Case for Optimism

Case for Optimism draws on 'The Work That Reconnects' developed by deep ecologist and philosopher Joanna Macy and her concept of The Great Turning.

It is also influenced by the work of vernacular artist John Fox and artist Joseph Beuys whose theories of social sculpture described how transforming society is an artwork in itself.

Case for Optimism is part of a broad change movement that recognises the vitality of creativity of arts and culture within transition, including energy strategists CAT, community change agents Transition Town Network, economic think-and-do tank NEF (New Economics Foundation), campaign networks WWF through their work on values and frames, and arts-science change catalysts Tipping Point.

The first Case for Optimism event was made possible with support from Clore Leadership Programme and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

Case for Optimism is for leaders in the arts and cultural sector and those who seek to maximise their creative response to the great challenges of our time: the ongoing financial crisis, the end of the oil age, other resource depletions, and the challenge of climate change. The day long event offers participants context, a chance to reflect on their personal role, their collective role within their sector, and creative processes to explore and imagine an authentic response.

The event connects conciously the personal to the professional to help individuals identify a sense of creative agency.

Past event participants include artistic directors, producers, artists, writers, museum directors, curators, thinkers, activists, educators, policy makers, energy specialists, psychologists.

John Schaar, Futurist

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"Art, I see as a mirror that can help individuals and societies and groups to see where we really are, see the wider picture; deconstruct this consumer-focused lifestyle that we've been led into, and create the emotional tools to help us cope with new things and help us to cope with losing old things; and just open our minds a little bit. What we're trying to do is create a community of practice amongst people who understand the need for the big shifts, and do want to begin engaging around solutions."

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