Call for Applications

Tandem Europe

Tandem Europe is a cross-border collaboration program that aims at social change through cultural innovation activities. Cultural initiatives/ organisations/ institutions can submit their expression of interest by 15 November 2018.
Tandem Europe is a one-year long learning by doing programme that allows innovative creative initiatives to kick-start long-term collaboration on a European level. It offers participants a working placement with a partner abroad and engages their organisations in a joint social innovation or strategic development project of their own choice. Up to 24 participants accumulate international innovation know-how while realising one of up to 12 Tandem pilot projects that serve as prototypes for future tactical collaborations. Obtaining new insights from all over Europe strengthens participants’ impact locally and increases their operational and financial resilience.
For the new edition of Tandem Europe, Tandem looks for applicants who work across a variety of urban or rural areas and local contexts all over Europe. Future Tandem Europe participants typically manage smaller or larger cultural organisations (non-profit or public funded), work for culturally engaged local administrations or run socially orientated creative enterprises. The participants share a strong enthusiasm for creative discovery and innovation across European borders, societies, cultures, sectors and artistic disciplines. They embrace the joy of making new things happen together by engaging in unusual transnational encounters.
With Tandem, you join a growing community of cultural innovators and social change makers, who are deeply engaged in maintaining and reshaping a common European future.

How does it work?

Up to 32 applicants and their colleagues are invited to the Tandem Europe Partner Forum in 2019, where they find new networking opportunities and – most importantly – their potential Tandem partner. Together with their new partner, they apply for the full programme with a collaboration idea and a first sketch of the Tandem partnership they envisage. For the main programme phase, up to 12 Tandems are selected. Each new collaboration pair benefits from a placement opportunity at their Tandem-partner organisation abroad, three peer-to-peer innovation, learning and networking meetings as well as financial and mentoring support to prototype their collaboration ideas.

Who is it for?

Do you as an individual, organisation, local administration or creative enterprise engage in innovative cultural work or community based activities that tackle social challenges? – Then Tandem encourages you to apply!
For the upcoming round of Tandem Europe, Tandem aims to convene passionate pioneers and their groundbreaking initiatives from different social sectors. Tandem looks for participants, whose creative work addresses burning contemporary issues in our European societies – especially from those urban and rural communities that often have to tackle their local challenges outside mainstream public attention.
As Tandem Europe participant you should be very motivated to explore unconventional ways of working together with a European partner from abroad and engage in an innovative cultural collaboration with someone who you don’t know yet. You should be strongly interested in designing new formats and ideas for cultural-social work that engages European citizens in re-shaping their current and future realities.
Tandem is are looking for project initiators representing civil society organisations, public institutions, non-profit initiatives, innovative local administrations or social enterprises that:
  • Are engaged in cultural work that proactively explores new ways of working and promote the goals and outcomes of their work through innovative formats
  • Are promoting innovative ways of working for empowering people and communities to explore their individual creativity and increase their public engagement
  • Engage in cultural innovation activities that tackle socio-economic challenges or reflect on larger cultural or societal questions in our communities
  • Are working with cultural questions and content for involving people in social change and actively co-create communities around alternative social development models
  • Explore unconventional ways of working on a small scale that nevertheless show potential for contributing to larger questions of public good (on a local and European level)
  • Are prepared to scale their innovative working methodologies towards wider community outreach, especially in rural areas
  • Are highly motivated to extend their local cultural work to new working areas, which contribute to alternative social and economic innovation processes all over Europe
  • Develop creative solutions for a sustainable socio-economic development of and innovation in their communities, cities or regions, which is based on local needs
  • Design new creative formats for engaging people in re-shaping social and economic realities of the local
  • environment they live in
  • Are interested in finding new structural solutions, strategic development opportunities and alternative financing models for their organisations.
  • Are ambitious to engage in strategic and lasting cooperation across national, cultural and mental borders
  • Can rely on working structures that show sufficient financial and organisational capacity, are flexible and adaptive, socially responsible and respected in their working field
  • Are early-to-mid career staff members with some decision-making responsibilities and/or senior professionals, who are strategically involved with the core mission of their organisation
  • Are socially committed, empathic, culturally innovative, highly motivated, dynamic, open-minded personalities
  • Are eager to experiment, ready for structural change, seize new opportunities, have an entrepreneurial spirit and the courage to take risks and fail forward.
  • Have sufficient skills, experience and resources to engage in an intense international learning, reflection and innovation process that requires a minimum time investment of 10 working weeks throughout a one-year-long process
  • Are based in one of the 47 CoE member states (and Belarus) and are fluent in English

Why Tandem Europe?

Faced by various crises (social, economic, political), unorthodox initiatives have started to emerge all over Europe. Creative initiatives especially those from the financially and socially most affected regions in Europe have started to experiment with new social designs and alternative economic strategies for addressing burning issues in their local working fields. They show the imaginative power we need for finding new answers and fresh approaches to the current challenges in our societies. These exceptional cultural initiatives often provide substantial meaning to peoples lives. They put forward the pioneering ideas, new social alliances and alternative economic and collaborative working models that we need in order to be really capable of changing the system.

What does it offer?
  • participation in a partner forum with up to 32 cultural organisations from all over Europe (one applicant per organisation for the whole meeting, plus one colleague for the last two days of the meeting)
  • 2 weeks abroad during a vocational placement at a new partner organisation
  • 3 group meetings including peer-to-peer learning sessions, and workshops with experienced trainers on social innovation
  • reimbursement of travel costs and living expenses during project events and placements
  • 5000 € start-up funding for testing a shared pilot collaboration idea
  • expert-facilitated mentoring of pilot collaboration initiatives from inception to completion
  • a showcase event to present the outcomes of all pilot collaboration initiatives
  • small-scale follow-up support to scale-up pilot ideas towards broader impact
  • access to a growing alumni network of cultural initiatives in more than 200 cities across Europe and its neighbourhood
What does the programme look like?

A mix of visits, with intensive training sessions and specific collaborative projects the programme is designed for strengthening the managerial and specialist skills of cultural managers to contribute international cooperation and development.

How to apply?

Selection of Tandem candidates to the Partner Forum is based on the quality of their individual application. The programme team and partner representatives will pre-select up to 32 project intiators from all over Europe whose organisations and initiatives represent a balanced mix of working fields, professional backgrounds, strategic interests, original ideas and the socio-economic challenges they address. We will invite those applicants who best fulfil the criteria listed above.

Deadline for submitting applications to participate in the Tandem Europe Partner Forum is 15 November 2018 (23:59 CET).

To apply the application form has to be filled out. Successful candidates to be invited to Bulgaria will be informed by the end of July.

At the Partner Forum in October, the Tandem team will guide all 32 participants through an interactive mix of informal matchmaking and presentation sessions. All candidates will have sufficient time to identify and get to know their potential Tandem Europe partner before they actually form pairs and start drafting a concrete proposal for their collaboration plans and pilot initiatives.

Shortly after the Partner Forum up to 16 new Tandem pairs will submit their written proposals for assessment. The second selection process will be carried out by an external programme jury which will choose the 12 most promising Tandem proposals for participation in the main programme phase.

More information on the application process and the exchange program can be found on the Tandem Europe website.
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