100+ gather in Berlin for inaugural Burning Man European Leadership Summit


European Leadership Summit attendees from across the world share ideas between sessions in Berlin.

More than 100 European regional contacts and community leaders gathered in Berlin with Burning Man staff Feb. 7-9 for the inaugural Burning Man European Leadership Summit.

Through three days of presentations and group discussions, participants and staff gained a deeper understanding of the broad range of community initiatives and visions of the future shared by Burners from across the continent.

Burning Man staff led seminars covering event production and the evolving role of Regional Contacts. Participants also shared experiences on the unique nature of leadership in a collaborative culture and across multiple languages.

Dario Battini, one of the Italian Regional Contacts delivered a presentation on translations at Nowhere  and how “Flapping Tongues” (the aptly named translation team) keeps participant information updated in German, French, English, Spanish, and Italian. German Regional Contacts Axel Vetter and Stefan Schoffberger spoke about producing a successful Burning Man Film Festival in Germany.

Our Lithuanian Regional Contact Goku Kavaliauskas showcased a bike parade that he and his fellow Burners put together in Vilnius called “Who did that to my Bike?” And, Misa Rygrova, our Czech Regional Contact, spoke about her experience as a Black Rock Arts Foundation Grantee and her Suitcase Project, an effort to create small, traveling art pieces which transcend nationalities and borders.

Berlin proved to be an ideal location for participants to gather from across Europe. The local Burner community hosted a celebration on Saturday evening in a 1920s silent film theater with art installations, a cabaret show, and lots of playa-inspired interactions. Europe-based performance troupe Grotest Maru provided shows throughout the weekend and participants loved exploring Berlin’s mural alleys, historic sites, and music spaces.

The momentum generated by the European Leadership Summit is inspiring; we’re exploring hosting the gathering again next year. Our largest leadership event, the Global Leadership Conference, now in its eighth year, will be held in San Francisco in our new Mission neighborhood in early April. We expect 280 participants from across the globe and look forward to the conversations, ideas, and inspiration that flourish whenever and wherever Burner leaders converge.