Tipping Point 06: Open Space Workshop Part 2

Posted on 13 November 2010


Today the open space workshop continued with participants being encouraged to work in a collaborative, action-oriented way, building on the exploration vibe of Friday. Several new topics were suggested and I captured most of them below, including the names of the people who brought them up where I knew who they were.

  • Food sustainability. What specific areas should we be focusing on and taking action with. Should it be in food security, urban agriculture ie growing vegetables on skyscraper rooves and urban backyards
  • Creating inspiring ecosystems in the shape of a multi-media interactive art installation. How do you make interactive art great? What makes you happy, what would you give up?
  • How do we reinvent business practices to minimise pollution?
  • Living at the water’s edge across Australia. Collaborations with communities using sustainable art practice to articulate the needs of specific sites.
  • Setting off a cultural revolution. Let’s think about public interventions, like flash mobs, that have the potential to increase awareness and/or seed the kind of action that could contribute to a cultural revolution. How can we engage with people out in the world?
  • The need to have some public acknowledgement of the grief, sorrow, despair, and shock we feel for our damaged and disappearing ecosystems. We need to acknowledge these more difficult feelings so we can move onto positive action properly grounded. Could we hold some sort of popular vigil or symbolic ritual that becomes an annual tradition where we grieve the things that we are losing.
  • David Cranswick talked about the possibilities of mobile technologies and asked for people to give their ideas about the kinds of applications it could have in this context.
  • Transience and permanence
  • Jaina Kalifa wanted to talk to people about how children and young people can be ambassadors for climate change action and reimagining our responses to it
  • Roz’s topic was meteorology, new media, old media, climate change refractions. She was envisaging it as an exhibition that incorporated something online in real time to create multi-platform interplay and interaction.
  • A woman from CSIRO spoke up for the science end of the equation. She wanted to know how her crew can talk to the artists’ crew about visualising detailed information which apparently her crew is crap at. She spoke of creating art around the increased likelihood of extreme events, perhaps the experience of extremes as a performance piece and then using that as the basis of a book
  • La Boite Theatre Company spoke about how they have identified that it would be beneficial for the creative industries to have a sustainability industry standard to work towards to improve the sustainability of the work that they are producing. They thought to start in Queensland and develop a national standard.
  • Lorel had a germ of an idea: an artist residency including collaborative community practice resulting in an alternative publication, such as a zine. It would look at other artists in the community, including young people, and how their art practice can be sustained, not just those working in ‘green art’ but across all fields.
  • Paul Bishop wanted to know how we enable all these ideas to be accessed. He brought up his idea of a virtual platform through which the community can access the entrepreneurs who are driving the activity; a virtual space where can access information and develop and work on ethical ideas, sharing the pool of ideas from the people who are driving change, to apply to their local communities.
  • Dr Steve said that yesterday he was part of two open space sessions and they were both incredible—the sexy education and selfish creatures topics. From those discussions, he realised that visions of a sustainable future are easy to sell as good for the selfish human. He wanted to explore branding climate change action as something that is sexy and good for the individual rather than the boring, dry didactic approach we have at the moment that is all about sacrifice. If we make all these changes, there will be enough energy, food, other resources for everyone.

Some solid project concepts have come out of the workshop so we’ll see what happens with them once everyone goes back to their lives and the conference energy settles.

And now off to drinks.

You can see all my Tipping Point posts under the Tipping Point tag.