There are lots of sources of information and support to help you develop your expertise around salient traditional business skills such as planning, marketing, finance and funding. If you are in Scotland, the Cultural Enterprise Office is a good place to go to and there are also many discipline specific networks across the UK.

What we want to do is promote and support the importance of investing more time in cultivating other kinds of expertise as well. Other ways of seeing and knowing the world that will help us achieve a more sustainable livelihood. Peter Senge proposes that there are three core capabilities that will enable us to navigate this ‘Great Transition’ we are living through:

  • firstly, the ability to see the larger systems of which we are all part,
  • secondly the ability to recognize the unprecedented level of interdependence that characterizes our world and to foster collaboration across every imaginable boundary and
  • thirdly the ability to move from a reactive problem solving mode to creating futures we truly desire which requires a level of commitment, imagination, patience and perseverance far beyond what happens when we are just reacting to problems.

The best way of strengthening these core capabilities is finding ways to work on them with others. But whilst we’re developing those opportunities, here are some links  to a growing number of cultural and creative practitioners and projects that we think are exemplifying them and enabling us to see and do differently.

From Scotland:

Cateran’s Common Wealth
This initiative, which kicks off in 2016, will use one of Scotland’s hidden gems, the Cateran Trail, as a stage for a multi-year programme of diverse arts, cultural and heritage activities and events aimed at inspiring people to think about and celebrate our ‘common wealth’.


Dougie Strang
Dougie’s interest is in exploring the relationship between humans and, what the writer David Abram calls, the ‘more than human world’. As such, he describes his work as ecological in both practice and purpose.


Dundee Urban Orchard

DUO (Dundee Urban Orchard) is a city-wide art project that supports individuals and community groups to plant and care for small-scale orchards within Dundee.


Dalziel + Scullion
Dalziel & Scullion create artworks in photography, video, sound and sculpture that explore new artistic languages around the subject of ecology.

This open-access platform sources factories, makers, fabricators, materials and workshops.

travelers Fi, Vanna and Russ (all from Scotland) with their plaid VW van

Possible Scotland
Possible Scotland is a travelling workshop that investigates Scotland’s opportunities through people and place. Lateral North, who are running the project, aim to listen to local people and uncover prosperous projects throughout the country visiting up to 50 destinations in Scotland throughout 2016. 


From elsewhere:

Cleanweb is a grassroots movement committed to solving the world’s most profound issues related to resource constraints through the application of information technology.


fibershed envisions the emergence of an international system of regional textile communities that enliven connection and ownership of ‘soil-to-soil’ textile processes. These diverse textile cultures are designed to build soil carbon stocks on the working landscapes on which they depend, while directly enhancing the strength of regional economies.


Happy Museum
The Happy Museum Project looks at how the UK museum sector can respond to the challenges presented by the need for creating a more sustainable future. Their proposition is that museums are well placed to play an active part, but that grasping the opportunity will require reimagining some key aspects of their role, both in terms of the kinds of experience they provide to their visitors and the way they relate to their collections, to their communities and to the pressing issues of the day.


Playing for Time
This book, written by Lucy Neal in collaboration with 64 artists and activists, explores the pivotal role artists play in rethinking the future; reinventing and reimagining our world at a time of systemic change and uncertainty. Identifying collaborative arts practices emerging in response to planetary challenges, it reclaims the traditional role for artists in the community as truth-tellers and agents of change.