develop new perspectives by creating shared visions and creating narratives that shape lifestyles, attitudes and perspectives and reframe our relations to the world."
students from the following institutions have participated so far
how we operate
AOT operates a yearly cycle of different episodes, covering student engagement, expert consultation, public dialogue and follow-up.
1. Student Engagement
We gather students from universities across Europe and beyond to collect their visions and expectations regarding the connections between sustainability, inclusion and aesthetics
2. Expert Consultation
We identify relevant topic clusters and key challenges and facilitate a discussion between the students and suitable experts from politics and the industry.
3. Public Dialogue
We conduct a public dialogue or roundtable with decision makers, where students can present their topics and visions.
Agents of Transformation is a collaborative project between ELIA and the Berlin University of the Arts and was developed as part of their partnership in the New European Bauhaus Initiative of the European Commission.
ELIA is a globally connected European network that provides a dynamic platform for professional exchange and development in higher arts education.
Berlin University of the Arts is the largest European art university, offering a unique range of expertise, from the fine and visual arts, performing arts, music, dance, design, architecture and pedagogy to communication, cultural studies, art sciences and philosophy.
New European Bauhaus is a creative and interdisciplinary initiative that connects the European Green Deal to our living spaces and experiences.
Are you a part of a student initiative?
Then we need your input to determine the next steps of our platform!
Your feedback will help us to shape future services, formats and programs, so that we can cater better to your needs and expectations.
Please share your thoughts and ideas with us - it won’t take longer than 15 minutes.
Click the link below to participate:
Prof. Dr. Florian Hadler, Berlin University of the Arts – firstname.lastname@example.org
Janja Ferenc, ELIA - email@example.com