Change Culture

Mediating Change

‘Mediating Change: Culture and Climate Change’- A panel of experts engaging in discussion

Talk of climate change has grown prevalently in recent years and continues to be a focal point in discussions amongst politicians and scientists. But behind the highly-publicised media attention we read about so frequently in the newspapers, the arts have been responding to the issues surrounding climate change and encouraging a cultural shift in our understanding of these significant issues. Artists, writers and performers have been inspired to explore and question the issues surrounding climate change and deliver responses that may trigger people to talk, think and act on this subject.

To learn more about ‘what happens when culture meets climate change’ take a look at the pod cast below called ‘Mediating Change’, a four-part series chaired by BBC’s Quentin Cooper who is joined by a panel of experts.

Produced with the Open University and the Ashden Trust, the series sits on the homepage of the OU’s iTunes U:

Go to Arcola Energy

Climate change = culture change: the hugeness of the challenge


We tend to talk about the idea of cultural change without thinking through what that means. The size of the job of retooling society to achieve an ecological age by 2050  is immense.

Emerging from the 20th century, it’s hard not to see this as a fundamentally Orwellian task.  However, if we do embrace the idea that culture has a responsiblity to move forwads, we have to start thinking in practical cutural realities. I recommend reading the working paperCulture|Futures Cultural Transformations for a Cultural Age by 2050 edited by Olaf Gerlach-Hansen which was released yesterday. It begins the ambitious process of evaluating if we even have the means by which we get from here to there.

The degree and scope of the cultural challenge is … exacerbated by how little time we have to bring about change. The transformation must be completed globally in 40 years, which in terms of comprehensive cultural transformations is an extremely short period – just a generation or two at most.

The time factor adds to the number of challenges concerning identity, lifestyle and habits to be addressed, since the entire world will vividly remember its old version, while developing the new.

That’s only a quick flavour of the paper which served as a working document to kickstart yestereday’s symposium…

Download the PDF [2.43MB] here.

Illustration: Glowing Climate

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology