(Un)common Ground

Supporting art since 1991

Art and Business Connected for Perfecting the New World

Online Conference

(Un)common Ground is the first art branding conference in the world. The event was born from the conviction, supported by experience, that art opens almost unlimited possibilities for brands in terms of communication, strategy, aesthetics, design or development. Therefore, we have created a space to discuss the future of the relationship between art and business.


For whom?

The conference is designed for those involved in communications, HR, creative/artistic direction, brand development management or strategy. We have equally addressed it to artists, designers, cultural managers and curators.


We will attempt to illustrate not only the ways in which art can build potential, values, involvement and community around a brand, but also how business can wisely support its development. Invited guests from the art world, marketing and management sectors integrate avant-garde thinking with a penetrating view of contemporary communication. Both from the brands' perspective and from the point of view of independent creatives.


The conference is an international event and will be held in Polish. In the case of speeches in English, simultaneous interpreting will be available.

The participants will be able to watch the entire conference online as live stream.

During the conference, there will be four thematic blocks, each of them lasting 2.5 hours.

Each issue is presented by two panellists and elaborated during an hour-long discussion with our guests, who will present their point of view on a given matter as part of a moderated discussion.


The most significant challenge for modern organisations today is to build a community. A durable, stable community based on shared values in the evolving world. Culture and art are the primary media of values, and art branding is one of the most interesting and most effective strategies of building identify based on stable values. Can culture permanently change the way in which an organisation functions? What can we gain from a humanistic view on the organisation and its management?

  • 9.40 – 10.20 a.m.

    Vadim Grigoryan

  • 10.20 – 11.00 a.m.

    Igor Gałązkiewicz

  • 11.05 a.m. – 12.05 p.m.

    debate with invited guests:
    Kamila Bondar (ING Polish Art Foundation), Igor Bloch (Raffles Europejski Warsaw), Aleksandra Krasny (White & Case)
    moderated by: Bogna Świątkowska

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A strategy which precisely communicates the brand identity is an instrument for building sustainable relationships with the audience. A given strategy will be effective if a common language is developed based on clearly specified objectives. Why will art and culture play strategic roles in building modern organisations that matter? How to create art branding projects that integrate the real world and virtual reality? How to avoid artistic marriages which are a mirage? And can the artistic dimension of a brand be measured?

  • 12.05  – 12.35 p.m.

    Giovanni Schiuma

  • 12.35 – 1.05 p.m.

    Ann Hindry

  • 1.05 – 2.05 p.m.

    debate with invited guests:
    Dorota Roesler (DWF Poland), Ewa Łabno-Falęcka, PhD (Mercedes-Benz Polska), Anna Zimecka (SAR)
    moderated by: Magda Bulera

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A modern organisation must be a creator. A creator of market trends and the needs of its audience. Products are becoming part of pop culture, image is becoming a lifestyle and the cultural capital of a brand is the foundation of audience engagement. Can art stop the process of unique brands, products and services becoming commonplace? How can it help brands to open prospects anew or expand the ones they have already developed? And why is art branding more than just decoration?

  • 2.15 – 2.45 p.m.

    Newonce (Mih Michalski & Piotr Kędzierski)

  • 2.45 – 3.15 p.m.

    Andrea Rurale

  • 3.15 – 4.15 p.m.

    debate with invited guests:
    Wojtek Sokół – artist, Wojtek Wieteska – artist, Jacek Sosnowski – curator (Propaganda Gallery)
    moderated by: Rafał Grobel

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A panel summarising all issues discussed during the conference. Based on experience of STU ERGO Hestia and actions taken by the company in numerous areas, we will present effective ways of operating in the context of international trends.

  • 4.45 – 5.15 p.m.

    Reality of the future – ERGO Hestia (Magdalena Kąkolewska and Igor Gałązkiewicz)

  • 5.15 – 6.15 p.m.

    debate with invited guests:

    Vadim Grigoryan, Igor Gałązkiewicz, Giovanni Schiuma, Ann Hindry, Mih Michalski, Piotr Kędzierski, Andrea Rurale

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Igor Gałązkiewicz


Branding strategy analyst and consultant, expert in fostering brands’ strong identity and designing customer experience. Operates at the touchpoint of marketing, arts and design. Currently, also a Chief Marketing Officer at Anegre and Creative Director at Plato. Published the Art Branding and Designing Experience. For several years in charge of sponsoring, communication and custom projects at the Grand Theatre-National Opera in Warsaw. Creative spirit and curator of OperaLab project, and many displays of architecture and design.

