Resources > The Fika Project - cultural leadership project and publications
13 Jul 2016

The Fika Project - cultural leadership project and publications


The Fika Project: Empowering Cultural Change Makers is an EU-funded project to support cultural leaders through capacity building, networking and the sharing of information and tools. It has recently published two books: Perspectives on Cultural Leadership and Narratives by Cultural Change Makers.

The books “Perspectives on Cultural Leadership” and “Narratives by Cultural Change Makers” are an anthology of research and essays and a collection of life and career stories by experienced cultural leaders representing one of the first public manifestations of The Fika Project.


books (1)

How did the project come about?

The Fika Project was developed in five steps:

  • An examination of the leadership CPD (Continuing Professional Development) needs of the cultural sector, focussing on Europe:

  • A survey of existing cultural leadership training in different parts of the world:

  • Narratives by Cultural Change Makers: international case studies of the professional lives of ten cultural leaders published in book form

  • Perspectives on Cultural Leadership: an anthology of research and essays published in book form and made available on website

…and will finally result in:

  • The Fika Cultural Leadership Programme: an intensive residential and distance learning programme that invites cultural change makers across the world (particularly – though not exclusively – those operating at small scale) to take a break from their day-to-day responsibilities. Not just to drink coffee and eat cake, but also to meet colleagues and mentors, share experiences, learn from others, take the opportunity to reflect, access new networks and make new collaborations

What is it? - and where did the name come from?

Fika is a social institution in Sweden. There has been evidence of the word fika for over a hundred years. It is a transposition of “kaffi” (a variation of the Swedish word for coffee). To fika means to take a break from work to have a coffee with colleagues. You may well have buns and cake along with your coffee. And a chat – a fika break is a great opportunity to discuss anything and everything.

In similar fashion, The Fika Cultural Leadership Programme offers you a chance to replenish your reserves, both physical and mental, and helps you to develop your work in a significant way. These are challenging times and The Fika Programme is about building leadership capacity to face these challenges.

Who did it?

We are the partners behind The Fika Project, which is supported by the EU Erasmus+ education and training programme and Region Västra Götaland in Sweden:

  • Karin Dalborg (Project Manager), Anna Johansen Fridén and Mikael Löfgren, Nätverkstan Kultur: independent cultural organisation based in Gothenburg, Sweden, providing education, financial and technical services, project management and consulting to the cultural sector:

  • Birgitta Persson, Trans Europe Halles: European-based network of cultural centres initiated by citizens and artists:

  • Sue Kay and Annick Schramme, ENCATC: European network for cultural management and cultural policy education:

  • Sandy Fitzgerald and Paul Bogen, Olivearte Cultural Agency: providing wide-ranging support to the European arts and cultural sector: