Cultural Pearls are selected by an international jury, a distinguished panel comprised of experts in social resilience, urban planning, arts and culture, along with representatives from pan-Baltic and European organizations and networks of cities.

Our jury members bring a wealth of experience and knowledge, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of candidate’s action plans. The diversity of perspectives and experience in the jury enables a holistic assessment that reflects the multifaceted nature of the challenges and opportunities faced by communities in the region. This diversity enhances the credibility and fairness of our evaluation process, fostering innovation and inclusivity in the towns and cities we champion.

Julie Hervé

Head of culture at Eurocities

At Eurocities we promote sustainable urban policies where culture is central and enhances the quality of life of citizens. Culture is at the heart of local development agendas, and is increasingly connected to other urban policies. We support the Cultural Pearls programme as a great way to shed light on innovative and inspiring practices.

Leena Marsio

Senior advisor, Finnish Heritage Agency (National coordinator of the UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage and of the European Heritage Label)

The Cultural Pearls is an interesting initiative that brings together important forces to change our societies. The role of culture and heritage needs to be taken better into account in the work for more sustainable societies. In my work in the past years, we’ve been looking into the connections between intangible heritage and sustainable development. Here we see that local cultural action in the communities can have an impact when changing our course by drawing from the past and innovating for the future.

Antoni Wyligała

Leader of the Working Group on Culture within the Committee of Youth Representatives (CBSS)

Cultural Pearls are selected by an international jury, a distinguished panel comprised of experts in social resilience, urban planning, arts and culture, along with representatives from pan-Baltic and European organizations and networks of cities.

Ann Irene Saeternes

Head of European Affairs in Eastern Norway County Network. Representing the Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation (BSSSC)

Culture has the power to integrate; culture builds bridges across borders and across social and political differences. Cultural interventions can offer new attention to old problems. In the BSSSC we stress that culture and creative industries can help respond to various challenges and crises and to deliver important social and economic benefits both within and outside the EU. Culture opens a vivid access to the youth, forming the basis and future of Baltic Sea Region cooperation.

Toni Attard

Founder & Director Culture Venture

Natalia Brylowska

PhD, Cultural manager and researcher

Culture has a vital role in building resilient communities. It is our way of understanding and changing the world around us. Cultural practices allow people to face the future by experimenting, creating “solutions” and sharing them with the community to build stronger connections. Cultural and artistic creativity can „predict” future scenarios. It can be a safe space of challenging the issues, healing the stresses and experimenting with possible shifts.

Jonas Büchel

Consultant in strategic urban & regional development and social & cultural planning. Co-founder and board member of the non-profit urbaninstitute.lv

Since the entire concept of resilience is entirely human and socially based, logically the community is the center of the universe to strengthen the ability cooperatively to meet our nowadays challenges. Experiences of many earlier projects have proven that culture is the best and most efficient community-based incubator for cooperative learning processes. Culture stimulates, boosts and ignites, sparkles creativity. The development towards this current project is a serious success story and the continuity with which we have been working on cultural planning instruments for at least five years, especially for small and medium-sized cities in the Baltic Sea region, is outstanding.

Marta Szadowiak

Change maker, Goyki 3 Art Inkubator

Culture plays an important role in development of towns, cities and municipalities. highlighting good practices can not only be an indication for others, but also encourage them to act for the local community.

Oleg Koefoed

Head of Center for Vitality and Regenerative Transformation Teaches and supervises at the Copenhagen Business School and Copenhagen University

After spending 20 odd years working with cultural approaches to issues of sustainability and regeneration, I am happy to see that the global understanding of the importance of culture to tackle the crises we face. Culture is about life as it gets by, survives, and transforms itself, in between all the high-brow or deceptive claims of political top-down plans and commercial seduction. Culture, at the end of the day, is about life showing itself as it is. So, since culture is thus the most open and real place for human interaction, it is also the most innovative and inventive human space. Culture is where we re-invent ourselves.

Anna Porse Nielsen

CEO and Partner at Seismonaut – a private consultancy specialized in advising within culture, creative industries, and tourism

That culture is important when it comes to creating and sustaining community and resilience isn’t a new thing. But the recognition of the importance of culture is growing every day. It is my experience that more and more political stakeholders are acknowledging that we need to look towards culture when it comes to finding solutions to many of the wicked problems we are facing as a whole in society. Tourism and livability go hand in hand and as an advisor within destination development, I am very interested in seeing how cities and regions across Europe work with culture as a tool to strengthen their profile and resilience.

Monica Urian

Policy officer at the European Commission – Directorate General Education and Culture – responsible for international cultural relations