Vadim Grigoryan


Partner and marketing director at LUNU, founder of Spirit + Spirit. Former creative director at Pernod Ricard. He has written articles published by INSEAD and regularly lectures at INSEAD, ESSEC and the Sorbonne. Consultant to brands and institutions on art direction and creative strategy. Among his clients were Elit, Mugler, Hugo Boss and Art Basel.

Ann Hindry


Born 1950 in Vevey, Switzerland. Art historian, critic and art curator. Studied political science and art history in France and USA. Worked as a critic in New York in the 1980s. Translator of Clement Greenberg’s magnum opus: „Art and Culture”, editor-in-chief of Artstudio magazine, Paris (1990-1996). From 1996 Director of the Renault Art Collection. Author of books  and articles, such as: „Renault et l’art” (2000), „Renault la collection. De Doisneau à Dubuffet” (2009), „L’art est dans la ville” (2012). Lecturer in modern and contemporary art collection. Ann Hindry is an officer in the order of „Arts and Letters” of the French Republic.

Magdalena Kąkolewska


President of the the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation, Art Branding Director in STU ERGO Hestia SA. Graduate of law and art history, educator and lecturer. In 2013-19 Magdalena and the Foundation Team organised 49 exhibitions of young artists’ works. In her activities she promotes the concept of the art-based education in business environment and supports young talents entering the arts world.

Andrea Rurale


Lecturer at the Marketing Department of Bocconi University. His research activity focuses on cultural marketing, consumer behaviour, empirical marketing and marketing communication. He collaborates with many international universities such as Simon Fraser (Canada), Tinsgua University (China), SMU (USA), UTS (Australia) and Universidad de Aguascalientes (Mexico). He is regional president of FAI Lombardia (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) and president of the Monteverdi Conservatory in Cremona.

Giovanni Schiuma


A high-profile international researcher and consultant, recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in the field of organisations development and innovation. Director of CLabUnibas (Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development) and Professor of Innovation Management at the University of Basilicata. He is the author of over 100 scientific publications, including “The Value of Arts for Business”. Chairman of the International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics.

Igor Bloch


Art historian, graduate of the Courtauld Institue of Art, specialising in the Polish post-war and modern art. Since May 2018, he manages the Art Collection of the Hotel Europejski, one of the most interesting private collections, and develops the Art Concierge programme devoted to the guests of Raffles Europejski Warsaw.

Kamila Bondar


President of the ING Polish Art Foundation and curator of her collection. Culture manager, editor of art books, like „Art in our age” and „Snowman in the fridge”, collaborator of the Raster gallery (2008–2015) and Lado ABC label (2011–2013). Producer of the international art festivals Villa Reykjavík, Villa Tokyo and Villa Toronto. Previously associated with Reuters (2001-2007) and BNP Paribas (2007-2014). A graduate of the Warsaw School of Economics and CEMS (Community of European Management Schools).

Magda Bulera


Art & Business Consultant with unique international experience in creating strategies for luxury brands, as well as developing and managing projects connecting business with the art world. In this capacity Magda has worked with some of the most iconic brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Hennessy and Raffles. Magda has also collaborated on numerous projects with LETO Gallery, one of the major players on the Polish contemporary art scene, Warsaw Gallery Weekend – as Head of Professional Program and Not Fair Contemporary Art Fair – being responsible for VIP relations and brand partnerships. Speaker and teacher at SGH Warsaw School of Economics, University of Warsaw and VIAMODA University in Warsaw.

Rafał Grobel


For over 10 years has been combining conventional marketing with new technologies and expertise in music projects. His professional path has taken him from providing marketing services to major FMCG brands, such as Tyskie, Żywiec, Pilsner Urquell and President, to running branding projects and organising events, conferences and exhibitions for public institutions such as NATO, the National Bank of Poland, the Copernicus Science Centre, the National Museum, the City of Poznań, Stary Browar and commercial institutions such as Ghelamco, HB Reavis, EY, Santander. He has also been involved in the production and marketing communication of the largest popular music projects in recent years, including Dawid Podsiadło and Taco Hemingway’s concert at the National Stadium, and the albums “Małomiasteczkowy” by Dawid Podsiadło, “Wojtek Sokół” by the rapper Sokół, and most recently Margaret’s “Maggie Vision”. Winner of 30 awards from the Klub Twórców Reklamy [Advertising Creators Club] and several music industry awards, including Gazeta Wyborcza’s Wdechy, for event of the year.

