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Tandem Europe - Social Innovation represents one edition of the Tandem program family.

It is tailor-made for cultural initiatives that work on creative solutions that make social innovation possible throughout Europe.

Tandem Europe is a one-year long learning and doing program that allows cultural initiatives to kick-start long-term collaboration on a European level. It offers participants a working placement with a partner abroad and engages their organizations in a joint social innovation or strategic development project of their own choice.

Up to 26 cultural pioneers accumulate international know-how while realizing one of up to 13 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.

The program stimulates strategic thinking in organizational renewal processes, helps to create and sustain culturally innovative effects across sectors, disciplines and borders and explores creative and collaborative solutions for contemporary challenges in our societies.

The program builds on a strategic partnership between the Tandem core partners ECF (Netherlands) and MitOst (Germany), 4iS (Portugal), COMM’ON (Greece), Ideas Factory (Bulgaria) and foundations from Italy (Fondazione Cariplo), Greece (Stavros Niarchos Foundation) and Germany (Robert Bosch Stiftung).


The Tandem Approach to Social Innovation

Read more about the program, Tandem collaborations and Tandem programs


Tandem Europe III (2019-20) focus was on creative work that 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.

The call was addressed to civil society actors, private and public institutions and administration that work across a variety of urban or rural areas and local contexts all over Europe.

325 applications from 38 countries of the European Council

34 participating organizations from 22 countries 

13 Tandem collaborations & projects


Tandem Europe II (2017-18) focus was on culture and social innovation through cross-sector collaboration. The interest of this second round was in exploring the topics of commons, urban and rural regeneration.

The call was addressed to civil society actors as well as public institutions and administration that are not primarily working in the field of arts and culture but want to participate in a cross border learning collaboration that will work in the field of social innovation.

136 applications from 25 EU & Western Balkans countries

38 participating organizations from 16 countries 

12 Tandem collaborations & projects



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The Tandem Europe journey,
from 2015 to 2020

Find out more about the program

through participant’s stories,

collaborations and reflections

from the last five years.

Take a journey with us

all over Europe!

“Reflections from a Tandem Placement: Sanaz and Rasha’s story”

Rasha Shaaban (National Museum of World Culture, Göteborg) shares insights and what she learned from the first placement of her Tandem Europe partner Sanaz Amidi (Rosetta Arts Centre, London). Looks like this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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“What about the future?“

Branka Bajić from Theater Project Objective Drama - POD Theater in Belgrade brings us a story from her TE journey with Malou Lintmeijer from ZID Theater in Amsterdam.

 They share the importance of human connections and understanding in building projects and shaping a better future together.

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“Co-Creating a Rural Festival
on a Remote Island”

How limitations can create miracles when organising a festival in a remote island, and more on building impact within a rural community, in this essay from TE participants Catharina Sligting and Stella Spanou.

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“The End is a Real Beginning:
a Letter for Tandem”

Vasilena Radeva from Panic Button Theatre in Sofia, has written us a poignant letter to share her experience of being part of the second round of the program. Read her personal reflections on a busy year of being in Tandem, with all its ups and downs.

photo under copyright_COMM'ON/TandemEuro
“11 Little Things We Learned
from our TE journey”

Tandem Europe participants Sara Filippelli and Bistra Ivanova wrote a list, completely using "the honesty from the stomach" as they describe it themselves. We love this very personal perspective on their Tandem journey, full of beautiful emotions.

THE team



team 2017-2020

European Cultural Foundation (Netherlands):Philipp Dietachmair, Jenneken Aarssen

MitOst e.V. (Germany): Jotham Sietsma, Julian Bootz, Silvana Nagib, Anton Sienknecht, Hatem Hassan Salama, Sophia Meyer-Landrut

COMM'ON (Greece): Marou Chatzopoulou, Stelios Voulgaris

4iS (Portugal): Joao Pedro Rosa

Ideas Factory (Bulgaria): Yanina Taneva, Gergana Paraskova

Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany)

Fondazione Cariplo (Italy)

Stavros Niarchos Foundation(Greece)

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