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Think-tank‘s activities are focused on knowledge development and capacity building in local, regional and international environment. Thematic focus is in the area of creative placemaking and destination development in rural context, and the further impact such cultural interventions have beyond traditional socio-economic parameters.

Integration of artistic residence within research context will enable experimentation and provide optimal research environment. The innovative integration will furthermore enable development of knowledge in local context that is relevant on broader research and policy level internationally.

Activities of think-tank:

  • Expert panel discussions on topic of creative placemaking, rural sustainable development (in collaboration with international advisory board)

  • International research projects with focus on Hiša Podlog and broader Kozjansko region

  • Regional, national and international dissemination and awareness building on the importance of research finding and competencies developed

Hisa Podlog Think Tank
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Sentjur Tour

Watch online
– From the tradition of Ipavec to the world (Slovenian)


International Advisory Board


Cristina Da Milano

Cristina da Milano is president of ECCOM (European Centre for Cultural Organisation and Management), an organisation founded in 1995 which carries out research projects at a national and international level on the issue of the social role of culture and of the impact of lifelong learning processes within the cultural sector. Da Milano has been involved in several EU funded projects and studies, with specific reference to cultural access and participation, audience development and the social role of culture in contemporary society.

She is a former member of the board of directors and vice-president of Culture Action Europe; member of the board of directors of Teatro di Roma, and member of the Commission for the National Museum System of the Italian Ministry for Culture.


Dr. Olga Kolokytha

Dr. Olga Kolokytha (Department of Communication, University of Vienna) holds a PhD in Cultural Institutions Studies (Kulturbetriebslehre) awarded with Distinction by the University of Music and the Performing Arts Vienna. In 2006 she was ranked 7th in Europe for the Cultural Policy Research Award, awarded by the European Cultural Foundation and the Bank of Sweden. In 2018 she was among the key experts invited by the European Commission to the consultation on the future of the European Agenda for Culture. Her research interests are in the area of cultural and creative industries and include, but are not limited to, cultural institutions (tangible and intangible), cultural policy at regional, national and supranational level, creative industries in times of crisis, and cultural diplomacy. She is the lead researcher for the University of Vienna at the Horizon2020 project CICERONE researching cultural and creative industries in Europe (project leaders: University of Amsterdam). 

Dr. Kolokytha has taught at university level (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greek Open University, University of Vienna) and worked extensively as cultural projects manager and consultant around Europe, including for the European Opera Center, Hellenic Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.


Licia Calvi

Dr. Licia Calvi is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Breda University in the Netherlands. Her research is focussed on museum experience design and the use of digital storytelling for cultural heritage. She has been experimenting with various technology (VR and AR, mixed media) and applied the notion of performance to inform the design of interactions in public and semi-public settings, like museums. Projects she has recently worked on include the “Becoming Vincent” project and Van Gogh Oculus Rift project for the Van Gogh celebration in 2015, the World War II heritage sites project for Brabant Remembers and the Creative Europe project Traces, on helping museums reach out to new audiences through storytelling and technology. Some of her work on museum experience design has in 2018 appeared in a curated book that she has co-edited for the Springer series in Cultural Computing. Currently, she is involved in the Horizon 2020 project ‘SmartCulTour’.

 Gregor Deleja

Gregor Deleja

Gregor Deleja is a music pedagogue, choirmaster, cultural organizer and director of Gimnazija Celje – Center. In addition to teaching (professor of music and piano) and directing at Gimnazija Celje – Center, he is also recognized in Celje and Slovenia for his extensive cultural and organizational work as a project manager and founder of the Celje House of Culture and the Celje Art Lovers’ Association. Along with his education, his professional career is also strongly connected with tourism and travel – from his student years, when he found himself in the role of a tourist guide, to his first job, as from 2002 to 2008 he was employed as a salesman at the Orel Tourist Agency. in Celje, since 2004 he has combined employment with school work at Gimnazija Celje – Center.

He is also a pianist and singer, composer and artistic director of Oktet 9, FaVoZa and Gamma. For many years he was also the vice-president of the board of the Lucijan Marija Škerjanc Foundation, where he took care of music editions, he is a founding member of the Rotary Club Celje – Barbara Celjska. He was also a member of the Culture Committee of the Slovenian-German Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Slovenian Program Council of the Forum of Slavic Cultures. He is also a member of the Council of the MEPI (Duke of Edinburg International Award), a member of expert groups for the renewal of the art high school – art department and for working with talented students working within the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Education, a member of the board of the Association home of Slovenia, president of the Association of Vocational Gymnasiums, member of the board of the Women’s Basketball Club Cinkarna Celje and director of the Confucius Classroom Celje.

 Dr. Lucija Kolar

Dr. Lucija Kolar

Dr. Lucija Kolar holds a PhD in ecotoxicology. During her postgraduate studies, she was a visiting student at Vrije University in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, under the mentorship of one of the most prominent European ecotoxicologists, prof. dr. Keesa van Gestla. She wrote and defended her doctoral dissertation in English and received her doctorate on the basis of five original scientific articles, as the first at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ljubljana. She received the Krka National Award for her doctoral dissertation. As a visionary, Kolar began in-depth research into the consequences of the use of veterinary drugs in the environment after animals excrete them there. She emphasized the importance of the impact of excrement on non-target organisms living in soil and water, and wrote numerous scientific articles on it, which to date have more than 180 citations. Later, she progressed from a strictly research path to the founder of the private institute Complementarium – where she synergistically develops new business models for the general public with her academic knowledge in the field of research. As an organizer or guest lecturer, she is involved in many campaigns in the field of environmental awareness. She is a mentor to many undergraduate and postgraduate students, most of whom are excellent defenders of their work and then publish the results in the form of articles.


Matic Gajšek

Matic Gajšek is a cultural manager and researcher working abroad, with a focus on the field of business development of strategic projects, intertwining culture and innovation, cultural diplomacy and audience development. His wide range of experience includes working with international orchestras (European Union Youth Orchestra), agencies (HarrisonParrott), festivals (Grafenegg Festival, Ljubljana Festival) and artists (Eldbjorg Hemsing, Tan Dun, Rune Bergmann, etc.). Since 2018, he has been the director of the Hestia Arts (NO) art studio. In 2021, he joined the Brussels think-tank Europe – Asia Center as Deputy Director. Matic also teaches at Breda University of Applied Sciences (NL) and as a doctoral researcher at Tilburg University (NL) researches the topic of “creative destination creation”.

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