Bolder Policymaking




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Bolder Policymaking

How can art encourage bolder policymaking? Teresa Dillon at Salzburg Global session "Beyond Green"

If art can reach people’s hearts, mind and souls, it is important to remember that policymakers are people too, participants were reminded at the Salzburg Global Seminar program Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability.

Policymaking needs to be bolder to tackle our unpredictable and rapidly changing world. We have to identify the edge, Fellows were told; we should be working at that edge and realize we do not work at the core.

Bolder policymaking necessitates collaborative approaches and transdisciplinary research. Artists can help transcend these boundaries and enliven the body, mind and soul to embolden policymakers. We should stop thinking about art works as objects and starting thinking about them as triggers for experiences.

Sustainability and culture is rising up policymakers’ agendas, even as they tackle other, oft-considered more pressing issues, such as the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. Art, for example, can play a key role in helping with integration and acceptance. 

In Dublin, Ireland, The Science Gallery’s Hack the City exhibition and events program invited locals to “adopt a hacker mindset to bend, tweak and mash-up Dublin’s existing urban systems.” The aim was to empower citizens to share how they want to live in their city. “Hacking exposes the cracks in the system, finds the weaknesses and looks at how they can be exploited for individual purposes and/or the common good,” explain Hack the City curator and Salzburg Global panelist Teresa Dillon.

Significant systems changes need to happen to build a more sustainable world. Art has the potential to help provide the spaces needed for collaboration to bring about this change, both in the street and in the corridors of power.

The Salzburg Global session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Bush Foundation and Red Bull Amaphiko. More information on the session can be found here: You can follow all the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.