More than 85 artists across 10 venues, including the Guggenheim Bilbao, will bring exhibits, newly commissioned works and a vibrant performing arts program open to Bilbao residents

BILBAO – BISCAY, SPAIN (May 26, 2022) The Wellbeing Project presents its inaugural Wellbeing Summit for Social Change from 1 to 3 June 2022: a global event bringing together social change, governmental, arts and business leaders working at the intersection of individual and collective wellbeing. The three-day summit will consist of ground-breaking talks, conversations and panel discussions highlighting the connections between individual, organisational and societal wellbeing. BBVA supports the inaugural wellbeing summit for social change in Bilbao-Biscay.

BBVA joins the event as a leading supporter allowing the summit to bring social change leaders and artists from more than 60 countries and five continents to the region and experience the local culture. Because of this partnership, attendees as well as the citizens of Bilbao-Biscay and surrounding communities will have access to an extensive array of exhibits, newly commissioned works of art and vibrant performing arts. The full list of over 85 artists that will have their work on display can be found here

BBVA is creating its own exhibit entitled “Art and Spirituality. Imagining the Extraordinary,” curated by Alfonso de la Torre. The show brings together a carefully selected group of works from the historical and contemporary holdings in the BBVA Collection in Spain. Arranged in four different chapters, around forty classic and modern artworks are seamlessly displayed alongside one another, acknowledging the wealth and diversity of the BBVA Collection in a variety of media and techniques: painting, sculpture, photography and installation as well as videos on loan courtesy of other collections. .The show wishes to highlight the influence that spirituality, understood as a universal phenomenon, has exerted on art creation throughout time and in addition the impact of both Art and Spirituality in human wellbeing. It will be open to the public from 31 March to 5 June 2022.

Moreover, BBVA will be offering several activities around the show in the Palacio de San Nicolás: a unique musical ecosystem performed by the string quartet Brooklyn Rider; Birdheart a chamber piece of animated theatre which speaks about man’s relationship to the world; an encounter with Bach by cellist Maciej Kulakowsk  followed by a mindfulness creative lab with Corinna da Fonseca; projection of Mar Soli’s performance as well as guided tours in English to the exhibition “Art and Spirituality. Imagining the extraordinary.

In addition to their own collection, BBVA’s support will allow the Bilbao community to celebrate local artists as well. Acclaimed artist who lives and works in Bilbao – Biscay, June Crespo will have her “CORE22” work open to the public from 20 of May to 15 2022 of June at Museo de Bellas Artes. Crespo will also produce three, new, related works to be placed in a public space. Another artist, Alicia Framis, originally from Barcelona, Spain, will have her work “Taking flight” open to the public at Bizkaia Aretoa – Axular from 31 May to 3 June 2022. 

“We are thankful to have thoughtful partners like BBVA to help expand the footprint of wellbeing during our summit,” said Sandrine Woitrin and Aaron Pereira, Project Co-Leads of The Wellbeing Project. “Their exhibit, along with the dozens of other pieces, will allow participants and residents alike to experience the outcome of centering wellbeing in all aspects of society for improved outcomes.” 

“For BBVA, promoting culture and art in Bilbao is part of our commitment to this city. Both elements are essential to address the challenges of the future and position Bilbao as a capital of reference,” said Carlos Gorría, director of BBVA’s Northern Territory in Spain.

The Wellbeing Summit chose the location of Bilbao, Biscay because it is an international hub for art and culture. It is a place in the process of deepening its transformation by focusing on a Charter of Values that centres on improving the wellbeing of its citizens and the Sustainable Development Goals. BBVA and summit organisers hope to give participants and residents of Bilbao the opportunity to take an interactive journey exploring what social change can look like when municipal leaders are guided by wellbeing principles. 

“Bilbao is pleased to host this first edition of the Wellbeing Summit for Social Change, which, I am sure, will help to set the road map for this new revolution in the making,” said Juan Mari Aburto, Mayor of Bilbao. “Over the years, Bilbao has been committed to a model of urban and human development that guarantees the possibility of realizing full and dignified life projects for all the people who live and work in this city. Our commitment to human wellbeing has become an international model that will help us to build hope for the future.”

