Creative Carbon Scotland

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OPPORTUNITY: The 34th Chelsea International Fine Art Competition

34th Chelsea International Fine Art Competition—Opens on February 5th, 2019

Agora Gallery is pleased to invite artists from across the globe to enter the 34th Annual Chelsea International Fine Art Competition. Selected artists will receive prizes and opportunities that will grant invaluable exposure, boost recognition, and promote career growth.

The 2019 competition awards are valued at more than $70,000. In addition to cash prizes, other awards include participation in the collective exhibition, featured magazine profiles, valuable PR opportunities, and an honorable mention. A portion of the gallery’s proceeds from artwork sales will be donated to the Children’s Heart Foundation.

The 2019 Chelsea International Fine Art Competition will be accepting submissions between February 5th and the deadline March 12th, 2019. Results will be announced on April 16th, 2019, with the competition exhibition slated for August 10–20, 2019.

Are you ready to take your career to the next level? Apply to be recognized by Agora’s reputable jury. Visit http://www.agora-gallery.com/competition for more information and detailed instructions on how to enter. You can also contact us at competition@agora-gallery.com.

The post OPPORTUNITY: The 34th Chelsea International Fine Art Competition appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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News: Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture

Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture features art, music and literature.

Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture explores the beauty and mystery of our world’s ice, and reveals the necessity of ice to our human survival. The project explores the traditions and cultures of people connected to ice from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, and raises vital concerns about climate change that can no longer be ignored. As climate change affects the weather and composition of our planet, our ice continues to melt. This reality affects all of us, regardless of where we live.

Ice Culture celebrates the physical and spiritual nature of ice. Ice has soul. It has a song. Ice radiates; it glows. It’s precious. Ice is a resource. Ice Culture showcases ice in all of its forms, from majestic glaciers to ice-carved musical instruments.

The diverse collection features art, music and literature by artists living and working in countries such as Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Germany, Norway, Japan and United States.

Check it out at www.blackcoffeevinyl.com.


Share your news!

This story was posted by Black Coffee & Vinyl. Creative Carbon Scotland is committed to being a resource for the arts & sustainability community and we invite you to submit news, blogs, opportunities and your upcoming events.

The post News: Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Powered by WPeMatico

OPPORTUNITY: CALL FOR CONTRIBUTORS! Our Space, Our Place: Creating Ecofeminism

Proposals for 20-minute contributions for Our Space, Our Place: Creating Ecofeminism.

The event:

Our Space, Our Place: Creating Ecofeminism
Glasgow Women’s Library
Saturday 30th March 2019 10am-4pm

Global ecological activism is built on the work of women. Yet the value of women’s environmental campaigning and action often remains invisible.

Our Space, Our Place: Creating Ecofeminism, a partnership between researchers at universities across Scotland and Glasgow Women’s Library, calls together ecofeminist academics, environmental campaigners, writers, artists, community workers and performers for a day of papers, performances and workshops, exploring how ecofeminist theory and practice can unite to imagine and realise optimistic responses to our changing world.

Our aim is to share and discuss the diverse and daring work being done by women around environmental themes, including academic research, creative explorations and in participation with communities.

Invitation for proposals:

We invite proposals for 20-minute contributions from women with an interest in researching, understanding and describing women and ecology, women and the land and ecofeminism. We welcome proposals for academic papers in language accessible to the non- expert, performances, monologues, readings, presentations, workshops, demonstrations, film showings and any other original, interactive suggestions.

Themes could include, but are not limited to:

  • Women and climate change
  • Women and the politics of environment/environmental policy
  • Barriers to women’s participation in environmental activism
  • Diaspora and women’s experiences of environment and
    ecology
  • The individual and the community in environmental thought
  • Global women’s perspectives
  • The history of ecofeminist theory and practice
  • ‘Mother Earth’ and ‘Mother Nature’ as helpful/problematic ideas
  • Periods, pollution and poverty
  • The role of language in environmental discourse
  • Women and food sovereignty
  • Sensory responses to the landscape, nature and ecologies
  • Women and vegetarianism/veganism
  • Environmental degradation as a factor in women’s power
  • Ecofeminism and the geopolitical
  • LGBTQ+ ecological action
  • Representations of women and environment in film and literature
  • Women and non-human animal rights and welfare
  • Disability and accessibility in environmental activism
  • Race, racism and the environmental movement
  • Women’s labour on the land, including agriculture and gardening
  • Creative and artistic interpretations of activism and environment
  • Women and cartography

How to submit a proposal:

We welcome all proposals and would invite you to get in touch with any questions about the event. Please send a short proposal (300 words max) and a brief biography (200 words max) to creatingecofeminism@gmail.com by Friday 25th January 2018

The post OPPORTUNITY: CALL FOR CONTRIBUTORS! Our Space, Our Place: Creating Ecofeminism appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Powered by WPeMatico

Opportunity: Call for applications for artists residency on Urban Rejuvenation

Residency in Luxembourg for young European visual artists to work on the theme of urban rejuvenation

The European Investment Bank Institute is looking for ONE visual artist (born after 1 January 1984) from an EU Member State to work on the theme of “Urban rejuvenation: Limerick as a source of inspiration”. The beneficiaries will be offered a 6 week-long residency in Luxembourg, enabling them to develop their practice and create a new (body of) work(s), boosted by the mentorship of a high-profile established artist. In 2019, the recipients will each be mentored by acclaimed Finnish artist Jorma Puranen.

