Workshops get participants fully involved in the learning process: through small and large group discussions, activities & exercises, participants get opportunities to practice applying the concepts that are presented.

Here the detailed overview of the different workshops occurring during the BtS Academy, with direct reference to the sub-topics of reference from the European Pillar of Social Rights

Workshop #1: The loneliness of the long distance runner: Revealing relations and culture policy work with the government

Tallinn, June 2018

In this session different approaches on how to relate to government will be discussed, together with possible tools available to employers associations to assist them towards strategic positions in relation to political policy makers. The session may also address questions on representativity and the recognition of employers associations or sector federations representing the interest of members or views of a sector by the government.

Joined by Cristina Loglio, who has built up expertise in different positions in the Italian cultural sector, in policy advise and in political bodies, participants in this workshop will also be able to learn about do’s and don’t when approaching policy makers and politicians.

The European Pillar of Social Rights clearly states that its delivery …is a shared political commitment and responsibility[1], and also …the necessary flexibility for employers to adapt swiftly to changes in the economic context shall be ensured.[2]

The role of government in the live performance sector is crucial from many perspectives whether it be funding, legislating or mediating, among others. At the same time many representatives of employers associations find themselves facing the recurrent and frequently thankless task that a change in government often brings of having to convince their respective politicians of their importance and relevance of the culture sector.

[1] Point 20, page 9 European Pillar of Social Rights

[2] “Fair working conditions”, point 05b, page 14 European Pillar of Social Rights


Workshop #2: Negotiation – the Art of Making Constructive Agreements

Tallinn, June 2018

Negotiation is an integral part of the daily work of people in leadership positions and takes the shape of both formal meetings about contracts and other agreements but also as a wide range of other, less formal, result-driven dialogues.

The purpose of this seminar and workshop led by the expert Malene Rix will be to strengthen the participants’ negotiation skills and also to draw attention to the many less obvious day-to-day situations, where negotiation can be used as a both constructive and efficient leadership tool.

Attention: this workshop contains two parts. It is highly recommended that participants start attending the first part to follow smoothly the second part as well.


Workshop #3: Balanced organisations: between art as a goal and leadership as a tool

Antwerp, November 2018

This workshop conducted by Koen Vandyck examines the specific challenges that confront managers/employers in relation to the artistic environment in which they have to operate and function.

One of the reference documents on which the BtS project is based concerns the New Start for Social Dialogue.  It was in March 2015 that the European Commission held a High-Level meeting to launch the new start for social dialogue followed a year later by a stock-taking evaluating the main four areas:

  • a closer involvement of the social partners in the European Semester,
  • stronger emphasis on capacity building of national social partners,
  • increased involvement of social partners in EU policy and law-making,
  • a clearer relation between social partners’ agreements and the Better Regulation Agenda.

The most concrete one is the second area on capacity building, a term which compromises many interpretations and forms.

Building further on an analysis undertaken with a number of arts organisations in Belgium, different organisation models will be considered together with how new ways of working relationships and structures in an artistic organisation can be developed. The workshop will help to develop capacities for those who are leading (artistic) organisations. It will help them to explore a new start, reflect on the goals and the common purpose of the organisation and move towards finding a new and dynamic balance.


Workshop #4: Work-life balance – on the crossroads between law, human resources and the passion for the arts

Antwerp, November 2018

Against the background of the Working Time Directive, the workshop led by Sarah De Groof begins by identifying the specific features affecting those working in the live performance sector: i.e “unsocial” hours coinciding with other people’s leisure time, working abroad during tours often for long periods, etc. People working in the sector often claim to do it ‘out of passion for the arts’. This is often used as an argument to overhaul the individual’s need to find a balance between work and personal life/family life.

The workshop will also touch upon the cross-roads between the law and Human Resources (HR) Management, seeking to explore questions in relation to new forms of working; new models of employment that contemplate autonomous work; allowing people to choose how to organise their work and how to develop a modern perspective on the future of working time.

To remind participants of the elements of the working time directive and the Commission proposal on work-life balance, at the beginning of the session a paper will be distributed with the key elements.


Workshop #5: Towards a respectful working environment

Antwerp, November 2018

Everyone will agree that it is important for the overall well-being of a person that he/she also feels good when being at work. Well-being at work is a topic that is taken very serious by policy makers and it relates with many different areas: health and safety, prevention, protection against violence, harassment, bullying and sexual harassment, dealing with stress and burn-outs and other psycho-social risks (such as depression).

This workshop, led by Peter Vanslembrouck, a prevention adviser on psycho-social risks will provide participants in this workshop insights, tools and mechanisms how to create a respectful and considerate workplace environment.

The European pillar of social rights mentions in principle 10 on Healthy, safe and well-adapted work environment and data protection that workers have the right to a high level of protection of their health and safety at work.

The European Framework Directive 89/391/EEC introduces measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work. It is the basic safety and health legal act which lays down general principles concerning the prevention and protection of workers against occupational accidents and diseases. It contains principles concerning the prevention of risks, the protection of safety and health, the assessment of risks, the elimination of risks and accident factors, the informing, consultation and balanced participation and training of workers and their representatives.


