This year the Forum will take place on November 12–14.
Forum organizers: Government of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Government of Saint Petersburg. The main theme of the Forum has been created in recognition of the leading role culture plays in the development of the entire civilization.
The civilization has been inextricably linked to culture. The society emerges as a result of groups of people developing common cultural values: it is these values that allow representatives of different nationalities and faiths to find points of contact in order to live in peace and develop together. This year's COVID-19 pandemic has put the current social interaction systems to a stringent test. The humankind was forced to review its values and go back to the true understanding of humanism. It was culture that formed the foundation that allowed all people who found themselves in a difficult situation to once again experience confidence in their future, gain hope and support. The best proof of that change is the high demand of cultural projects.
Year after year, the Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum brings to the forefront the themes of culture's unifying force, the paramount importance of cultural values and the importance of developing cross-cultural communication for public wellbeing. As the top international experts discuss modern trends and cultural processes, exchange their best practices and experiences, they also discuss the important problems of our civilization, search for active scenarios of cooperation and mutual enrichment of cultures, adopt important decisions in the area of cultural policy in different countries. For the ninth time, major workers of culture from across the globe, stars of drama and film, opera and ballet, members of the academic and business communities, leaders of cultural policy will come to the northern capital of Russia to take part in one of the largest discussion forums of the world.
The honorary title of Guest Country this year will be awarded to two countries: France and Azerbaijan. Germany will also be a special guest at the Forum this year. This recognition celebrates the importance of the Year of Germany in Russia in 2020–2021.
The VIII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum was held on November 14–16, 2019, and its theme was “Cultural Codes in the Context of Globalization”. A total of 40,358 people took part in the Forum in 2019, of those: 13,532 Professional Flow participants, 26,826 Public Flow participants.
The VIII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum was attended by filmmakers Nikita Mikhalkov, Fyodor Bondarchuk and Dmitry Astrakhan; conductor Valery Gergiev, pianist Denis Matsuev; violist and conductor Yuri Bashmet; theatre directors Theodoros Terzopoulos, Tadashi Suzuki, Valery Fokin, Konstantin Bogomolov, Eduard Boyakov; writers Dmitry Bykov and Pavel Basinsky; jazz stars Till Brönner and Igor Butman; directors of main museums of the country and the world: Mikhail Piotrovsky, Zelfira Tregulova, Vladimir Gusev, Eike Schmidt, media manager Alexey Venediktov, journalist and writer Mikhail Zygar. The Russian figure skater Ilya Averbukh acted not only as a speaker but also as director of the Gala Opening Ceremony of the Forum.