Hot Topic - Has "Development" Become a Poisonous Word?




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Feb 26, 2016
by Patrick Wilson
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Hot Topic - Has "Development" Become a Poisonous Word?

Fellows at the session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability share their opinions on the day's hot topic Fellows speaking at Session 561 | Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability

“The word ‘development’ was an economic term but economy has become so hegemonic that people think if you’re not developed economically, you’re not developed in any other fields of life. For me this is simply wrong... That’s why I think the term ‘sustainable development’ is poisonous; its meaning has been nailed to growth rate. The economic idea has even been used to measure other parts of life which is wrong.”
Marco Kusumawijaya Director, Rujak Center for Urban Studies, Jakarta, Indonesia
(Read our full interview)

“Development is now in many ways considered a bad word, also in Asia. We need to work out how to make people understand the value of sustainable development. In many ways we are very romantic about the past but it is coming to the point where you have to see the urgency to have change.”
Margaret Shiu Founder & Director, Bamboo Curtain Studio, Taipei, Taiwan

“It’s an interesting point because I’m interested in the redefinition of the word development rather than thinking of it as economic development. We should start thinking of it as a holistic human development and what does it mean to invest in holistic individual societal development and evolutionary development.”
Alexis Frasz Researcher & Strategist, Helicon Collaborative, New York, NY, USA

“Nowadays, not only in Argentina but all over the world, development is still very much connected with growth of GDPs and economic development and that is exactly the disease. It’s a very one dimensional view for a multi-dimensional problem. I think we still don’t understand what the goal is, economic growth could be important but it is not the goal. The goal of development is for people to flourish.”
Christian Tiscornia Biaus Founder & President, Amartya Buenos Aires, Argentina

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.