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Cultural Institutions & Regenerative Cultures (Version 0.1)

Work in progress in support of cultural institutions

Cultural Institutions around the world have suddenly been presented with an opportunity to reflect on their purpose and impact as catalysts for cultural creativity and evolution.

A culturally regenerative response starts from potential

Working regeneratively means to not fall into a quick-fix, piece-meal, techno-centric mindset of problem solving in the face of converging crises. We have plenty of evidence that inadequate interventions in complex systems can have many unforeseen consequences. The problem-solving and scaling-up-solutions mindset can be part of the problem.

More:

In this talk I summarise why a transformative response is needed and outline many of the institutions and initiatives around the world already working on such a response (October, 2018).

Cultural Insititutions as Catalysts of Culture Change

One of the many things that the global pandemic disrupted was my plan to facilitate a face-to-face workshop on ‘Regenerative Cultures and Cultural Institutions’ scheduled at Culturgest in Lisbon on the invitation of the Goethe Institute. This document is primarily written as a resource document of the participants who joined the online workshop on the same theme, held between April 23rd and 30th, 2020.

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Upstream shifts in perception and narrative

NATURE! […] Who cannot see her everywhere, sees her nowhere in the right light. […] The spectacle of Nature is always new, for she is always renewing the spectators. Life is her most exquisite invention; and death is her expert contrivance to get plenty of life. […] She is complete, but never finished.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 -1832)

Re-enchanting the universe story with science: El Paseo Cósmico

One little example of a cultural acupuncture and public education project I can offer to illustrate a way of creating such engagement through a scientifically informed understanding of the world is the Paseo Cósmicio Del Molinar. A project I initiated in my own neighbourhood with an excellent team of collaborators around the island of Mallorca.

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Leaflet showing the 1400 meter long exhibition mapped out along the seafront of Palma de Mallorca
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Close up sketch of the promenade where the educative panels of the exhibition will be mounted on an existing railing.
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Crowd funding based on local business and citizen participation in a local currency
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One Cosmolí

Museums as centres for public intelligence: Geddes & The Outlook Tower

More than 100 years ago the biologist Sir Patrick Geddes, who is also credited for being a founding influence in the fields of town planning and sociology, and who’s ‘Edinburgh International Summer School’ has turned into the now famous Edinburgh Festival, pioneered the use of museums to connect people to their home place but with global awareness. Geddes is the originator of the often quoted invitation to “Think Global, Act Local”.

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The future of museums & museums of the future

Museums around the world are exploring how to stay relevant in a rapidly change context and how to engage the public and in particularly younger generations with their content.

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A critique of the Anthropocene framing

Since many of these initiatives have homed in on the new term ‘Anthopocene’ as a way to focus and structure their exhibitions and promote discourse, I have recently put together some critical reflections on whether that focus is the most appropriate framing of our conversations about the future (see link below).

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Best Practice within the Goethe Institute Network

In March 2019, I had the pleasure of being hosted by the Goethe Insitute in Sao Paulo for the launch of my book ‘Design de Culturas Regenerativas’ and a workshop on regenerative culture change.

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Creating Culture Change through the music industry and music

For a number of years I have been in conversation with people working in or with the music industry to explore how a wider global movement of the ReGeneration Rising could be supported by musicians through their work. Just last Monday I had a call with Mark Johnson from ‘Playing for Change’ and the initiators of Guayaki’s ‘Come to Life’ culture change project to take next steps on this vision.

Over to you! Some questions:

These are the three questions I am inviting the workshop participants to explore first personally and then within a small peer group between the first and second webinar of the workshops.

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Catalysing transformative innovation, cultural co-creation, whole systems design, and bioregional regeneration. Author of Designing Regenerative Cultures

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