Violin virtuoso Miha Pogačnik (Po-gah-chnik) is a Cultural Entrepreneur, Social Artivist and Ambassador of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia. He is perhaps best known for using his violin in organic and disruptive ways to reposition the impact of the Arts in society and connect Disciplines, Cultures and Generations. At the crossroads of Economy, Politics and Culture he is founder of Ecoculture, NGO Gandin Foundation and IDRIART. With his initiative Terra Parzival in his homeland Slovenia he envisions a new prototype of society with Social Art at its core.
Miha debuted his career as a classical violinist after completing his studies in Germany and as a Fulbright US scholar. After playing extensive concert tours, he put his artistic gifts and genius at the service of something bigger than entertainment: he invented a new type of cultural festivals known as the IDRIART movement. Bold and a true visionary he travelled with his audiences in « caravans » and « flotillas » to European crisis areas shaking taboos, healing the wounds of war and culturally interacting with local communities. In the late 90’s, he founded Ecoculture and introduced his new process, the Miha Method, into the Business Innovation landscape and later in Politics. Trusting the integrity of classical masterpieces Miha treats them in completely new ways inducing co-creation and the Entrepreneurial spirit in organization development. His core vision is to awaken the artistic principle in every human being while addressing structural and systemic problems in society. An unparalleled influencer Miha tackles dilemmas regarding performance, motivation and inspiration. He is also Adjunct Professor of Arts and Leadership in IEDC Bled School of Management.
The core focus of Miha Pogačnik’s vision is to awaken the artistic principle in every human being. Not as a way of imagining a world only made of artists but rather building one where individuals are empowered to become their highest potential. Miha believes that by exporting the role of the Artist to anyone wanting to join is key to enabling them to operate from a space of « freehood » and deep motivation. For Miha, visionary thinking is not a private business but rather emerges from empowered, awakened individuals creating together. He is a strong advocate of a new movement where everything becomes art: from making strategic decisions, to relating with one another to what he calls « Social Art ». Sharing the very privileged role of being an Artist with non artists is precisely his domain of Artistry.
The expression of Art in our culture is limited and often reduced to aesthetics or consumed as exclusive entertainment. Today the role of Art in its many forms is to portray challenges, disturb or provoke intense emotions. For Miha Pogačnik, it is not enough to be simply penetrated by insight and obtain a clear, deep understanding of a complicated situation. It is acting on this insight that brings solutions. Miha emphasizes that the role of great Art is to enable us to successfully act on our insights. When Art is given the role of « finding meaning » by striving to go beyond man made limitations it unleashes true humanity in people. They go from just an idea to an inner experience and take action. Art then becomes an interdisciplinary and invaluable tool. Its new role is to free and inspire individuals to act with purpose from their deepest potential. The greatest analogy of why it is important for Miha to awaken the artistic principle in every human being is Nature. In Nature everything unfolds organically. According to J. W. Goethe’s Aesthetics, the Arts express the human creation completing natural processes on the next higher level. Great Art is simplified and transparent Nature therefore, a powerful tool for transformation. It helps us remember who we truly are, where we come from and where we are going.
Miha started the accordion at age 3 mistakingly playing melody with his left hand; this lead the music teachers to introduce him to play the violin, his lifelong passion.
Miha comes from an entrepreneurial family background; one of his ancestors was Franc Pogacnik « Naval », a famous tenor in Vienna and Berlin in early 20th century.
Miha has owned and played violins made by the most famous violin makers in the world: Vuillaume, Guarneri and Stradivari and contemporary genius Daniel Musek.
At 43, instead of roses he « got to perform in 43 Cathedrals all over Europe in 43 days » leading to his birthday.
For his 56th birthday Miha launched another self challenge in Slovenia performing « 56 Masterpieces ».
Miha’s disruptive method was born in the 70’s while teaching adults with developmental abilities how to listen; only honesty worked. Unable to trick them intellectually he crafted his phenomenology approach.
In 1992, at a time of social chaos, the « Cultural Caravan » social innovation was a Trans Siberian train full of Miha’s diverse peers and activists travelling together from Berlin to Ulanbataar/Mongolia all the way to Lhasa/Tibet interacting culturally with local communities, breaking taboos and connecting people.
In mid 80’s IDRIART festivals in Budapest and Prague contributed significantly to East Germans crossing the western Hungarian border thus leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
During the breakup of Yugoslavia Miha initiated the Adriatic « Flotilla of Peace » visiting refugees from Dubrovnik/Croatia to Piran/Slovenia, healing wounds of war with empathy and asking the « Parzival question ». The audience SWAM to his performance in the Blue Cave on island Bisevo/Croatia.
Miha performed inside the cave of the sacred Uluru Monolith in central Australia and 6 times in front of past Dalai Lama stupas in the Potala Palace, Lhasa/Tibet.
Miha smuggled his Guarneri inside the King’s Initiation Chamber in the Cheops Pyramid catalyzing forever the power of the « Resonance Platform » as the key to successfully spark any transformative action in the world.
Every time Miha opens his violin case to play he reminds himself of his mortality.
My deepest intention is to invite my fellow human beings into the space that opens for me when I play the violin. Listening to music as a concert or seeing my performance as pure entertainment is not what I want from you. My burning desire is to invite you to literally step inside the privileged world of the truly inspired performer. A bit like opening the door to a whole new universe, I methodically welcome you to join me while I play the masterpiece. I urge you to become present to every single part of my process. I know how to speak to your mind and capture your attention while skillfully working at opening up your heart. I want you to relate to art in the way I do and see what I see. My goal is to reach together that special place that I call Resonance Platform. Because that’s where the magic begins. When we reach this particular moment in my process I am excited because you have fully joined me. You are ripe, you feel whole. And more important you feel free in this new time and space where inspiration flows freely – everything is now possible! In this experience the knowing is direct. For me, you have finally reached the door to your own highest potential. You too are now, more ready than ever, to address burning questions in business, politics and society, make difficult decisions and share with brilliance. Unlocking your own creative genius gives you access to your full capacity. Welcome home to the land of co-creation where everyone becomes one yet all feel as an individual.
Gandin Foundation is the coordinator of « Terra Parzival – European Regional Development Model » in Slovenia. Extraordinary annual « Questivals» take place since 1994 in the beautiful region of Terra Parzival creating magic and giving rise to out-of-the box solutions to real societal problems. The emerging « composition » of the Seven Fields of Terra Parzival connects:
Art & Business – Regional Inspiration Center for leadership transformation
Healing the Earth – Biodynamic Agriculture with local farming
Youth Camps – Entrepreneurship & the Grail Story inspiring personal development
Repositioning of the Arts – emergent Guild of Interdisciplinary Artistic Entrepreneurs
The Future of Tourism – Modern Pilgrimage & the Quest for meaning
Healing the Human – Digital detox & the Question that heals
Social Art – Art of composing Society, the journey towards polyphonic European Identity
The archetypal relationship between King Arthur and Knight Parzival holds the secret of the relationship between Art and Business. King Arthur is righteously King of the Round Table symbolising merchandising and Global Economy. Parzival stands for inspiration through Art, Science and individual will. He is a central European impulse and represents the Center of the Round Table. The timeless Grail Story is revisited from its Slovenian roots towards a polyphonic European identity.