Lukas Pairon (°1958) first studied philosophy at a private university in Lugano, Switserland, later obtained a Master in educational science (specialization ‘politics of education’) at the Université Paris VIII-Vincennes, and in 2019 he became Doctor in Political and Social Sciences at the University of Ghent.

Prof Dr Lukas Pairon is initiator and co-founder, and was the first chair holder of the academic Chair Jonet and research and training centre CESAMM.

Following his master-studies, he worked for several years as a young researcher in the field of adult education and literacy programs at Unesco in Paris and at the Ministry of Culture of the French-speaking Community of Belgium (Ministère de la Culture, Communauté française) in Brussels.

But at the age of 27, he changed his professional occupation by becoming the artistic director of the contemporary music and dance programs of the Flanders Festival (www.festival.be).

He left this festival two years later to create together with Judith Vindevogel Walpurgis, (a production house for contemporary chamber opera and music theatre, www.walpurgis.be), and thereby came closer to his first interests as a young boy: opera, theatre and music.

It is in that period that he met many of the musicians together with whom he would later create the now famous contemporary music ensemble Ictus (www.ictus.be). When Ictus was founded in 1994, Lukas Pairon was there and became its first general director, which he has been until the end of 2012.

In 2005 he founded the organization Music Fund (www.musicfund.eu) which gives support to music schools in the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean (and soon also Asia) through donations of music instruments and training programs for technicians able to repair such instruments.

From 2009 until 2012, he founded and was in charge of 3rdParty (www.facebook.com/3dePartij3rdParty), a 3-year educational program creating bridges between youngsters in Belgium and peace- and human rights activists in the Middle East. This programme was later developed by Simone Susskind within the association Actions in the Mediterranean (AIM), of which Lukas Pairon is now the president.

From 2012 until 2016, Lukas Pairon was appointed ‘senior research fellow’ at the School of Arts in Ghent (B) and this allowed him to develop his PhD research for the University of Ghent (UGent, Doctoral program Political and Social Sciences, Department Development and Conflict Studies) on possible social impacts of certain practices in social music projects proposed to young people living in difficult surroundings. He did his research in Kinshasa, DR Congo (see: www.lukas-pairon.eu/phd). In 2022 he gave a TEDx-talk during which he shortly touches on the main finding of his research (you can find his TEDx-talk here).

Lukas Pairon is since 2017 founder and managing director of SIMM, the international research platform focussing on the possible Social Impacts of Making Music (www.simm-platform.eu). He is also in charge of the SIMM-podcast, which can be found and followed on more than 10 different podcast-directories, including here on Apple, here on Google, and here on Spotify.

Lukas Pairon has together with a team of the University and the University College of Ghent created since 2022 the Academic Chair Jonet and its Centre for Social Action and Music Making (CESAMM) to accompany researchers as well as practitioners in the field of music in social and community work (see website Academic Chair Jonet). Prof Dr Lukas Pairon was its first chair holder.

In 2020 Routledge published his book Music Saved Them, They Say on his research findings on social music projects in Kinshasa, DR Congo. In 2023 Routledge published his text The art of positive fatalism in the book Music and Social Inclusion, edited by Oscar Odena (University of Glasgow / The Arts of Inclusion (TAI)).

In 2024-2025 he is an invited scholar at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Jena, and returns to Kinshasa to produce Kinshasa Sociale & Musicale, a sequel to his research, as well as a podcast.

In 2018 the King of Belgium awarded Lukas Pairon with the title of Commander in the Order of the Crown for his work as ‘cultural activist’.