Next Step: A Better European Future

Miha Pogačnik is a man of many talents and ideas. Miha currently occupies himself with the idea of the cultural and spiritual awakening of Europe, endeavouring to bring it back to its core or more precisely to the land of the mythical king Parsifal and all he represents.

slovenia-timesPogačnik has always been involved in various art projects. First he was a successful violinist, then in the 1980’s he established Idriart, a non-profit organisation based on the idea that art is the bearer of social change. Idriart took him around the world to intervene in political, social and cultural situations in crisis areas and through it he has produced over 180 festivals in collaboration with local hosts. “There was enormous success. Thousands of people came with us to Prague, Estonia, Georgia, Tibet, the Amazon, but then in the 1990s the world changed,” says Pogačnik. “I noticed that if I kept doing the same thing, I would just be repeating myself.” He found himself in a “success trap” as he calls it – a situation when one gets stuck by being successful and restlessly starts asking questions about creativity and innovation, pushing them toward new projects to fulfil the need to create something fresh.

Music as an Answer to the Crisis

“I’ve always asked myself in what way can art contribute to changing the world and I’ve always tried to follow the call coming from the world,” explains Pogačnik who developed a special method, introducing a new concept for listening to music: “Of all the arts, music goes straight to the human heart and I’ve always felt that the experiences professional musicians get are not just pertinent to the life of artists but can be used generally.” As our extremely fragmented society, based on the economy, has found itself in a crisis, Pogačenik believes it is the time to start dealing with it: “Leaders are making decisions from their limited, specialised viewpoint and I, as an artist, feel I need to help them broaden their horizons, generate inner inspiration, motivation and energy.” He says that the basic reason he has been working with the economy and leadership is to make them aware that they can manage their companies in the way which composes society.
Pogačnik creates an environment in which questions are asked in a different way and casts new light on the immediate crisis and the general situation – through classical art created by geniuses who he sees as the greatest art substance Europeans have. And how does he trigger change? “I invite executives to enter the process of musical masterpieces in such way that I play and stop, comment and paint – I decompose the piece. They are seated among the orchestra and therefore get first-hand experience of the musical process,” explains Pogačnik who asserts no musical knowledge is necessary for this method to work, “just the willingness to permit the feelings to rise. I want to get people to the point where they let go of all the nervousness, distrust and animosity and open up to the possibility of a creative detour.” According to him, this happens because music moves at the archetypal level which is above everyday experiences, thus giving direction and solutions to problems which are then viewed from a new perspective and can later be dealt with by an out-of-the-box approach. “Art is full of meaning and if you go through the experience of meaning, you are transformed and find everything meaningful, also problems,” notes Pogačnik who points out that the lack of meaning is the heart of the current crisis, the financial aspect being its expression.
The method, which establishes a new relationship between art and business, has proven to be very effective – he has collaborated with scores of leading companies globally, business schools, research institutions, professional associations and also with UN agencies and the World Business Academy. In his opinion, his ideas work because they become ideals.

The Legend of (Slovenian) Parsifal

However, as he notes, ideas go through a process of hatching which requires time and patience. “Slovenia can be metaphorically viewed as a hen which hatches new ideas, useful for all of Europe,” says Pogačnik who goes on to explain the most intriguing story of the mythical figure Parsifal from the 9th century, “one of the most important European cultural legends comes from Slovenia.” The roots of the Eastern counterpart of the more famous King Arthur from the West are in Ptuj, as described in the magnificent epic poem created by Wolfram von Eschenbach around 1212. “Parsifal is everywhere, he is a European but originates from Slovenia. He is not historical fact but he is a mythical figure. Both kings existed at the same time, Arthur and Parsifal dealt with bringing order to society, however from the West came capitalism and globalisation, while from the East came philosophy, art and beauty. The two need to be balanced in a productive way,” says Pogačnik.
According to him, balancing would help the currently wrong relationship between humans and the economy in a way that the latter would start serving the former and also aid the European identity which has found itself in deep crisis. “European identity is based on the heritage of artistic geniuses like Beethoven, van Gogh, Shakespeare and Mozart who brought culture to the highest level and has many varieties. However, because of globalisation these varieties have lost power. Yet Europe is special because of its diversity. Every country is important in the creation of this polyphonic identity – it functions vitally like an organ in the human body,” notes Pogačnik who recognises the point of Parsifal, Slovenia and the Terra Parzival foundation he is part of: “Our country, with its trinity of landscapes, symbolising the trinity of body-soul-spirit, is perfect to become an instrument of the European identity as the time is right. Parsifal’s territory in Slovenia symbolises the rise of the spirit. Europe has also entered its third phase of development which is that of spirit. We are trying to inspire imagination in a creative way which would result in long-term, sustainable, meaningful development where the human being is in the centre.”