Eligibility

  • Born after 1 January 1984 (≤35 years old)
  • EU nationality
  • Fluency in English

Budget and duration

The EIB Institute will cover the artists travel costs to and from Luxembourg (for the residency), and to and from Jorma Puranen’s studio (before the start of the residency). The artists will receive a EUR 100 flat-rate daily allowance intended to cover their subsistence costs during the period of residency and all or part of their production costs, and will be provided with a living/working space.

In addition to the above, the artists will be granted, at the beginning of the residency, a contribution towards production of EUR 500 and, at the end of the residency, a success fee of EUR 1 000, provided that they have produced a work or body of works. The residency in Luxembourg will take place between the end of May and the beginning of July 2019.

Upon completion of the residency, the EIB might consider acquiring an artwork produced on-site from the artist. In the event that the EIB agrees to acquire an artwork, it will feature in the exhibition Belonging – works from the collection of the European Investment Bank, to take place in Limerick, Ireland, in 2020.

Application procedure

  • CV (in English)
  • Scanned copy of the passport or identity card of the applicant evidencing nationality
  • A letter of motivation, in English, with ideas to be explored during the residency, in line with the proposed theme (maximum 500 words)
  • Portfolio of visual documentation of works, maximum 8 images, best representing the art of the applicant (in PDF format, A4 pages)
  • Names and contact details of two professional referees familiar with the art of the applicant
  • A brief reference in the body of the email to how the applicant found out about the programme

Selection procedure

A jury – consisting of Jorma Puranen (the mentor), external art advisers and members of the EIB Arts Committee – will select the candidates based on the artistic quality of their work, their motivation and their potential to make the most of the opportunity offered by the residency, and the relevance of their practice to the cultural context of the EIB Institute.

The selected candidates will be informed of the jury’s decision by email in March 2019.

Application deadline

Midnight (GMT+1) Wednesday, 23 January 2019.

Applications packages should be sent by e-mail to Ms Delphine Munro and not exceed 12 MB.


The post Opportunity: Call for applications for artists residency on Urban Rejuvenation appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Powered by WPeMatico

Watch: “Improve Scotland” the winning entry from Levenmouth Adapts’ Creative Minds competition

“Improve Scotland” is the captivating winning entry from the “Creative Minds” competition held in November 2018 which saw Creative Industries students from Fife College set a 48-hour challenge to produce imaginative creative works responding to climate change impacts in Levenmouth.

In the film, Improve Scotland’s intrepid reporter Chris Peacock takes to the streets – and shore and local amusements arcade – of Levenmouth to ask the locals what they think of Levenmouth, its river and climate change. The video tackles the big issues: How can we adapt to the future impacts of climate change? And are there polar bears in Fife?

Creative Minds competition

The Creative Minds competition was held as part of Levenmouth Adapts, an eight-month project promoting climate ready decision making and the value of creative approaches to bring about change.

The competition involved 1st year Creative Industries students from Fife College being taken for a field trip which included visits to the Levenmouth seafront, River Leven and the CLEAR Buckhaven orchard (a community-led regeneration and food growing initiative). They then had 48 hours to develop a creative work which addressed the themes of place, future and climate for Levenmouth in a thought provoking way.

Four teams each worked through the day (and night in some cases) to produce their entries which were put to a  judging panel of Natalie Taylor (project artist), Joe Hagg (Adaptation Scotland), Carolyn Bell (Resource Efficient Solutions, Fife Council), John Wincott (Environmental Services Coordinator, Fife College), Vikki Wilson (Fife College), Dougi McMillan (Director of Creative Industries, Fife College) and Gemma Lawrence (Producer, Creative Carbon Scotland). The judges were impressed by all four entries, but were particularly taken with the winning entry, which received a £200 prize. Funding for Creative Minds workshop was donated by the Fife Council Communities and Neighbourhoods department.

In the next stages of the project students will be invited to share their work and perspectives on the future of the area with partners including the Fife Environment Partnership. The Levenmouth Adapts project sees Nathalie Taylor working across different aspects the project as an embedded artist, with the Creative Minds competition being a key aspect of the work that she is involved with.

Levenmouth Adapts

Levenmouth Adapts is run in partnership with Adaptation Scotland, Creative Carbon Scotland and Fife Resource Solutions/Fife Council. The project is funded by the Scottish Government’s Adaptation Scotland programme which is delivered by sustainability charity Sniffer.

Find out more about the project on the Adaptation Scotland website.

The post Watch: “Improve Scotland” the winning entry from Levenmouth Adapts’ Creative Minds competition appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Powered by WPeMatico

New film ‘The Carbon Farmer’ paints a bright future for UK Peatland conservation, agriculture and climate action.

