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OPEN Backstage

Have you ever taken a sneak peak behind the stage? Don’t miss the talk of the city: OPEN Backstage, launched in 2019, is all about bringing the OPEN community together with a variety of engaging performances and infotainment programs around diversity and inclusion. This regular event series aims to cover spectacular performances as much as important topics such as gender equality, LGBTQ+ inclusion, disability awareness and the challenges Roma people face. The events can feature artistic performances, screenings, inspirational speakers and many more unexpected happenings.  And beyond that – it’s the perfect place to expand your network and create new friendships! 

OPEN Backstage also features Executive Events for senior leadership where the main discussions shall be on shaping diversity and inclusion as an open community.

OPEN Backstage events are the meeting point for the members of the Supporting Circle. Some seats may be available for the wider public, friends of WeAreOpen and the OPEN Community as well. Since 90+% of the seats at OPEN Backstage events go to the members of WeAreOpen’s Supporting Circle, if you would like to make sure that you and your colleagues can attend future OPEN Backstage events, we kindly encourage you to ensure your company has joined the Circle.

WeAreOpen’s annual sponsors are automatically part of the Circle and companies may opt for a Supporting Circle Member status so that they can be involved, too. If your company is not yet a member of the Circle and would like to join or find out more information, please click on the relevant link!

Upcoming OPEN Backstage Events

S02E4: WeAreOpen x Sziget Festival

Sziget Festival is a longtime member of the OPEN Community with multiple collaborations in diverse campaigns and activities. Last year, we organized our OPEN Backstage executive event at Sziget Festival and multiple stages – such as Magic Mirror – were part of the WeAreOpen sphere. Sziget Festival was always committed to diversity and inclusion: from LGBTQ+ inclusion to disability awareness the festival program was inclusive year by year. This year Sziget got cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but at least for this event we can come together with some of the Szitizens. How does the cancellation impact minorities such as LGBTQ+ people and their visibility? Sziget Festival is more than just a festival: it is an inclusive social and cultural platform for many minority groups. How are they affected by losing this opportunity to be visible? We will discuss with our special guests! 

We also prepare with a special announcement: hear about WeAreOpen’s upcoming campaign!

Our featured guests include: Tamás Kádár (CEO Sziget Festival), József Kardos (Program Director Sziget Festival), György Újvàry-Pintér (Magic Mirror Program Director), Ádám András Kanicsàr (Magic Mirror Talks Organizer and Moderator) and Melinda Mikos (CEO, WeAreOpen).

Attendance is free of charge, but you must register yourself following the link below. Majority of the spots are reserved for the members of our Supporting Circle. Thank you! The discussion will be in English.

Date: 25th of August 18:00-19:00

Place: Zoom webinar – We will send the link to all those who register for the event shortly before the webinar begins.

Previous OPEN Backstage Events

S02E4: WeAreOpen x Sziget Festival

Sziget Festival is a longtime member of the OPEN Community with multiple collaborations in diverse campaigns and activities. In 2019 we organized our OPEN Backstage executive event at Sziget Festival and multiple stages – such as Magic Mirror – were part of the WeAreOpen sphere. Sziget Festival was always committed to diversity and inclusion: from LGBTQ+ inclusion to disability awareness the festival program was inclusive year by year.

In 2020 Sziget got cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but at least for this event we reunited with some of the Szitizens and brought the festival feeling to our OPEN Community. How did the cancellation impact minorities such as LGBTQ+ people and their visibility? Sziget Festival is more than just a festival: it is an inclusive social and cultural platform for many minority groups. How were they affected by losing this opportunity to be visible? This was the topic of our joint event featuring the representatives of Sziget Festival held on August 25th. 

Our featured guests included: Tamás Kádár (CEO Sziget Festival), József Kardos (Program Director Sziget Festival), György Újvàry-Pintér (Magic Mirror Program Director), Ádám András Kanicsàr (Magic Mirror Talks Organizer and Moderator) and Melinda Mikos (CEO, WeAreOpen).

S02E3: How can employers support transgender and intersex people?

OPEN Backstage S02E03 was organized as a virtual discussion on the impacts of the recently voted bill that bans legal gender recognition in Hungary. Many LGBTQ+ and transgender organizations pointed out that this bill would result in all sorts of discrimination against transgender and intersex people including employment. With our special guests we discussed the impacts of this bill at the workplace and what employers can do to support the people affected.

The discussion featured: Ivett Ördög software engineer at Prezi and activist, Bea Sándor legal expert and project manager at Háttér Society, Bea Bodrogi legal expert at Transvanilla Transgender Association and Melinda Miklós, CEO of WeAreOpen.

S02E02: What can employers do? COVID-19 Impact on Women, LGBTQI, Roma and Disabled people

The second edition of OPEN Backstage S02 on May 26 covered how the coronavirus pandemic affects minority groups differently. WeAreOpen and its partner organizations, Amnesty International Hungary, Bagázs Association, Háttér Society and Salva Vita Foundation released the “What can employers do? COVID-19 Impact Report on Women, LGBTQI, Roma and Disabled people” days earlier.

The guests of this edition discussed the most important learnings of the report and mainly what employers can do to better handle the impact of the crisis. Discussion participants included: Katalin Kappel (Salva Vita Foundation), Melinda Miklós (WeAreOpen), Bea Sándor (Háttér Society), Fanni Tujner (Bagázs Association) and Zorigt Burtejin (Amnesty International Hungary). The guests shared their actionable insights with the audience and provided tips related to their expertise.

Since this was an online event, we do not have photographs to share. 

S02E01: Executive Event

We kicked off OPEN Backstage S02 with an executive event for the Supporting Circle. This invite only event was held at Google and included discussions around WeAreOpen’s activities in 2019 and plans for 2020. 