Aleksandra Krasny


A graduate of cultural studies at the Institute of Polish Culture of the University of Warsaw and postgraduate studies in interior design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź. She has been involved in art and design for nearly 15 years. For years she has collaborated with the Propaganda gallery; she also co-created the Polish Golden Eagles Advertising Festival and Design Fair „Wzory”. From 2016, she dealt with public relations for the interior design industry, specializing in servicing luxury brands. Currently, she focuses on investment advice in the field of art for individual and corporate clients and the implementation of art branding projects.

Ewa Łabno-Falęcka


Since 2000 in charge of communication and external affairs at Daimler AG Group in Poland (mainly Mercedes-Benz Polska and Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Poland). Acknowledged by the industry on numerous occasions, is the awarded winner of the ‘Golden Arrow’, ‘PRoton’, ‘Thinking Outside-of-the Box’ (twice); nominated for European Excellence Award (twice); ‘Businesswoman of the Year’. A member of Superbrands Council and Women's Congress's programme council. Co-Founder and the first chair person of the NGO Global Road Safety Partnership (2006-2010) and the chair person of the Society of Friends to MoMA in Warsaw (2008-2012). Awarded with the honorary distinction for the "Merit to the Transport of the Republic of Poland" (2014) by the Minister of Infrastructure in Poland and the Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstkreuz am Bande der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) (2019).

Newonce / Mih Michalski


Co-founder and CEO of newonce.media, a creative media group reaching over a million users per month, who are interested in pop culture, fashion, sports and technology. Film Studies graduate, media/new media enthusiast. He has a keen interest in trends in media reception as well as leadership roles in contemporary and technologically advanced organisations. In his spare time he enjoys books, films, music and raising his 4-year-old son.

Newonce / Piotr Kędzierski


Co-founder and creative director of the newonce.radio station, and also co-host of the programme “Rozmowy: [Conversations]: Wojewódzki&Kędzierski” and “Bolesne Poranki” [Painful mornings]. He has been involved in the radio and television market for over 20 years. He began his career in 4fun.tv television. He has collaborated with, among others, Onet, TVN, Agora Radio Group and Polskie Radio. He is the author of cult radio shows, a DJ, a fan of electronic music, and even the author of a series about his own life and a designer of streetwear fashion. His life motto is: “Teaching through entertainment, entertaining through teaching”.

Dorota Roesler


Head of Business Development and Marketing at DWF in Poland, responsible for marketing strategies, business development, reputation building and communication. She takes care of the corporate art collection at DWF Poland. Art enthusiast and art branding expert. She created and runs her own project DUETY, which is a platform connecting art and business, addressing the issue of aging in the art world, whose primary goal is to present exceptional mature artists and artists of the younger generation to the business community by juxtaposing their artworks.

Wojtek Sokół


Is one of the most famous artists in Poland. In 20 years of his career, his albums have achieved the status of Platinum and Gold many times. In 1999, he started building the Prosto brand, under which the Prosto Label music publishing house has been operating since 2001, and since 2003, the Prosto Wear clothing brand, of which he was the artistic and creative director. Today Wojtek Sokół is a co-owner of Prosto sp z o.o. and sits on its supervisory board. He founded the independent literary publishing house Wydałem, is a partner of the creative agency Extra Ball, and a shareholder and member of the supervisory board of the company creating computer games True Games


Jacek Sosnowski


Curator, managing the Propaganda Gallery, organizer of the Warsaw Gallery Weekend. He has implemented a number of pioneering art branding projects for comanies such as Dom Development, Sawa Park, NYX, Świat Książki and others.

Bogna Świątkowska


Founder and president of the Bęc Zmiana Foundation, with whom she has implemented dozens of projects devoted to public space, architecture and design, as well as competitions addressed to architects and designers of the young generation. Initiator and editor-in-chief of the magazine "Notes na 6 tygodni".

