DATE: 25-03-2020

International conference from your living room: the SMS Network Meeting

Last week the Network Meeting of the project Strengthening Music in Society took place. From 18 to 20 March, up to 60 experts had planned to meet at the Popakademie in Mannheim, which was impossible due measures in place to slow down the spread of Covid-19. Thankfully, the meeting was not cancelled, but took place online instead in a different format. We worked on themes such as sustainability, the mind-set of musicians, success, and assessment and we exchanged ideas on how to deal with the closure of our institutions.

The working groups are working on Strengthening Music in Society individually, but also collectively. On themes that require common attention, multiple perspectives or simply larger collaboration we create synergies! This is one of the main reasons why a Network Meeting is organised in the framework of the project: ensuring that we truly work together to reach the objective Strengthening Music in Society. Meeting everyone at once allows the individual working groups to work on their own themes while at the same time give the opportunity to receive feedback, connect to the wider objectives and create synergies. With a little more than 1.5 years to go for the project, concrete connections are essential for the success of the project and its final outcomes.

Our online network meeting started with a plenary session, welcoming everyone able to connect internationally from their living rooms, studies and balconies. The working groups started with work on their individual objectives: social responsibility of the artist, diversity, entrepreneurship and learning and teaching. Then they turned to the themes that were previously identified to collaborate on, leading to joint sessions at upcoming events: how can digital tools and different methods of learning and teaching ensure environmental sustainable mobility, how can we ensure the mental health among international students, but also on input and different perspectives of other outcomes of the working groups. After having discussed these activities, members returned to their own working groups on Friday morning to wrap up their discussions and plan ahead for the coming months.

We look forward to bringing outcomes of the SMS project to the entire AEC community.