In their current state the UK’s peatlands are a source of around 20 million tonnes of CO2 (equivalent) per year – this is the same as the yearly emissions from electricity use in two and a half million homes. A new short film premiers possibilities for achieving a brighter carbon future.

The Carbon Farmer – a sci-fi mocumentary, set roughly 100 years from present day – follows the story of a man whose family have been working the same upland farm, based on peat soils, for generations and have radically evolved in the face of climate change. In a world where tax payer’s money is used to subsidise work to maintain the health of peatlands for numerous public benefits, he and his granddaughter show what could be possible in future – what we could gain, and what we could manage not to lose. Concepts that are, at present, no more than ambitions of conservationists are shown together with plausible advances in technology and agriculture – such as hover bikes and ‘blue’ rice.

Richard Lindsay, Head of Environmental and Conservation Research at the University of East London said: “The Carbon Farmer reveals a whole new avenue of opportunity for farmers of the future. Farming for carbon means that wet agricultural land which has traditionally been regarded as ‘difficult’… is instead transformed into prime carbon farmland which also provides multiple benefits for the whole of society”

Collaborative approach

A collaboration of organisations, including: IUCN Peatland Programme; The Wildlife Trusts; the National Trust for Scotland; The National Trust; Moors For The Future Partnership and Beadamoss® Micropropagation Services, supported independent Filmmaker and Ecologist Andy Clark to present a best-practice concept to share through this film.

Stuart Brooks, Head of Conservation and Policy for the National Trust for Scotland, said: “We hope the Carbon Farmer provides food for thought for our policy makers and heralds in a new era of sustainable peatland use. The national governments of the UK have all committed to peatland conservation and support the IUCN UK Peatland Strategy. This is very encouraging and makes the prospect of the Carbon Farmer more fact than fiction.”

The film release follows the recent Committee on Climate Change report that acknowledged the magnitude of greenhouse gasses currently released from the UK’s degraded peatlands, and also called for reductions in the production and consumption of UK beef and lamb – something which reportedly angered British farmers. The Carbon Farmer suggests a positive future for sustainable agriculture – both in upland peatlands and in the lowlands. The film supports the ideas of ‘payments for ecosystem services’ as a basis for environmental management – a proposed alternative to the current Common Agricultural Policy – and explores alternative cropping solutions for lowland peatland agriculture (referencing (the currently fictional) ‘British Blue Rice’) alongside traditional grazing.

The film ends with the call to action: “Climate Change is not science fiction; our policy on it should not be either. The UK’s peatlands are currently so degraded, they are a source of around 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses annually. Prioritise peatland restoration for climate, and provide a cascade of public benefits.”


Main image credit: Andrew Clark

Share your news!

This story was posted by The Top of The Tree. Creative Carbon Scotland is committed to being a resource for the arts & sustainability community and we invite you to submit news, blogs, opportunities and your upcoming events.

The post News: New film ‘The Carbon Farmer’ appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Powered by WPeMatico

Protected: Opportunity: Cultural Adaptations seeks Embedded Artist

Creative Carbon Scotland is the lead partner in an EU-funded project Cultural Adaptations. As part of this we are seeking an experienced artist to be ‘embedded’ within and to influence the work of Climate Ready Clyde as it develops and implements a climate change adaptation strategy for Glasgow City Region.

This is an exciting, paid opportunity for an artist or cultural practitioner interested in exploring the role the arts can play in shaping how our society adapts to the impact of climate change. It offers the chance to participate in an action-research project taking place at the European level, and contribute new knowledge to the local and international sector.

Cultural Adaptations

This opportunity is part of our Cultural Adaptations project: a European co-operation project, funded through the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission, running October 2018 – March 2021. Four cultural organisations in countries with similar climate challenges but differing socio-political frameworks (Scotland, Ireland, Belgium and Sweden) will explore the different cultural approaches taken to our adaptation to climate change.

Each Cultural Partner is working with a local Adaptation Partner on the project: Creative Carbon Scotland will be working with Sniffer and the Climate Ready Clyde ProjectAxis (Ireland) will be working with Codema, Dublin’s regional energy agency; Greentrack Gent (Belgium) with the City of Ghent local authority; and TILLT (Sweden) with the City of Gothenburg local authority.

Each country partnership will jointly research, develop, plan and implement their own Embedded Artist Project in which an artist is placed in an adaptation project in order to provide new ways of thinking, fresh perspective and different approaches to the complex and seemingly intractable challenges that climate change present.

Embedded Artist Project Brief

We are looking for an artist or cultural practitioner working in any art form to make use of their relatively autonomous position as an ‘outsider’ to help to provide new ways of thinking, fresh perspectives and different approaches to the challenges of adapting to climate change.

They will be an active participant in and contributor to Climate Ready Clyde meetings, events and activities with stakeholders and partners including the Board, and lead on key areas of work to address specific challenges and opportunities within the Climate Ready Clyde programme.  The Artist will have a particular responsibility to combine the environmental, social and cultural interests of the partners and ensure that this complex and novel but crucial combination of fields is understood and made use of by the wider Climate Ready Clyde board, and interested parties.

