As the world confronts the compounded impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate crisis, and structural injustices, societies are bracing for a protracted and complex period of reassessment, reimagination, and restructuring. The culture and arts sector must be at the table and included in decision-making processes as societies seek to eschew a return to "normal" and instead reimagine more creative pathways towards human and planetary flourishing.
Launched in 2021, Salzburg Global's The Creative Power of the Arts: Reimagining Human and Planetary Flourishing program brought together an interdisciplinary and inter-generational group of 90 creative practitioners, researchers, and policymakers from over 30 countries.
The program began with a series of online Focus Group sessions examining the systemic relevance of the arts and culture sector for creative reforms in the four target areas of climate, health, education, and justice. In the process of convening these Focus Groups, however, it became clear that regardless of the area of focus – whether at the intersection of the arts and culture with climate, health, education, or justice – Fellows were confronting similar challenges in their work that were standing in the way of true systemic change.
This report is the result of the Focus Groups as well as a joint convening of all participants, along with a collaboratory in-person meeting in Salzburg. By sharing the thinking of this global, diverse, and engaged group of Fellows in this report, Salzburg Global Seminar invites others to engage in a similar process of constructive inquiry to reflect deeply on what is dividing us, what is keeping us from collaborating better, and how we can achieve transformative change together.