The Malta Crafts Foundation hosted the World Crafts Council Europe (WCCE) General Assembly and Annual Conference between July 4th and 6th – the first time these events were held in Malta, with around 40 delegates from all over Europe taking part, and more joining for the sessions online.

The first day of the General Assembly kicked off with a variety of presentations on the Council’s work in the past year, the proposals by candidates to host the General Assembly in 2024, and new member introductions, along with a fruitful discussion on the artisan sector and the actions that can be taken for the benefit of the entire sector.

It also comprised the election of the new WCCE Board of Directors, with Malta Crafts Foundation CEO Elton Micallef being elected to the new Board – the first time that Malta is being represented!

The second day continued with the launching of the new WCCE Strategy for the coming years to sustain the artisan sector, followed by working groups that discussed means how its main pillars could be translated into concrete actions.

Later in the afternoon, delegates were also given a guided tour of the St John’s Co-Cathedral, an experience that testifies the richness of the artisan sector in Malta throughout our history. The highlight of the day’s activities, however, was the formal dinner in the evening – an opportunity for networking between local stakeholders who are connected to the artisan sector and the WCCE delegates.

The WCCE programme came to an end on the third day with the Annual Conference, which besides the WCCE delegates also saw the participation of local artisans. The day’s intriguing and insightful sessions included an introduction by Manuela Prina, Head of the Skills Identification and Development Unit at the European Training Foundation (ETF); followed by speakers having expertise in different area: Gloria Bonet, teacher and short cycles coordinator at Escolo Massana, focused on core craft skills and creativity; Prof. Stefano Micelli, from Ca’ Foscari University and Upskill 4.0 President, spoke about digitalisation and technology; while Dr Rob Phillips, from the Royal College of Art and Ecological Citizens Project, delved into sustainability and ecology.

The presentations were followed by a round table that offered the opportunity for an active discussion that provided valuable take-home points to all participants.