The anticipated total time commitment is around 28 days spread over the whole project. This will include:

  • Preparing for, attendance at and participation in each of the four Transnational meetings taking place throughout the project:
    • Glasgow 19th – 20th March 2019
    • Gothenburg 12th – 13th November 2019
    • Dublin February 2020
    • Ghent June 2020
  • Preparing for, attending and contributing to various meetings and events of the Climate Ready Clyde partnership throughout the project
  • Preparing for, attendance at and participation in a final international conference in Glasgow in Autumn 2020
  • Contribution to the project evaluation, the Toolkit and Digital Resource and the final report to Creative Europe

See full Cultural Adaptations Embedded Artist Brief. 

Artist Fee

The artist will be paid a total fee of £9,200 for the 28 days work. This is to include the artist’s travel to and around the Glasgow city region.

Travel to, accommodation at, and subsistence costs for Transnational Meetings and the conference will be paid in addition to this sum. There is a small budget available for materials across the duration of the project (£400-£450), although no physical artwork is anticipated as an output of the work.

Artist Specification

This role is imagined for an experienced and established individual artist or cultural practitioner, working in any discipline, looking to use their creative skills to contribute to wider society. We anticipate an individual with 5 or more years of experience in the cultural sector will be most appropriate for this role.

The types of skills and experience that will be beneficial for this project include:

  • Interest and experience of working collaboratively with diverse groups and in non-arts contexts. For example, regeneration, environmental, educational, social, healthcare contexts;
  • Experience of making strategic contributions to initiatives. Synthesising diverse facts, goals and references, making connections and communicating with different ‘audiences’. For example, being a Board member or Trustee of an organisation, being an active member of a union or membership organisation, contributing to policy consultations;
  • Experience of building engagement/ developing communications for socially or politically-challenging topics. 
  • Knowledge of or demonstrable interest in learning about sustainability-related issues, including climate change. 
  • Imaginative thinking and the ability to work with complexity and varying degrees of scale.

The artist must be able to fulfil the full duration of the project and agreed timetable (January 2019 – Autumn 2020).

How to apply

Please download the Cultural Adaptations Embedded Artist Brief for full details of the context, partners and activities, and review the skills and experience required as outlined in the Brief to ensure you meet the required experience and abilities. Please note that you must be available for all specified dates in the project timetable (see Brief), and for the full duration of the project.

To apply: complete the online application form. 
The application form requests:

  • A CV demonstrating appropriate experience (max 2 pages)
  • A covering letter (max 3 pages) which details:
    • How the applicant sees their skills and experiences contributing to the aims and tasks of Climate Ready Clyde (and the wider Cultural Adaptations project)
    • Up to 5 example of projects/contexts where the applicant has contributed to planning and decision making.
  • Up to three examples or descriptions of relevant previous work (max 3 pages)
  • Completion of the Creative Carbon Scotland Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Deadline

Please complete the online application by 5pm on Friday 11th January 2019. 

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted w/c Monday 14th January 2019 and asked to participate in a video/phone call or in-person informal meeting with Creative Carbon Scotland in order to discuss the project, answer any questions, and explore the practical delivery of the project. Following this, shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend an in-person interview (in Glasgow) with Creative Carbon Scotland, SNIFFER and Climate Ready Clyde on Wednesday 23rd January.


Cultural Adaptations

Cultural Adaptations (EUCAN) is co-funded with the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

The post Protected: Opportunity: Cultural Adaptations seeks Embedded Artist appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Powered by WPeMatico

The biggest Green Arts Conference ever! – Read all about it

A huge thank you from the Creative Carbon Scotland team everyone involved for making The Green Arts Conference 2018 the best one yet! Catch-up on what happened.

Scotland’s arts & cultural sector came together this month to drive forward action for a better world. Over 150 people came together for the biggest ever – and sold-out – Green Arts Conference: Culture Change!

Catch-up on what happened

Write-ups from the plenary sessions and break-outs have been brought together in the Green Arts Conference: Culture Change report published today (Friday 8 November). This year we had an opening address from the Scottish Government, setting the context in which the sector is working, a first for the conference.

Scotland will achieve 100% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 slide presented by Colin Seditas of Scottish Government

The Green Arts Conference 2018 - Culture Change Conference Report front cover- #GreenArts

This year’s conference had a major theme of adaptation to the effects of climate change with sessions on the specific challenges from the impacts of climate change – such as flooding from more extreme rain – and where opportunities may lie for organisations to positively adapt.

Alongside showcasing projects from members of the Green Arts Initiative like WASPs studios encouraging cycling through providing showers and secure bike parking and Summerhall installing electric car charging points there were examples of organisations working with artists to explore environmental issues through their work.