Wojtek Wieteska


Visual artist and lecturer with 20 years of experience. From 2021, he is associate with the School of Form (SWPS in Warsaw). He studied at the Faculty of Cinematography and TV Production at the Polish National Film School in Łódź, as well as art history at the University of Warsaw and the Sorbonne IV University in Paris. In 2015, he defended his doctorate in the field of visual arts, specialization: photography. His works have been exhibited at: Manggha Center of Japanese Art and Technology (Cracow), Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw), Yours Gallery (Warsaw), Atlas Sztuki Gallery (Lodz), Warsaw Uprising Museum, Leica 6x7 Gallery Warsaw.


  • UCG package

    • Online access to all panels
    • 30-day access to recordings from all speeches and discussion panels]
    • Newsletter containing: a description of one case study, a list of recommended books and online resources as well as answers to questions asked by conference participants
    • Online access to an expert lecture:  First steps. Analysis of needs and cooperation paths. 24 September 2021
    • “Art Branding 2”, a new publication by Igor Gałązkiewicz
    Price: 1,000 PLN Buy ticket

    • day online access to one selected panel and  debate “Reality of the future”
    • access to the recording of the purchased panel for 30 day after conference
    • Newsletter containing a list of recommended books and online resources in the field of art branding
    Price: 400 PLN Buy ticket
  • Ticket for CULTURE

    • Online access to all panels without the ability to listen to them at a later time
    • Offer only for cultural institutions which register conference participants by name
    • Each institution may register any number of participants by buying 1 ticket for each person
    • Requirements: Full name of the institution, Address, Email address, NIP (Tax Identification Number)
    • Details of the person being registered: full name, position (school student, university student, artist, employee), email address
    Price: 100 PLN Ask for a ticket


ERGO Hestia – Patron of Art and Culture

Since the very beginning of its operations on the insurance market, i.e. for 30 years, the ERGO Hestia Group has assumed the role of a patron of artists and their activities in many fields: theatre, music, painting, sculpture, literature or the visual arts. At the heart of this commitment was the conviction that contact with art is always enriching and the best platform for understanding and communication, and that artists – regardless of the times in which they create – always need sympathetic patrons and support. Insurance, like art, is a form of dialogue with the surrounding reality and the dangers inherent in it. Therefore, the partnership of an insurance company – which is an institution of public trust – with art is a natural consequence of a philosophy of living, in which the concept of corporate social responsibility is accompanied by real action. 

An example of such activity is the Hestia Artistic Journey competition, which every year awards scholarships, artistic residencies, exhibitions and invitations for direct cooperation to the most interesting artists of the younger generation – students of the final two years at Polish universities and art faculties. The competition is organised by the APH Foundation, specially appointed by the President of ERGO Hestia, Piotr M. Śliwicki, which also hosts its own gallery – the Pavilion of Art in Warsaw. Working closely with, among others, the Museum of Modern Art, the Shakespeare Theatre, the National Museum, the “Paszporty Polityki” [Passports of Polityka] and by sponsoring (for 21 years now!) the Józef Tischner Znak and Hestia Award or establishing a new Hestia Literary Journey competition, the Sopot-based insurer has been blazing new trails in Polish art branding for a long time, becoming a forerunner of many artistic initiatives and ideas and an eagerly followed model for others in terms of a modern approach to art, culture and artists. 

Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation (Fundacja Artystyczna Podróż Hestii)

The dialogue between the worlds of art and business creates a vast field of relationships, dependencies and mutual benefits. The Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation keeps a close eye on this inspiring relationship and successfully points out the directions for such collaboration, creating new creative tools in the Polish context. 

The art branding approach to the challenges faced by contemporary institutions and organisations enables the APH Foundation to build a platform for innovative exchange in which all creatively engaged actors find their place. The synergy between the various fields of culture and art and the business know-how offers practical opportunities in communication and analytical activities. In this manner, the art branding flow of competences has a direct bearing on the image, social and economic effects.

Acting on behalf of one of the largest Polish insurers – ERGO Hestia, the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation dynamically develops its programme of culture and art patronage. By organising a long-standing visual competition for students studying at art faculties and departments of all the higher educational institutions in Poland, the APH Foundation brings contemporary art closer to a wide audience. Since 2021, Hestia has also been running the Hestia Literary Journey competition for authors of classic literary forms, published in Poland, created in the Polish language and aimed at a young target audience.

The works of the winners and finalists of the various editions of the APH competition are on display at the Warsaw ERGO Hestia Art Pavilion at 1 Kostrzewskiego Street. It is also an experimental, educational and publishing space that runs art branding projects and takes advantage of the opportunities offered by combining different art disciplines.