Launch of the European Pavilion: A Space to Imagine the Europe of Tomorrow

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Carola Carazzone, Secretary General of Assifero and Chair of Dafne, introduces a panel discussion at the launch of the European Pavilion, a cultural project aiming at the development of new perspectives on the European future through critical thinking and artistic research.

Launch of the European Pavilion, hosted by CRT Foundation and OGRTorino

November 12, 2021; Torino (Italy).

By Carola Carazzone, Secretary General of Assifero and Chair of Dafne – Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe

Introduction of the panel discussion by Carola Carazzone

“The idea behind the European Pavilion is to foster continuous experimentation, questioning much more than offering solutions, helping each and all of us to leave the comfort zone, intentionally feeling uncomfortable, exploring the unfamiliar and navigating complexity and uncertainty, even to unlearn our bias and preconceived ideas.”

Good morning, everyone here in Torino and online. 

It is amazing to have 7 speakers from across the continent and live participants here in Torino and many others virtually connected from across Europe.

My name is Carola Carazzone, Secretary General of Assifero and Chair of Dafne.

I am honoured and humbled to moderate this panel of visionary sense makers who are the seven changemakers that represent the first cohort of the European Pavilion; a concept at the same time in singular form and plural form. Plural because after these seven Pavilions, we dream to have hundreds, thousands of European Pavilions, all different and declined in different forms and shapes and deeply rooted in the local context but, at the same time, all united in contributing to imagine how to untap the European sentiment, a European feeling of care and belonging and daring to collectively imagine the Europe we want.

In front of the massive sense of urgency that we are facing today, such as climate change, threats to democracy and equality, the idea behind the European Pavilion is to foster continuous experimentation, questioning much more than offering solutions, helping each and all of us to leave the comfort zone, intentionally feeling the uncomfortable, exploring the unfamiliar and navigating complexity and uncertainty, even to unlearn our bias and preconceived ideas.

As Geoff Mulgan[1] pointed out in a recent paper, the world is facing an unprecedented deficit of social imagination.

Social imagination is such a powerful concept. It is not the ability to plan economic recovery nor to program or design new generations of technology. “Social imagination” is the ability to imagine a different and better society in 30 or 40 years: more equal, more inclusive, much happier, imagining new forms of well-being with ourselves, with the communities we live in, with the rest of humanity, with the planet.

This is our window opportunity. This is our time to be brave. The time for imagination is now. Arts and culture have the capacity, the power to imagine and spark social change breaking free imagination.

As Roberta Sassatelli pointed out, European Pavilions can be a powerful vector to imagine an open space that is both local and European at the same time, to embrace uncertainty, complexity, scale, speed, interconnection, and intersectionality of today’s societal challenges.

I would like to introduce now the seven guests who represent the first seven European Pavilions:

Panel Discussion

Carola invited guests to address the following questions:

  • What motivates you to join the European Pavilion initiative? What is the idea and vision behind your European Pavilion? 
  • What are your dreams and hopes on how your European Pavilion shall contribute to creating the future(s) of Europe and a European sense of belonging?

You can watch the full recording of the session, including the panel, here:

Wrap-up of the European Pavilion by Carola Carazzone

My dream is about the power of connection, the power of networking, collective imagination, and collective impact. This is something we need to intentionally invest much more and towards which we should direct resources.

I hope that we will expand our intentional investment in connecting, creating meaningful networks of people and organisations as the European Pavilion. Only together we can co-create a more just, more sustainable Europe.

European Pavilions will be presenting artistic programs throughout 2021-2022 and you will find out about their activities on theeuropeanpavilion.eu.

To conclude this session, we would like to present two projects which were supported last year by the European Cultural Foundation through its regular grants, and which are inspiring examples of how Europe can be addressed and expressed through art and culture:

  1. Firstly, we will hear about the concept of a European Pavilion at the Venice Biennale: a collective from Italy and Switzerland, who has started to think how a European Pavilion at the Architecture Biennial could look like.
  2. Secondly, we will give the floor to Jérôme Felici, one of the co-founders of Oenope, who will present their Borderless European Wine, which we will also taste in a moment.

Thanks to CRT Foundation and their partner OGRTorino for hosting us so meaningfully and kindly here in Torino today.

About the European Pavilion

The European Pavilion is a project conceived by the European Cultural Foundation and developed in collaboration with Camargo FoundationKultura Nova Foundation and with the support of CRT Foundation.

It welcomes multiple points of view on Europe and a common future developed through critical thinking and artistic research. 

The European Pavilion is not a physical space, but a cultural movement that promotes the development of new perspectives on the European future, through trans-local and trans-national collaborations and by stimulating curiosity, interest and creativity across borders, sectors, and generations.

You can find more information on this cultural initiative here

foto carola irisnetwork edited

Carola Carazzone

Chairs Board of Dafne – Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe. She is Secretary General of Assifero, the Italian association of family, corporate and community foundations, since 2014. She serves as Advisory Board Member of Ariadne, the European Network of Funders for Social Change and Human Rights, as Member of the Experts’ Reflection Group of ECFI, European Community Foundations Initiative, Alliance Magazine Editorial Board, and Ashoka Italy’s Advisory Committee.


[1] Geoff Mulgan is Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at University College London (UCL) https://www.demoshelsinki.fi/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/the-imaginary-crisis-web.pdf