Upcoming Program


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 build back better. 
As part of its 2021 program on Humanizing Power of the Arts, Salzburg Global’s Culture and the Arts series will explore the intersections between the arts and culture sector and the following four interrelated strands of work: climate, health, education, and justice. This group will focus on how the arts can help in mitigating climate change and designing a greener planet. 
By invitation only.

The creative sector is playing an increasingly significant role in raising awareness of climate change and encouraging sustainable social, economic, and environmental practices worldwide. A growing number of artists, cultural organizations and creative industries leaders are using their talents and resources to draw attention to issues, build will and agency for change, and devise innovative solutions to move us towards greater sustainability with greater urgency and speed. These innovators are breaking down false boundaries between aesthetics and politics, and claiming culture as an important and effective catalyst for, and site of, sustainability.


This 90-min focus group is one of a four-part series framed around the intersections between the arts and culture sector and the following four interrelated strands of work: 

  • Building Back Greener: Mitigating climate change and designing a greener planet
  • Building Back Healthier: Promoting community health and individual well-being through the arts
  • Building Back Smarter: Reimagining creativity in education and learning
  • Building Back Fairer: Advancing social justice and processes of decolonization 

The four focus groups will culminate in a three-day hybrid in-person/online program in November 2021, The Humanizing Power of the Arts: Building Back Better.

Focus Group Questions
  • How can we advance cross-sectoral links between arts and green practice to mitigate climate change and design a more sustainable planet?
  • What role do the arts have in advancing a green agenda at international, national and local levels? 
  • How can we build on path-breaking initiatives to advance cross-sectoral links between arts and green practice around the world, encourage bolder efforts, and recommend strategic approaches for taking innovative grassroots initiatives to scale for greater, faster, longer-term impact? 
  • What kinds of arts-based sustainability projects break through social norms and cultural narratives to inspire lasting behavior change? 
  • How can cutting-edge green design become more accessible, affordable, and widely produced? 
  • As creative industries grow more numerous and more prominent, how can this sector influence consumer attitudes and behaviors, accelerate equitable labor practices and promote sourcing methods that build responsible global citizenship? 
  • How can more cities – their political leaders, business enterprises and citizens alike – be convinced to embrace artists and the creative sector as essential allies in building greener, climate-friendly communities? 
  • What incentives can propel more arts councils, ministries, and diverse cultural organizations to embed environmental sustainability into their policies, practices, and investments, thus reducing carbon usage and exerting necessary moral leadership?
Participant Profile

Each of the four focus groups will include experts in research, policy, and practice from the four respective focus areas: climate, health, education, and justice. They will also be joined by technology innovators, anthropologists, cultural philanthropists, and media representatives.

The culminating three-day hybrid program in November will convene an interdisciplinary and inter-generational group of approximately 60 creative practitioners, researchers, and policymakers from around the globe to forge a crucible for strategic dialogue.