This year the Green Arts Conference had over 150 participants including from outside of Scotland with representatives from the Irish Theatre Forum in Dublin and Siam Satire, the home of Ireland’s National Folk Theatre, based in Tralee on the west coast and Invisible Dust from London. They joined attendees from across Scotland including Comar from Mull, Pier Arts from Orkney, North Lands Creative from Lybster in Sutherland and Blueprint 100 from Dumfries and a video & twitter link-up with Atlas Arts from Portree on Skye.

A word on Lunch

The catering for any event is always an opportunity for event organisers to make a positive environmental choice, and reducing the amount of meat – especially red meat – and dairy is a great step. This year we took the decision of going for a fully vegan lunch at the conference, walking the walk and all that. We have to say that it’s not always easy working with a new supplier and asking them to try something different. On this occasion we felt the lunch was not as fantastic as you may have been expecting, but it was a learning experience for both us and the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church. We don’t aim to let this put us off, but we will be mindful that fully vegan catering for 150+ people still isn’t an everyday ask and we’ll work with suppliers in the future to get it right.

Stay in touch

If you’re part of a cultural organisation join the Green Arts Initiative so you’re first to know about next year’s conference and what’s happening throughout the year. We had a fantastic time with so many people coming together for The Green Arts Conference: Culture Change, one more big thanks to everyone who was part of it!

The post The biggest Green Arts Conference ever! – Read all about it appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Powered by WPeMatico

Creative Carbon Scotland’s Cultural Adaptations shortlisted for NICE Award

Culture has a key role in how society adapts to the unavoidable impacts of climate change so we’re thrilled that Cultural Adaptations is one of eight projects shortlisted for the NICE Award 2019!

A NICE award

The NICE award aims to promote innovations from the cultural and creative industries, especially those that spill over into the wider economy and society. Under the leadership of the european centre for creative economy (ecce) the Award for Innovations in Culture and Creativity in Europe (NICE) was initiated in 2013 at the UNESCO World Heritage Zeche Zollverein in Essen in collaboration with 15 cities, universities and institutions from 10 nations. It is financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Innovative partnership

Cultural Adaptations brings together innovative cultural and adaptation organisations to explore culture’s role in society’s adaptation to climate change, and the adaptation issues that cultural organisations face. This co-operation project which has been in development since 2017, runs to March 2021, and is funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme.

We are leading the project with Sniffer and the Climate Ready Clyde Project as adaptation partners in Scotland, TILLT working with the City of Gothenburg in Sweden, Greentrack Gent and City of Gent in Belgium and Axis will be working with Codema, in Ireland.

NICE nominees

Cultural Adaptations was shortlisted out of 55 applications that were submitted for the NICE Award 2019 which is focused on the theme of “Internationalisation for a Better World”. Varied projects from Spain, Finland, Netherlands, Lithuania and Sweden were shortlisted alongside three from the UK. Shortlisted projects include “3D Printing Sustainable Buildings” a research project which demonstrates the potentials of additive manufacturing technology and robotics in the production of sustainable low-cost buildings that can be built with 100% natural materials. International artists, musicians, technologists and theorists join forces to understand how blockchains might enable a critical, sustainable and empowered culture in “DAOWO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation With Others)” another shortlisted project.

Next steps

Cultural Adaptations will be presented to the judges in Dortmund in February 2019. To keep informed about the Cultural Adaptations project, register your interest on the project page.


Cultural Adaptations

Cultural Adaptations (EUCAN) is co-funded with the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

The post Cultural Adaptations shortlisted for NICE Award! appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Ben’s Strategy Blog: Complexity theory, cultural practices and carbon reduction policy  

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland’s Director Ben Twist has completed his PhD! In this blog he shares a summary of how complexity theory, cultural practice and sustainability work together.

At about the same time that Creative Carbon Scotland was formed I started work on a part-time PhD at the University of Edinburgh’s department of Sociology. Seven years later (it was very part-time!) I’ll be graduating in November. The subject of the PhD has both shaped and been shaped by the work of Creative Carbon Scotland, and I provide here a summary of Taking the Complexity Turn to Steer Carbon Reduction Policy: Applying practice theory, complexity theory and cultural practices to policies addressing climate change. (I can provide a version with references to anyone who wants one.) My practical research focused on increasing the sustainability of audience travel to His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen and relates to the useful skills and attributes that cultural practitioners can bring to work on climate change, even in non-arts settings. 

The Scottish Government has a problem.  

The Scottish Government has committed to an 80% cut in CO2-e emissions from the 1990 baseline by 2050 (to be increased to at least 90% in the Climate Change Bill scheduled for 2019). A 37.6% cut had been achieved by 2015, but largely through decarbonisation of the electricity supply, which has involved dealing with relatively few large companies in a field where regulation is seen as acceptable. Most of this low hanging fruit has now been plucked and the next stage will be much harder as it will require changes in the way in which millions of individuals and small organisations travel and transport goods, heat and power their homes, buildings and appliances, and changes to individuals’ diets. The Government broadly follows a commonly held view that individual behaviour is none of its business, and so thinks it has very limited control over these smaller ‘agents’. What is it to do? 