Terra Parzival Foundation of the Future

June saw the first of the three-day Terra Parzival Festival, organised in significant places linked to the mythical king. Attendees underwent the musical masterpiece decomposition method of opening up to new ideas and learnt about the story of Parsifal and its significance in numerous creative ways – they created a grail, attended a tournament of knights, experienced live music in a cave and also many other activities. “Slovenians are like Parisfal – we are just waiting for something to happen, but this must change to action – just like he took action,” affirms Pogačnik.
Slovenia may be small, but Pogačnik believes that with a powerful idea, size does not matter: “We would like to connect Terra Parsifal to the platform of the European Cultural Parliament through its Cultural Secretary General who came to the festival.” The potential is enormous and according to Pogačnik, there is space for change in human beings and the terra incognita which lies inside of everyone: “We’ve created the illusion that we are fixed from cradle to tomb, but functioning this way is just more or less going through life where nothing really happens. This bare survival and dreams with no action have created the crisis. But crisis, as I said before, is meaningful and it’s a good thing to have as it forces you to delve deeper and discover the unexploited realms we possess.”
The legend of Parsifal is very much linked to the present day situation and teaches individuals to start fighting old patterns and accepting the change in life. “Einstein once said that you can’t solve new problems with old ideas and this is where Parsifal comes in. He had to learn to ask the right questions, do the right thing at the right time – and this is also the challenge of the modern human being,” asserts Pogačnik who sees Terra Parzival as the new herald of changes that need to take place. “Everything is already here and we’ve started to realise how to create an environment to act and move. And this is what we’re trying to do with Terra Parzival – this element is an instrument on which you play Europe.”

Article from Slovenia Times

Miha’s Elevator Talk

We are in the elevator and an unknown person, probably an executive in a global brand
company, turns to me and says:

– “Is that a violin in your case? Performing a concert tonight?”

(Here we are: I am pigeonholed: violinist = glorified entertainer!)

– “No. I am on my way to an event to help executives like you find their own solutions for their problems.”

– “With violin??? Serious?”

– “Dead serious. I will help them to listen to the process of a genius masterpiece, get them passionate with out-of-the-box solutions emerging from musical complications and empower their own solution-sparks to jump the line back to their leadership dilemma, surprise, surprise: resolving, implementing.  Creative detour – the fastest road to the goal! With 100% engagement, like true artists, no SMSing during my session! At the end I will perform, and they will hear the performing organisation! And my promise: they will never forget those change messages…”

(we are approaching the ground floor.)

– “But my team does not necessarily like classical music!”

– “Brilliant starting point: Art is not about liking, it is about real change and transformation!”

– “But I am afraid my boss will not like it…!?”

– “Well, then you might better get yet another PowerPoint presentation!”

(Uhhhhhsh, the doors open.)

– “May I have your business card… CIO, Chief INSPIRATION Officer…???!”

– “Yes, you need inspiration if you want your change event to hit the bottom line!”
Gone in the crowd… gone?

Invitation to Terra parzival quest with Miha Pogačnik

Dear Reader,

You may already be familiar with my innovative method from past workshops on Art, Leadership and Business.

