Art and culture are one of the most participative, dynamic and social forms of human behaviour.

Their capacity to trigger reflection, generate empathy, create dialogue and foster new understanding means that they can offer a powerful and democratic way of expressing, sharing and shaping values. By helping to create an environment, and state of mind, directly conducive to the creation and development of new ideas, they challenge the status quo and provide spaces where anything is possible. They can help us build new capabilities and understand how to imagine a different way of being. They can enable us to design useful and meaningful things and are increasingly the basis of livelihoods and enterprises that are motivated by much more than profit.

How can we grow our capacities in ways that will produce more of these expressive energies and how can we get better at harnessing their impact to help us build more sustainable livelihoods and make that leap to a more livable world?

We’re aiming to deliver webinars on these questions, and whilst we develop that idea, we’ve curated the following links to help you start thinking about what ‘growing your impact’ might mean in a more liveable world.

  • The Art of Life: Understanding how participation in arts and culture can affect our values. This report is the beginning of a dialogue about how arts and culture impact on our values, what that might look like in practice, and how we might foster new collaborations to create new ideas for development.
  • In this post, Diane Ragsdale reminds us that “one of the primary benefits of the arts is that they stimulate the senses, awaken us to beauty, fill us with awe, connect us to others, and inspire us to be better humans” and suggests that “perhaps the arts are losing a battle over the minds and souls of society in large part because we don’t seem to recognize that we have been fighting for the wrong side”.
  • David Bollier, one of the world’s leading writers and commentators on the concept of the commons reviews the book Degrowth a vocabulary for a new era which includes a survey of on the ground action that is enacting post growth alternatives.
  • John Thackara is promoting the idea of  ‘bioregions’ as the connective idea to bring together the myriad projects around the world which are creating a new economy whose core value is stewardship, not extraction.
  • This new book Designed to Scale by the Civic Systems Lab focuses on participatory culture, and studies on a most basic level whether multiple small-scale community projects engaging people on a daily basis can create real and lasting change on a larger scale.