Behaviour change 

Since 2009 the Government’s policy has focused on behaviour change to achieve this reduction in the carbon emissions of individuals, and it set up a useful research programme to explore how to go about it. This revealed that such behaviour change is in fact difficult to bring about and seldom achieves the degree of change that is required for this enormous social, cultural and economic transition. The research points to interventions being required at individual, societal and infrastructural levels as well as working in a coordinated way across sectors to avoid conflicting changes, and it raises the issue of ‘rebound’, where financial savings made by improving energy efficiency are ‘recycled’ by consumers into increased consumption, reducing or removing the desired carbon reductions. Behaviour change is more complex than it might seem. 

‘Behaviour change’ is in fact a term that was seldom used in sociological writing before the 1970s: until then, government in the UK was openly involved in organising social change. In the early 70s the post-war consensus between government, unions, companies and society broke down and a post-Keynesian economics focused on individuals and their choices – rational choice theory – leading to the concentration on the ‘rational actor’ approach to individual behaviour change. A feature of this approach that continues today, although it has been partly undermined by the financial crisis, is the view that government should get out of the way and intervene in individuals’ decision making as little as possible. 

Relying on the Rational Actor 

Rational choice theory sees the human being as a ‘rational actor’, capable of making a choice to act so as to maximise their personal benefit, and fundamentally self-interested, so making that maximisation of personal benefit the reason for all choices and behaviours (and the influence of economics on policy is so strong that this doesn’t apply just to the economic sphere but has spread to thinking about social fields). Thus people constantly weigh up the various options they have in any particular circumstances and choose the course of action expected to result in the highest net benefit or the lowest net cost. This model relies on the individual having good and complete information about the courses of action, and it makes no comment on the ‘preferences’ that the individual uses to evaluate the various benefits on offer. In an assumption with implications relating to concepts of sustainability it also assumes that the individual has endless, insatiable desire for benefit, for otherwise the whole model would fail to work when there was no longer any further maximisation of benefit that would lead to any behavioural choices.  

This focus on the rational choice theory of behaviour led to a host of theories about how to achieve behaviour change when governments wanted (most research was government led: government is of course quite a lot about influencing the activities of citizens). These include: 

  • Improving the individual’s knowledge so they would make ‘better’ choices; 
  • Widening the understanding of the personal benefit to include social, psychological and moral benefits, not just material ones; 
  • Considering longer term rather than just immediate benefits to be gained from a choice. 

The problems with rational choice theory are however both legion and well documented (search for Motivating Sustainable Consumption by Professor Tim Jackson, for example) and to address these the theories of behaviour became ever more complicated to the point where they seemed impossible to apply in practice. The behaviour change theories suffered similarly and a core problem is that individuals lack ‘agency’ – the ability to make changes when their actions are influenced by a complex web of other factors and agents. Other people, material things, habit, commercial, financial and social pressures, the weather etc all combine to intervene between what someone might want to do (or think they want to do) and what they actually end up doing.  

Nudge 

In an attempt to overcome these problems whilst avoiding seeming to interfere in individuals’ choices, both the US and UK governments leapt upon ‘Nudge’, a rag-bag of techniques owing a great deal to the marketing world’s success in changing behaviours. Nudge accepts that individuals don’t make very good rational choosers: we are influenced by all sorts of things (including of course marketing). Nudge therefore applies various techniques to help us choose ‘better’, and to some extent it works practically. There are however ethical questions about this ‘choice architecture’, as people are being manipulated without their knowing, whilst laws and regulations do it openly, but moreover the focus on the individual and his/her behaviour is not enough, and this forms part of the problem of what I call ‘the sheer muddle of everyday life’.  

A personal example of this might help show why consistent behaviour change is so difficult to achieve. My decision to cycle, take the bus or drive to a performance at the theatre is influenced by many different factors. Who I am going with (my wife doesn’t cycle), who I am going to meet there (cycling gear won’t impress some people); the state of the roads/cycle lanes/traffic conditions (cycling feels dangerous in Edinburgh but is often faster than driving in heavy traffic); the cost, timing and convenience of the bus (does it go there, does it come back after the show, how long will I have to wait?); the cost of parking and fuel, the likelihood of having a drink after the show; the weather; the time the show starts (am I going to be rushed to get home from a meeting, eat and get there by bus?).  

All these factors vary from occasion to occasion and they are not all in my control: indeed, they are in the control of numerous different people and agencies. Whilst the various theories of behaviour can explain or predict my behaviour in certain circumstances and Nudging might influence my behaviour to some degree, it can’t actually address the issues that stop me cycling to the theatre. What is required rather than a focus on the individual is system-level analysis of the factors that lead me to behave in a particular way and, if we agree that intervention is necessary and acceptable, system-level intervention so that my individual desire to travel to the theatre in a sustainable way is not thwarted by any combination of frightening cycling conditions, discouraging social norms, expensive, inconvenient buses and cheap, convenient car parking. 