Inside Orchestra.png

This time, on July 28th 2019, you are invited to sit amongst the musicians inside the Ptuj Castle and become an integral part of a whole Symphony Orchestra under my own leadership and musical supervision. You will experience how the emotional structure of a musical masterpiece can be transferred into the strategy of managing yourself and your company. 


The Orchestra event from last April was a total success for our Slovenian finest leaders as well as managers of top global companies. We will have reputable guests again and are expecting high-level socializing! The music content although new is a continuation of the April Orchestra. This unique event is part of a four-day questival on the theme « Remember The Future, Terra Parzival Awakening » in the beautiful lands of Slovenia.


The day starts at 9:30 am, in the Palace, with an introductory narrative (Dr. Davorin Peršič) of the Knight Parzival and his life path from ignorance to the highest responsibility when he becomes King of the Holy Grail. The story of this mysterious, highly important European Medieval legend is anchored in the vicinity of Ptuj. I will combine the interdisciplinary impact of Music and other types of Art with the Parzival archetype and use it as our guide for what a leading personality is all about.

The musical process and performance (Johannes Brahms, Violin Concert Op.77) begins at 11 am in the Festival Hall (my method can be found at

At 13:30 pm, we will have a joint debriefing of experiences on the impact of the new « Art & Economy » paradigm followed by a « networking » lunch in the Castle Yard.

As it is summer time, we are also inviting partners with a parallel « Knighthood » program especially prepared for children!

The entire 4-day program can be found in

Looking forward to seeing you in Terra Parzival!

Miha Pogacnik

Ambassador of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia

Mob. 00352 661 485158 

Links to 3 videos from April

Investment for programme, storytelling, orchestra, debriefing and networking lunch:
€200, with partner €300, programme for kids by agreements.

If you want to participate for whole event (28. 21. 7) price is €400.

Hotel Mitra Ptuj

Peter Vesenjak


0038641 514 020

Account info:

 IBAN: SI56041730001588278
 Account holder:
 Name: Ustanova Gandin fundacija
 Address: Dolane 1, 2282 Cirkulane, Slovenia
 Name: Nova KBM d.d.
 Address: Ulica Vita Kraigherja 4, 2505 Maribor, Slovenia

Ptujski grad 28 Julij 2019, 9:30-14:45h

Ta dopoldanski dogodek z orkestrom (v anglescini) je del štiridnevnega questivala Remember The FutureTerra Parzival Awakening”


Morda že poznate mojo inovacijo na področju vodenja (prosim, poglejte spodaj izjave Andreja Božiča in Sonje Šmuc) .

Inside Orchestra.png

28. julija 2019 dopoldne boste imeli priložnost, da na Ptujskem gradu sedite med izvajalci simfoničnega orkestra in pod mojim vodstvom doživite transfer emocionalne strukture glasbene mojstrovine v strategijo vodenja samega sebe in podjetja in tako izkusite mojo inovacijo v živo.



Premiera podobnega dogodka na Ptujskem gradu je bila 6. aprila in Slovenski udelezenci so sedeli v orkestru skupaj z menedžerji tujih globalnih podjetij. Ponovno bomo imeli ugledne goste in pricakujemo druženje na visokem nivoju! Glasbena vsebina nova, nadaljevanje aprilskega dogodka.

Najprej boste ob 9:30h v palaciju (Dr. Davorin Peršič) doživeli uvodno pripoved o vitezu Parzivalu in njegovi življenjske poti iz ignorance do najvišje odgovornosti, ko postane kralj svetega Grala. Ta skrivnostna najpomembnejša evropska srednjeveška legenda je zasidrana v okolici Ptuja.


Poleg meddisciplinarnega vpliva glasbe in drugih zvrsti umetnosti uporabljamo Parzivala kot pravzorec za razvoj vodilne osebnosti.

Glasbeni proces in izvedba (Johannes Brahms, Violinski koncert Op.77) se začne ob 11h v slavnostni dvorani (mojo metodo lahko spoznate na

Ob 13:30 Sledi skupen debriefing doživetja, izmenjava izkušenj o vplivu nove paradigme umetnosti&gospodarstva in “networking” kosilo na grajskem dvorišču.