S01E08: OPEN Spotlight!

The 8th OPEN Backstage event was set up at OPEN Conference following the engaging panels and talks. This was a truly special edition, because the audience finally found out the winners of the OPEN Spotlight Award! This occasion was also an exclusive launch event of WeAreOpen’s ‘Common Interest’ gender equality campaign in partnership with ELLE Hungary. The December issue of the magazine featuring the campaign was presented by WeAreOpen’s CEO Melinda Miklós and ELLE Hungary’s editor-in-chief Lívia Liptai. 

The evening was even more special thanks to the wonderful improvisational acts by Grund Theatre.

S01E07: Roma Inclusion

The 7th edition of OPEN Backstage was dedicated to Roma inclusion and representation and it was co-hosted by WeAreOpen’s co-founder, Prezi, at their Budapest office. The OPEN Community was able to see a spectacular performance by T6 Tudás Hatalom called ‘Gypsy Hungarian’ founded by a group of Roma youth. The groundbreaking act was followed by an interactive discussion featuring the special guests of the evening: Franciska Farkas (Actress), Kristóf Horváth (Actor/Director), Ádám Császi (Stage Director) and Dr. Mária Bogdán (Media Theorist),

S01E06: Executive Forum

For the second year running, Sziget Festival, one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe and a long-time member of the OPEN Community, hosted the OPEN Backstage Executive Event in August. Senior leaders of Supporting Members of WeAreOpen were taken on a backstage tour of the most open locations at the Festival. Our exceptional hosts were the CEO and the Program Director of the festival.

As part of the cooperation, the WeAreOpen logo was visible on the Festival website next to the open stages. At several locations of the festival we had banners with lyrics from this year’s performers to show that diversity is already in the music of the Sziget island festival. 

We thank Sziget for this amazing experience and hope to see them again next year!

S01E05: Inclusion of people with disabilities

The 5th edition of OPEN Backstage was all about the visibility of disabled people in everyday life, in physical and virtual space beyond representation. The special co-host of the evening was WeAreOpen’s Gold sponsor Eaton. 

Guests were able to see an exclusive art history presentation by Nóra Winkler and Tünde Topor on the representation of disabilities in fine art. 

What are the reasons that people with disabilities are not just less represented in science, media and culture but also less visible in everyday life? What is the relation between virtual and physical space and how is it influenced by our living environment? These were the main topics we discussed with our special guests of the evening: Nóra Winkler art consultant, Krisztina Somogyi environmental psychologist, Zoltán Fenyvesi athlete and amateur actor and Tünde Topor editor-in-chief of Artmagazin.

S01E04: Pre Pride Special Edition

During Pride week we organized a special edition of OPEN Backstage to celebrate LGBTQ people and to warm up for the Pride march with drinks and fascinating discussions. This time we teamed up Société Budapest at their spectacular location to create a night to remember. We took a look in the mirror, from two angles. First, we zoomed out and looked at what we were doing, and why: how a company or an organization could support the LGBTQ community, what is the importance of your participation. Then we zoomed in to learn more about how representation matters, we looked at self-expression, identity, and even fashion! We also had a fun dress code for the event: guests could wear any color of the official Pride flag! 

Our special guests of the night were Kata Oltai art historian & curator, Gergő Batai aka Geri Glam makeup & drag artist, Kiss Tibor designer & co-founder of Je suis belle and makeup artist Eszter Magyar. Kata Oltai made a fantastic presentation of LGBTQ+ identity and representation in arts and culture, followed by a discussion with our amazing guests moderated by WeAreOpen’s Melinda Miklós. Following the brilliant talks we had drinks and music: Société’s wonderful venue even lit up in rainbow colors designed by Hungarian artist Erik Mátrai.

S01E03: Where’s the woman’s place? - Women in pop culture

What exactly is the female gaze: how do women see the world behind the lens? This  edition of OPEN Backstage was all about gender balance, and most of all the representation of women and the female perspective in visual and popular culture. The evening featured a handful of fascinating, original and provocative creative pieces of content and art to demonstrate how pop culture can either challenge or uphold gender stereotypes. We had an interactive round table featuring Veronika Hermann (research fellow), Éva Szombat (photographer) and Laura Döbrösi (actress) moderated by WeAreOpen CEO Melinda Miklós.

S01E02: Hidden Stories?

S01E02: Hidden Stories? was all about LGBTQ representation in arts and culture from theatre to literature and beyond! We were joined by our special guests Stage Director at Katona József Theatre Kriszta Székely, Professor of Linguistics, translator and poet Ádám Nádasdy, and TV journalist Alinda Veiszer. Some may already remember Kriszta and Ádám from Budapest Pride where both have delivered the opening speech in the past. After a discussion with our guests, improvisational theatre Grund performed their spectacular live performance “Taking you home”, a play based on everyday experiences such as the first date of a same-sex couple.

This edition of OPEN Backstage was hosted by Saatchi & Saatchi at their beautiful office. 

S01E01: One Day

The first ever episode of OPEN Backstage featured the screening of the phenomenal Hungarian movie, “One Day”, directed by Zsófia Szilágyi who was also present at the event. Following the screening, Zsófia was joined in a discussion by Dávid Szél, psychologist, blogger at Apapara blog and Glamour Hungary editor-in-chief Krisztina Maróy, where they spoke about the making of the movie, the inspiration behind it, and what it means to be a working woman while balancing the responsibilities at home. The role of parents and workplace related issues in Hungary, and possibly beyond, were also discussed.

OPEN Backstage S01E01 was hosted by HPS at their wonderful event space, HPS Kult Salon which proved to be the perfect setting for our guests.