A new framework for coordinating and scaling out the arts for societal transformation. True sustainability can only be practiced as an art of systems change.
In response to the new socio-economic conditions and the planetary momentum for change induced by our multifaceted crises, humanity needs to synthesize its knowledge and synergize its action into a coherent and coordinated global movement and new leadership. Toward a new paradigm of human development aligning global societies with planetary systems, sustainability needs to be practiced as an art of systems change, engaging all the creative capacities of the arts and the mobilizing powers of culture. The paper addresses how to engage the impact of the arts and culture for integral societal transformation. It puts forward ‘the systemic engagement of the arts’ as a new working framework which encompasses multitudes of practices and methodologies not previously correlated and scaled. Recognizing the arts as a social knowledge system, the paper argues that they are vital to the formal SDGs implementation and a pathway to a new social architecture. The future will arise from the quality of our being and quality of human decision. The paper outlines a set of key integral strategies with demonstrative examples to show how the arts can be engaged as a holistic system with threefold impact that is deeply transformative, broadly adopted and with long-wave socio-cultural shifts. Addressing the dehumanising forces of our crisis through the empathetic powers of the arts, systemic engagement of the arts and culture open a way forward to a more humane future and the possibility for humanity’s multifaceted accomplishment.
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