Practice Theory 

From early this century another approach to behaviours was taking shape. Practice Theory moves up a level from the individual to the social, considering that rather than individuals choosing to ‘behave’ in a particular way, ‘practices’ exist in society outwith the individual and individuals ‘perform’ or ‘enact’ them, constantly re-interpreting the practices in their performance of them and so strengthening and reinforcing them in a dynamic way.  

This is exemplified well by the practice of daily showering. When I grew up, daily showering was unheard of and indeed impossible: it is a function of everything from showers existing in people’s homes, a good source of hot water and warm bathrooms to a social expectation of frequent showering, even the existence of shower gel – a whole complex of technological, social, commercial and practical factors, some of which didn’t apply in the 1970s. Today no-one chooses to be a daily showerer, but the combination of all those factors makes it a very common practice in UK life. Daily showering therefore exists outside of the individual but many individuals perform it, changing and influencing the practice as they do so. A useful diagram from Elizabeth Shove’s influential paper helps here: 

Shove's 'Pinning Power Showering in Place' (taken from Shove ‘Converging Conventions of Comfort, Cleanliness and Convenience’

Figure 1: Shove’s ‘Pinning Power Showering in Place’ (taken from Shove ‘Converging Conventions of Comfort, Cleanliness and Convenience’. Journal of Consumer Policy, 2003 (26), pp395-418

Practice Theory has influenced the Scottish Government’s approach to behaviour change, whilst not quite removing from it the focus on the individual: the Government promotes the Individual, Social and Material (or ISM) Model, which asks users to think about all the different factors in the different areas that might lead to individuals’ ‘behaviours’ to consider how to change them. And Practice Theory has a great deal to offer – I find it a compelling description of how people come to do the things they do in the way they do. While it is good, however, at describing how practices come about, the ways in which they change and how they die out, it is almost totally silent on how to deliberately change existing practices or create new ones. Indeed some of the main proponents of Practice Theory in the UK argue that seeking to bring about a transition is fundamentally problematic as it perhaps wrongly assumes that there is an agreed state to transition toI understand their concerns but argue that since the democratically elected Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Climate Change Act including its targets in 2009, we do have an agreed endpoint we want to reach, and the discussion is more about how we achieve those carbon reductions. 

Complexity Theory 

Complexity theory, which derives from the natural sciences and mathematics, is often expressed in language similar to that used to describe practice theory, and it may offer a solution to this problem of how to apply practice theory practically, as it were. In very brief terms, complexity theory holds that complex systems – as distinct from merely complicated ones – are open systems consisting of many elements or agents which interact dynamically between themselves and indeed with influences outside the system. These interactions are rich, in that one agent may influence and be influenced by many others. They are non-linear, in that small changes can have large effects or vice versa. This non-linearity is an essential condition of complexity and means that the system cannot be collapsed into a smaller equivalent system. For the most part, interactions are likely to be at fairly short range, although the ramifications of an interaction can be felt at greater distances as subsequent interactions are triggered in other agents. However, this means that the influence of one agent may be altered, increased or diminished by further interactions along the chain. There are therefore feedback loops, both positive and negative, as interactions lead to changes that bring about further interactions to multiply or cancel out the effect of the first. 

As a result of the feedbacks, the interactions and their non-linearity, complex systems are not in equilibrium – a particularly important change from a view of science, economics and other disciplines that have traditionally assumed a tendency towards stability and equilibrium. Complex systems have a history: not only do they develop and change over time, but their present and future are determined by their past. Crucially for this discussion, complex systems have ‘emergent properties’: properties of the whole system, not individual elements therein, which cannot be foreseen just by looking at the individual parts.  

Complexity theory is usually applied to the natural world and physics, but there is a growing view that it can be used to describe complex social systems, in that phenomena seen in society can be understood as emergent properties of the complex social system that is society. Thus traffic congestion can be seen as an emergent property of a system in which car driving seems cheap and convenient, public transport is unfashionable, expensive or inconvenient, road systems are designed for outmoded traffic patterns and utility companies have a disconnected approach to planning roadworks.   

I argued that practices – the result of a complex combination of technological, social, historical and other factors – could usefully be seen as emergent properties of complex social systems. To change the practice it would therefore be necessary to focus not on the individual, nor on the practice itself, but on the complex system from which it emerged. But this raised the question, is it possible to deliberately act upon a complex social system in order to bring about such a change? 

TheatreBus 

In order to test this I decided to employ a case study to influence how audiences travel to attend His Majesty’s Theatre, a large theatre in Aberdeen, audience travel being a significant but largely unmeasured source of carbon emissions for the cultural sector. Through audience surveys and focus groups I discovered that although a high 70% of people travelled to the theatre by car, for many driving was the least inconvenient mode of transport rather than something they wished to do, emergent properties of the system such as lack of safety on the Aberdeen streets and mistiming of transport services and theatre performances putting them off taking the bus or train.  

