Our board

Damien Helly

Co-founder and Chair


Damien initiated the launch of the organisation by running a feasibility study in 2018 on the need for innovative action in EU international cultural relations.

In his professional life, he is an independent cultural advisor and runs his consultancy dh creative partnerships.

Damien is also a Visiting Professor at the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy at the College of Europe in Bruges where he teaches a course and supervises master-level theses on “Culture, States and Societies: National Factors in EU External Action”.

He has worked as Head of Cultural Skills, EU for the British Council (Arts, Europe) and as Senior Programme Manager with ECDPM, EUISS, Crisis Group, Saferworld.

He holds of a PhD in political science from the Institute of Political Studies of Paris (Sciences Po) and has published extensively on the EU’s external action and international cultural relations.

ASA 2015

Felipe Basabe Llorens



Felipe is a founding member of culture Solutions Europe.

He is fully convinced and passionate about the need to innovate and develop new effective strategies in EU internal and external cultural relations.

He has an extensive professional experience in the fields of budgetary and administrative management at the Spanish national Cultural Institute (Instituto Cervantes) and co-operates in several cultural and academic projects with European cultural foundations and networks in Germany, France and Belgium (i.a. Allianz Summer Academy (2004-2019) with Allianz Kulturstiftung as external Co-ordinator).

He has worked as Jean Monnet Lecturer at ICAI-ICADE (UPCO-Madrid) and as Director of the binational cultural Foundation Rei Afonso Henriques (FRAH). He has taken part in several Interreg II-III, Culture 2000 and Creative Europe projects (1999-2016).

He holds a MA in European Political & Administrative Studies from the College of Europe (Bruges). He also lectures on Cultural Policies and EU Project Management and has published on EU policies and trans-border co-operation in the fields of Education and Culture.

Irina Biovir-Idier

Board Member


Irina Biovir is currently Development Advisor for the Insula Orchestra (Laurence Equilbey) in Paris, with a focus on international prospective, innovation, and sustainability.

Previously she was General Manager of La Fenice, a Baroque music ensemble (2008-2011); Director of communication and partnerships for the French Institute in China, and India (2011-2017), and CEO of The Neemrana Music Foundation an NGO promoting western classical music in India through operas and workshops (2017-2018).

She is a 2021-2022 (Sonia Delaunay cohort) alumnus of the French High Level Cultural Studies curriculum (Ministry of Culture) and was a member of its European and international relations working group.

Soumaya Gharsallah

Board Member


Soumaya Gharsallah is an architect-museologist, holder of a Ph.D. in Museology, Mediation, Heritage, from both Avignon and Quebec Universities, and a PhD in Information and Communication Sciences.

She worked on several museographic projects at the Tunisian National Heritage Institute, as a researcher, before directing the Tunisian National Museum of Bardo in 2012. She was Director of the Kamel Lazaar Foundation (visual arts) from 2014 to 2018.

Between 2020 and 2022, she was cultural policy manager at Tfanen – Tunisie créative, an EU-funded programme supporting Tunisian cultural sector. She negotiated and managed 12 cultural policy restructuring, reform and digitisation projects for the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs. 

In 2021 Soumaya published the book “Museums, heritage and cultural policies in Tunisia”, (Nirvana Editors). She is the CEO of Culture Muse Consulting, a consulting firm specialised in cultural projects. She is currently working on several museographic renovation and heritage enhancement projects.

Board member sought