Strategic Initiatives

Conference in Indonesia: ‘The Power of Culture as Catalyst in Sustainable Development’

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

bali-conference1New pathways for locating culture as an integral part of sustainable development will be explored and highlighted when a World Culture in Development Forum is held in Bali, Indonesia, on 24-29 November 2013.

The aim of the World Culture in Development Forum is to create a space to discuss, debate and contest established ideas and approaches, and in doing so to recommend:

• new pathways for locating culture as an integral part of sustainable development,
• ethical frameworks for ensuring community engagement and stakeholder benefits,
• qualitative and quantitative cultural indicators for measuring sustainable development, and
• inputs into the framing of Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

It is envisaged that the World Culture in Development Forum will result in strategic initiatives to:

• promote knowledge communities for intercultural, intergenerational and interfaith dialogue,
• further ethical investment and business practices for cultural industries,
• establish clearing houses for people-centred projects and practices, emphasising local knowledge systems, and
• develop conceptual frameworks informing the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Leading international agencies and critical thinkers, notably Nobel Laureates, will challenge the participants on four seminal themes that will form the overarching framework of World Culture in Development Forum 2013:

• Culture, Freedom and Social Sustainability,
• Culture and Economic Sustainability,
• Cultural Convergence in a Global Context, and
• Culture and Environmental Sustainability

Gender mainstreaming, active youth engagement and children of today and tomorrow will be the cross cutting themes woven across the entire Forum. A series of discussions, debates, performances and symposia will be programmed with the participation of experts and practitioners from across the world. An inspirational and leading edge cultural programme will be part of the hospitality spectrum.

The UN General Assembly (2011) has called for a more visible and effective integration and mainstreaming of culture into development policies and strategies at all levels. It is important to note that despite the recent global financial crisis there has been continuous growth and prosperity in the domain of culture among the countries of the South. This is the most significant indicator in considering the paradigm shift from the persistent deficit model of culture in development to an affirmative and empowering approach where creativity, knowledge, culture and technology are drivers of job creation, innovation and social inclusion.

The Common Statement on the Outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) calls for innovative and entrepreneurial ways of moving forward. We have learned from the successes and failures attaining of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is acknowledged that there remains much to be done including ensuring that culture in all its dimensions needs to be integrated more forcefully in development. Culture must become an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the post-2015 Development Agenda.

For more information please contact:
WCF Secretariat, Ministry of Education and Culture, Republic of Indonesia,
Building A, 2nd Floor, Jl. Jenderal Sudirman, Senayan, Jakarta 10270, Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 3611 3104 • email:

Web site:

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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