Ker je to poletni termin vabimo tudi partnerje in za otroke bo pripravljen paralelni “viteški” program!

Miha Pogacnik

Veleposlanik  Kulture republike Slovenije

Mob. 00352 661 485158

Andrej Božič:

“Orkester je najstarejši najbolje delujoči vodstveni tim.

Dirigent brez strastnih in tehnično briljantnih glasbenikov ne pomeni nič, brez njega pa je ta kolektiv samo skupek briljantnih posameznikov.

Vsi so enako pomembni, violine se ne prerekajo z violami ali tolkali, samo če vsi delujejo skupaj, ubrano v flowu, je rezultat glasba , ki te ponese , motivira, vzbuja kreativnost, strategijo,…

To se občuti in ne potrebujes biti strokovnjak.

Prav zato je to doživetje z Mihom nekaj enkratnega in je velika lekcija iz vodenja, hkrati pa čisti užitek in dragocena izkušnja drugačnega doživljanja koncerta !”

Sonja Šmuc:

Iskanje svetega grala, ki navdihuje viteza Parzivala, povezanega s Terro Parzival, je hrepenenje človeka, da najde odgovor na večno vprašanje o smislu življenja. Zakaj sem tu? Kako se moji dihi prepletajo z ritmom človeštva?

Miha Pogacnik s svojo virtuozno metodo seciranja clovekovih globin ob zvokih violine in orkestra interpretira svetovne glasbene mojstrovine tako, da slišimo Bacha, Beethovna, Mozarta na nov, meddisciplinaren način  …, in tako odstirajo nepomembno, boleče, skrito v duši in potrkajo na sveti gral, ki ga nosimo v sebi. Potovanje z Miho je raziskovanje, ki pušča sled, tam kjer največ šteje. V nas.

Investicija za program, pripoved, orkester, debriefing in networking kosilo:

€200, z partnerjem €300 , program za otroke po dogovoru.

Če se želite udeležiti celotnega dogodka (28-31.7) € 400

Informacije in prijava:

Hotel Mitra Ptuj

Peter Vesenjak


041 514 020

Informacije o računu za nakazilo:

 IBAN: SI56041730001588278
 Account holder:
 Name: Ustanova Gandin fundacija
 Address: Dolane 1, 2282 Cirkulane, Slovenia
 Name: Nova KBM d.d.
 Address: Ulica Vita Kraigherja 4, 2505 Maribor, Slovenia

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TerraParzival, Slovenia

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I am standing on the terrace of castle Borl-Ankenstein and looking back on 42 years of the IDRIART movement. Looking back through the memory of the old tower, to the knight Parzival and his time in the 9th century; His response to the call of the Grail.

How does this call resound in the 21st century?  What kind of listening is required to hear it?

We invite you to join to listen and celebrate in TerraParzival, July 27-31, 2019. You will hear the Parzival story told in various authentic locations, in relation to the challenges of our time. Supported by the power of Music-Process and recalibration of World-View. Together we will listen and set the stage for the emerging future!

Often in crisis locations and times, some 200 intercultural IDRIART Festivals proved the power of resonance when music and other Arts became the humanity platform of meetings. Yet this is not enough!

WE all live in an off-balanced „economic society“; for that reason I personally have ventured the last  28 years on a  learning journey with my violin, through the leadership floors of numerous companies and corporations world wide, uncovering the magic  of the formative forces of the arts; de-mixing and re-composing ailing relationships of culture, politics and economics.

What can we learn? How can we in TerraParzival inspire and learn from the centenary celebration of Rudolf Steiner’s Treefold Societal Composition and original Waldorf education principles in July? The Parzival story is one of the curriculum pillars in the 11th grade when young people ripen to reach for their highest ideals!  Where are the profound IDEALS in our digital-permeated society?? My motto is:

NO digitalisation without humanisation!

If you „hear“ this call, please reserve the date, offer suggestions, more details will follow.

Miha Pogacnik and  TerraParzival Team (soon updated!)

Anita Puksic