Short title
Transferring Knowledge and Cooperating in Culture, Education, and City

<p>The Cátedra Medellin-Barcelona promoted by the Kreanta Foundation, fosters knowledge transfers in culture, education, and city between the two cities and boosts the values of two-way cooperation.</p>


The Medellin-Barcelona Chair project has the mission of establishing a stable and ongoing cooperation relationship between Medellin and Barcelona’s civil societies to carry out knowledge transfers, exchanges, and generation between their citizens, companies, organizations, and institutions in the fields of culture, education, and city. The Chair’s Initiative is part of a new vision of development cooperation based on the leadership of cities, the prime role of civil society, and a commitment to the quality and development of governance that values creativity and innovation.

The Chair was founded in 2009 and is jointly presided by the former mayors Pasqual Maragall and Sergio Fajardo. The board of directors comprises Gabriel Jaime Arango, Beth Galí, Alfons Martinell, Ferran Mascarell, Juan Luis Mejía, and Jorge Melguizo. More than 20 institutions form the two cities take part in its management and the Initiative has the support and involvement of Barcelona City Council and the Medellin Office of the Mayor.

Its activities are presently articulated in seven programs: music schools, libraries, education, urban planning, creativity and innovation, museums, and across-the-the-board management of knowledge and communication.


The Chair’s activities respond to the following principles: social, human, institutional, and democratic capacity-building; to promote spaces and contribute to open and collaborative innovation environments based on meeting and hybridization and to apply a cross-cutting culture of cooperation between organizations, businesses, universities, and institutions.

The project’s main goal is to build on cooperation between Medellin and Barcelona via knowledge transfers in culture, education, and city and to raise public awareness about the principles and values of two-way cooperation.

The project specifically aims to:

  • Transfer specialized technical knowledge on the management and organization of activities and institutions relating to programs involving: music schools, libraries, education, urban planning, creativity and innovations, museums, and across-the-board management of knowledge and communication.
  • Raise public awareness in Medellin and Barcelona regarding the principles and values of two-way cooperation.
  • Promote the Chair as a laboratory project and model of cooperation that can be transferred to other cities.
  • Foster the participation of new social agents and particularly the general public.
  • Develop new types, instruments, and forms of action in the management of two-way cooperation.

The beneficiaries of the Chair’s project in the seven exchange programs are:

  • the people who work in the institutions involved and the collaborating institutions that take part in the different activities (seminars, workshops, conferences…)
  • the institutions and collaborating organizations themselves and their staff members.
  • other professionals who do not belong to the management institutions but which have links with the programs.
  • the students and users of the respective networks of music schools, libraries, and centers of education.
  • the students’ families, a key issue in the music schools and education programs.
  • members of the public interested in taking part in the activities.
  • members of the public who are ‘Friends’ of the Chair.

With respect to the knowledge and communication management program, the beneficiaries are:

  • the people and civil societies of Medellin and Barcelona
  • interested professionals and members of the public from other cities in Latin America and Spain.
  • members of the public, professionals and civil societies of Metropolis member cities and others that consult the project via the Chair’s different communication and publicity activities.
  • Within the music schools program, carry out new projects similar to the exchange projects already done with regard to jazz, music for babies, string and wind instruments, group learning, Catalan and Colombian popular music, etc. Expand the program with the participation of the Taller de Músicos Foundation.
  • Within the libraries program, provide continuity to the activities initiated in statistics, the promotion of reading, the Medellin-Barcelona International Reading Club…in Barcelona, promote the Literary Games project between the Libraries Consortium, Casa América Catalunya, and the Kreanta Foundation.
  • Within the education program, provide continuity to the activities initiated in 2011, pressing on with the exchange of methodologies and education initiatives for the public which are being successfully carried out in the two cities.
  • The urban planning program, following the 2011 exchange, will focus on the issue of housing and public space. Medellin will host the European Urban Public Space Awards exhibition promoted by the Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture.

Two new programs will begin in 2012: creativity and innovation, and museums.

With respect to the knowledge and communication management program, we expect to carry out different activities to systemize the activities already done, and the Chair’s communication and publicity activities. With this cross-cutting program we will carry out our vocation of acting as a laboratory for other cities to develop a new model of two-way cooperation based on equality of conditions and a form of direct cooperation from the social initiative itself, with its human and technical resources and its own material.

  • With regard to the creativity and innovation program, we will work on fostering the participation of professionals in these fields, with special attention on the creative industries sector in a training and exchange program that will involve different institutions in each city. In the case of Barcelona it will be the Hangar Foundation and in the case of Medellin, the Moravia Cultural Center.
  • The museum program will be promoted through the incorporation into the Chair of the Museum of Antioquia. The shared agenda with the Barcelona museums and the other Medellin museums will be established in 2012.

During 2012 we will continue with the activities in the music schools, libraries, education, and urban planning programs that have been under way since 2009 and:

  • Initiate two new programs: creativity and innovation, and museums.
  • Expand the knowledge and communication management program, where we anticipate carrying out different activities to systemize the activities already done, as well as the Chair’s communication and publicity activities.
Next Activities
When Where Title Description
Sunday 13 April 2014 San José (Costa Rica) Workshop “Culturas Vivas Comunitarias: municipalidades y desarrollo territorial

The experiences of the Municipality of Lima, the Caravans of Living Cultures Community in Costa Rica, the Government of the Autonomous Decentralized Riobamba and Implementation of Community Living Culture program in the slums (favelas) of Buenos Aires will be presented.

VI Iberoamerican Congress on Culture of Costa Rica Program [esp]

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Based on the solid experience in knowledge transfer, exchange, and generation developed by the cities and civil societies of Medellin and Barcelona in the fields of culture, education, and city, we wish to expand this know-how to other Metropolis member cities.

The idea is to foster a new model of cooperation between cities and get many agents and collaborators involved so they can take a new approach to their work and benefit from their close involvement.

By participating in this Initiative, Metropolis members will be able to access information such as:

  • The bimonthly newsletter. This will promote the Chair’s work among Metropolis members.
  • The Chair’s program experiences, studies, and reports.
  • The audiovisual material of the Chair’s work to access the content of the conferences and activities developed.
  • The majority of the Chair’s public events, via streaming.

The Chair has a clear vocation of sharing and transferring its knowledge with Metropolis members and conveying its availability for shared work agreements.