Pinning car travel in place -Bus services and timetables difficult to understand, street parking expensive, poor evening bus service, unpleasant atmosphere on union street, high bus fares, bus station not very nice, drunks on buses, dark seedy streets on walk to bus station, oil city: strong car focus, discount car park deal with theatre tickets - with apologies to Elizabeth Shove

Figure 2: Twist’s ‘Pinning car travel in place’, 2018

A ‘behaviour change’ approach to this problem would have focused on the individuals, seeking to change the motivation to drive through increased information, financial or other incentives to use public transport etc. A complexity approach led me to bring together three organisations that had agency to influence elements of the complex social system within which this practice of audience travel took place: the theatre management; Stagecoach, which runs the buses from Aberdeen to destinations in Aberdeenshire; and Aberdeenshire Council. Using His Majesty’s knowledge from their box office data of when and to where people would be travelling, the bus company’s knowledge about bus travel and their resource of buses, drivers etc, and Aberdeenshire’s strategic role to promote sustainable travel and its ability to secure funding for the project, we ran TheatreBus, providing services to popular destinations from right outside the theatre, guaranteed to leave at a time matched with the performance end.

Working on the project revealed time and time again characteristics of complex systems, some of which helped and others hindered the project’s implementation, confirming the importance of complexity in considering such projects. This has implications for how future interventions are planned and evaluated. It also highlighted that skills that I had developed as a theatre director and producer were essential to managing an intervention in a complex social system: we in the arts are comfortable with complexity – we even seek it out! 

Ben’s Strategy Blog: Complexity theory, cultural practices and carbon reduction policy  

Figure 3: A simplified map of the complex system within which audience members travel to His Majesty’s

This last point was informed by our interest at Creative Carbon Scotland in the work of the ‘civic artist’ Frances Whitehead and her Embedded Artist Project and has encouraged our own work on Embedded Artist Projects (we’re now involved in at least three relevant projects), development of the Library of Creative Sustainability, and our Creative Europe project Cultural Adaptations, so the research has already led to practical outputs and ‘impact’, as the academic funders like to see! 

Although TheatreBus was a great success with those who used it we didn’t manage to change that many people’s travel practices: all involved thought that this would have happened but needed a much longer experiment. We did however manage to change the system in which travel took place. His Majesty’s, which hadn’t previously considered itself to be part of the transport planning system, recognised that, as the trigger for around 1m journeys per year and holding unique information about those travelling, it had a vital role to play. Stagecoach and Aberdeenshire similarly reconsidered their omission of travel-triggerers from their lists of partners to work with. Moreover, I learned a great deal about how to go about changing a complex social system, including the need for collaborative and partnership working to achieve this, and some lessons this has for policymakers seeking ‘behaviour change’. Perverse incentives within policy around climate change encourage Public Bodies (such as local authorities, health trusts, higher and further education institutions etc) to focus on their own direct carbon emissions rather than emissions that they may not control but over which they have influence. Collaborative working is essential to address these emergent properties of the systems in which Public Bodies play a major role. 

Conclusions 

My evaluation of the TheatreBus project pointed to the need to consider complexity in the design, implementation and assessment of interventions in complex social systems. Collaborative working is hindered by some aspects of current policy and requires particular skills, including the willingness and ability to manage complexity. As I noted above, many cultural practitioners are trained and experienced in handling complexity and might well be useful project managers for this sort of collaboration, but wouldn’t normally be considered for these roles. Perhaps they should be added to the list. 

My thesis concludes with the following main recommendations for policymakers: 

  1. Since all interventions seeking to achieve changes in individual ‘behaviours’ will take place within the complex social system that is society, policy and policy making should fully acknowledge the implications of complexity theory. 
  1. Policymakers and those implementing it could therefore benefit from learning about complexity theory in higher education and continuing professional development. 
  1. Results of interventions in complex social systems have long lead-times and cannot be exactly replicated in other circumstances, no matter how similar. The assessment of success may therefore need to be different and the range of acceptable evidence widened. 
  1. Accordingly, methods of evaluating complex interventions in complex system need to be more widely developed. 
  1. Public Bodies are important agents in complex social systems. Refocusing the Public Bodies Duties in the Climate Change Act, shifting Public Bodies’ attention away from reducing their own direct emissions to addressing society’s overall ones, would help achieve the overall carbon emissions reductions. 
  1. A strong Duty to Collaborate, able to encourage Public Bodies to divert resources to relevant projects and to over-ride other less important duties, should be considered to help the Public Bodies in this change. 
  1. Collaborative projects to intervene in complex social systems require particular skills, qualities and backgrounds from project managers and these may be found in people from a wider range of unexpected areas, including for example the arts. 

This is a very brief summary of my research and I’d be happy to discuss it further with anyone who is interested. And if you want to read the full 82,000 words, just let me know! 

Thanks

Finally, I couldn’t have completed this project without the help of my collaborators at Stagecoach and Aberdeenshire Council and especially my supervisors Dr Claire Haggettand Professor Nick Prior,  and Andy Kite and Jane Spiers‎ from Aberdeen Performing Arts. Enormous thanks to them all.

The post Ben’s Strategy Blog: Complexity theory, cultural practices and carbon reduction policy   appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

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