The participants of this event will attend largely by invitation to ensure a diverse, representative, and pluralistic community of attendees. This will be the first of two global summits The Wellbeing Project will convene with the second to be announced for 2024. 

Following the in-person summit, there will be virtual elements available to the public hosted by Parker J. Palmer, Author, Educator and Activist; Founder and Senior Partner Emeritus of the Center for Courage and Renewal (USA) and Sharon Salzberg, NY Times Bestselling Author and Meditation Teacher (USA)


The Wellbeing Project

The Wellbeing Project is a global initiative focused on catalysing a culture of inner wellbeing for all changemakers and structured in four pillars – model programs; research and evaluation; learning, convening, and enabling; and storytelling and connecting. The organisation is inspired by love, care, and compassion for all the people who work to build a better world, as well as to support the many causes and movements for which we all work. The Wellbeing Project is co-created with Ashoka, Georgetown University, Impact Hub, Porticus, the Skoll Foundation, and the Synergos Institute.

Partners include: BBVA; Bizkaia – Government of Biscay; BMW; City of Bilbao; Latham & Watkins; Azkuna Zentroa; Canadian Embassy of Madrid; Community Arts Network; Draiflessen Collection; Fundación Universidad-Empresa; Greater Good Science Center; Guggenheim Bilbao; India Development Review; JCDecaux; MIT Media Labs; Museo De Bellas Artes de Bilbao; Panta Rhea Foundation; Reinoo de los Países Bajos; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Schoepflin Foundation; Science Gallery; Steelcase; Stanford Social Innovation Review; Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary; The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global; The Rubin Museum of Art; Science Gallery; and Ursula Hauser Collection. 

Speakers include: Rajni Bakshi, Briggs Bomba, Mbarka Bouaida, Kate Byrne, Laura Calderon de la Barca, Aneel Chima, Chantharavady Choulamany, Gary Cohen, Andrea Coleman, Dr. Richard J. Davidson, Suparna Diwakar, Peggy Dulany, Mallika Dutt, Gabriela Gandel, Russ Gaskin, Rosemary Gathara, David Germano, Sennay Ghebreab, PhD, Jay Coen Gilbert, Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Ramsés Gómez, Edgard Gouveia Jr, Vanessa Haigh, Zarlasht Halaimzai, Reggie Hubbard, Lorea Bilbao Ibarra, Luzette Jaimes, Shruti Jayaraman, John Kania, Nadine Kaslow, PhD, ABPP, Dr. Barry Kerzin, Dr. Julia Kim, Dr. Sará King, Satish Kumar, Edwin Macharia, Juan Mari Aburto, Aikatarini Makrogamuraki, Katherine Milligan, Wanja Muguongo, Rukudzo Mwamuka, Kumi Naidoo, Haifa Najjar, Dr. Deepa Narayan, Wellington Nogueira, Clara Oyuela, Cristiane Ferraz Prade, Father Timothy Radcliffe, Monira Rahman, Imam Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, Rabbi David Rosen, Sharon Rosen, Zainab Salbi, Carolin Schmee, Jessamyn Shams-Lau, Laureline Simon, Vanee Surendranathan, Chris Underhill, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Justin Michael Williams, Louisa Zondo.

Artists and Arts Projects include: Grimanesa Amoros, Yazmany Arboleda, Loreto Aramendi, Miroslaw Balka, BBVA Art Collection, Birdheart, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Kenyatta Emmanuel, Brooklyn Rider, Janet Cardiff, Nikhil Chopra, June Crespo, Alicia Framis, Carlos Garaicoa, Aaron Huey, Eva Lee, Madalitso Band, Hope Masike, Emeline Michel, Mohau Modisakeng, Aakash Odedra, David Strathairn, Maciej Kulakowsk, Daan Roosegaarde, The Rubin Museum – Mandala Lab, Sonja Schenkel, Falu Shah, and Karyshma, Himali Singh Soin, Daniel Steegmann Mangrane, Science Gallery Bengaluru, Shirley Tse, Silkroad, Ursula Hauser Collection, Jazmine Williams, Gerald Wirth, Bishop Chantel Wright and Songs of Solomon, Vocalia Taldea, Thomas Cabaniss, Josu Elberdin, Zirkozaurre.