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4. Create or join networked responses to climate change

Sharing and collaborating are two core philosophies of Season for Change, and this section of the Toolkit aims to inspire new connections and networked responses.

Action on climate requires urgent, collaborative and distributed leadership with creativity at its heart. Across the world, creatives are coming together to be bigger than the sum of their parts – exchanging knowledge, building communities of practice, and scaling what works. This collaborative spirit is breaking down unhelpful silos, reaching beyond the sector to broker new relationships and generate value through a shared commitment to systemic change.

An illustrated scene shows a person reclining in a chair while looking at a giant video-calling screen.
Illustration by Lily Kong, 2020.

Key Principles

1) Build and work from a strong foundation between parties

What could this look like?

  • A strong arts and culture community with a commitment to positive environmental change
  • A common purpose and vision of what success looks like

2) Create a methodology for collaboration

What could this look like?

  • A clear governance structure and methodology for decision-making
  • An agreed code of conduct to support positive collaboration
  • An agreed platform (physical/digital) and organisation of meetings (e.g. frequency, duration)

3) Produce a strategy to deliver your vision and objectives

What could this look like?

  • A framework to plan and monitor activities
  • A process for recording meetings, action points, roles and responsibilities

4) Generate and share core collateral

What could this look like?

  • A collection of resources to empower members to contribute to your network’s vision and objectives
  • A visual identity and communications strategy (including managing outgoing and incoming correspondences)

Case studies

Manchester Arts and Sustainability Team (MAST)

A performance space, made of a wooden frame and canvas drapes, stands in the middle of a civic hall. People walk by and enter the space, where a performance area is lit.
The Den at Stalybridge Civic Hall, 2019, MAST. Photo by Joel Chester Fildes.

Manchester’s cultural community has been working together through the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST) since 2011, to understand, share, solve and scale climate action. MAST brings together over 30 diverse arts and cultural organisations, from community-based arts centres and iconic cultural venues to an internationally renowned festival and national broadcasters, in a participatory and non-prescriptive way.

The MAST group meets regularly to exchange best practice and develop joint actions. Finding out who is using which green suppliers, products and services providers is always a big point of interest. As a result of this exchange the group is now creating a green supplier directory. MAST has also been supported by the Business Growth Hub in developing a sustainable procurement survey and a framework to review suppliers and strengthen environmental sustainability in procurement for operational activities.

Read the full case study.

Culture Declares Emergency (CDE)

Artistic intervention by Ackroyd and Harvey through Central London that culminated in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall. Photograph by The Lightscaper Photography.

CDE takes inspiration from Extinction Rebellion, the Youth Climate Strikes and similar movements but is independent from them. It seeks a professional conversation within the sector, and beyond, collaborating with others who have declared climate and ecological emergency, including local authorities and sister movements such as Music Declares Emergency. Notable activities include a mass assembly on 8th July 2019 at The Roundhouse, London and the ‘Rally for the Imagination’ held in Trafalgar Square at the end of the Global Climate Strike week. The event was organised in partnership with Music Declares Emergence and Architects Declare and attracted several hundred people with speakers including Caroline Lucas MP and environmental lawyer Farhana Yamin.

‍CDE mobilises through on-line platforms to share ideas, projects and resources. It has been led by a small group of core activists – the CDE ‘anchor circle’ – and is now transitioning to a networked and distributed leadership model supported by a Community Interest Company.  Groups are self-mobilising in Kirklees, Sheffield and Bristol and others are emerging across multiple geographies.

Find out more about Culture Declares Emergency.

Resources and further reading

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