The Conference of the Birds was initiated and its foundations shaped by artist Eva Bakkeslett and drama pedagogue Heli Aaltonen in 2018. They organised an initial gathering of 15 artists, curators and advisers from the Nordic countries and Russia on Engeløya, Norway in June 2018. The symposium, which also included a public bird-themed art event, was supported by Nordic Culture Fund, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Barents Secretariat. Based on the collective ideas deriving from this initial meeting, CoB has acquired its basic structure. Three main curators from Norway, Sweden and Finland: Eva Bakkeslett, Ulrika Jansson and Ulla Taipale were appointed to realise the project with the support from an advisory team of artists, researchers and bird enthusiasts.