Workshop #6: Offstage skills for the Theatre, a discussion group led by Hannah Gagen

Antwerp, November 2018

Hannah Gagen, Advocacy Manager at UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre (SOLT), will open this session with the presentation of the “Inspiring the Future of Theatre” campaign, before leading into an active discussion and exchange of ideas with the Pearle members attending who will be able to contribute with examples, questions or issues relating to their own countries.

“Inspiring the Future of Theatre” is an initiative to showcase the range of careers available in theatre to young people in schools, launched by UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre (SOLT)  in early 2018.

The project has come about as a direct result of UK Theatre and SOLT’s 2017 review of the theatre workforce, based on conversations with employers and workers in the industry. It found that many employers were frustrated by a shortage of people with the skills for off stage roles. It recommended that more should be done to show young people that there were exciting, rewarding roles within the industry that don’t involve performing. The report also gave very clear evidence that the theatre industry in the UK must improve the diversity of its workforce, to become more representative of the population as a whole, if it is to remain relevant and resilient in the future. To do this, the report recommended, the industry must connect with young people from across all areas of the country and society as they are beginning to think about their future careers.



Workshop #7: Skills for the Music Sector, a discussion group with Venessa Tanovic and Stefan Gies

Antwerp, November 2018

For a long time now, the music sector has been going through a period of change. This has become even more visible in recent years due to a combination of several factors: changes in consumption patterns as a result of digital and technological development, policy choices and priorities in relation to funding, rethinking and questioning of the role of orchestras in society, demographic evolutions and audience developments, increased music practising due to social media, shift from lifelong career with one employer or one music practice or profession towards freelance careers including different or several parallel activities, etc.

In this discussion group based on the ‘world café’ method allowing participants to have a more in-depth exchange we wish to go deeper into understanding what the needs are in the sector today and how musicians should be trained in other skills than the mastering of the instrument. The discussion should also lead to (concrete) proposals or initiatives that can be taken during the education (or immediately after) with the aim to better equip young musicians to give them better chances on the labour market.

The discussion is facilitated by Venessa Tanovic, of Career & Transfer Service Center, University of the Arts Berlin, and Stefan Gies, Chief Executive Officer of AEC (Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen)


Workshop #8: Decisive growth: how to implement and strengthen membership strategies

Plovdiv, May 2019

Pearle* is particularly honored and proud to be able to offer to the members the opportunity to present the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization in the context of this capacity building event. The ITC operates since 1964 as the advanced vocational institute, based in Turin (IT), to provide training and related services that develop human resources and institutional capabilities. It also offers free online courses, including on social dialogue and tripartism.

Jeanne Schmitt, Senior Programme Officer in the Employers’ Activities Programme of the ITCILO (International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization), led  a session focused on membership strategies for Employers and Business Member Organizations (EBMOs). EBMOs must be representative of the different segments of the private sector to voice the employers’ standings and be able to influence socio-economic policies. Large membership is the result of well-functioning EBMOs, providing for high quality services for members and exerting strong policy influence. To achieve this virtuous circle, one condition is to implement a marketing oriented membership strategy, which conceptualize, plans and directs EBMOs actions to properly administer, retain, expand and involve members. This is even more urgent in a competitive environment where companies are more and more reluctant to adhere to or engage with collective bodies representing the interests of private sector.

The workshop reviews EBMOs practices and propose elements and tools to participating organizations in order for them to strengthen their membership strategies.

Led by Jeanne Schmitt, ITCILO



Workshop #9: Leadership and management skills for the cultural sector: Are we intrapreneurial and ready to meet the Gen Z?

Plovdiv, May 2019

This workshop focus on the factors, barriers and practices in setting up and developing an intrapreneurial culture in our organisations. The intrapreneurial climate of creating an atmosphere of entrepreneurship and innovations within the organisation is becoming very important also in the field of arts and culture because of the changes in the external environment both at local and global level. It will explore our abilities to innovate, to establish laboratory climate of entrepreneurship, to multiply our assets, to use new technologies in the arts, to be flexible and open to the challenges in the 21st century. It will analyze our strategic approaches and managerial practices to find out how to be more efficient as leaders and managers in an intrapreneurial setting. Using cases and examples from cultural organisations from different corners of the world it will look at how to motivate our teams to think and act in an intrapreneurial way.

The workshop also challenges our traditional management practices at a time when the Generation Z is entering the workforce, many of whom are active entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of start-ups. They value individual expressions, avoid stereotypes, expect instant feedback and are highly digitally skilful. Their approaches, professional lifestyle and work expectations need to be studied, understood and met. We will discuss what we need to change in our management and leadership styles, motivation methods and human resource policies in our cultural organisations in order to accommodate the Gen Z in tomorrow’s entry-level jobs and to allow individual talent to grow. Our organisational development strategies and tactics require innovative methods to keep the Gen Z involved, engaged and ready to contribute.

Led Lidia Varbanova, consultant, lecturer, researcher and coach