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In nature change is prompted when changing is the only way for an organism to maintain itself…

Goodness how does one maintain the will to get up in the morning and face the news – threats on every front whether it’s the continuation of your winter fuel payment that’s in doubt or the fact that like us at ARD, you aren’t in the front line of delivering cultural activity – you’re a back room gal and an alternative source of income (to one that comes from our taxes) might be in order.

It would be easy to lose heart when there’s so much to complain about.

But here’s a thing – in nature change is prompted when changing is the only way for an organism to maintain itself. I found that arresting and prescient line in a recently published report by MMM: The People Theme.

Thank you, thank you MMM for lightening my day.

I like a challenge and especially one that’s driven by the thought that we’re in changing times and changing times mean we need a new paradigm for defining and measuring success. Yey, at last! Thriving – that thing arts organisations are supposed to be doing – needs to be done in a life friendly way: i.e. based less on demonstrating instrumental value and arguing the case for public money and more on recognising the essential interdependence of human economies and natural eco-systems.  They call to the arts to offer leadership in designing the transition to a more sustainable world that in recognising the limits of our finite planet, enables all life to flourish – now there’s a mission.

What gets me up in the morning is having a sense of purpose so no wonder MMM do it for me…and now back to thinking on how all this might impact on the little ship ARD.

How can we help?

Borrowing from the MMM matrix that names the qualities, qualities and attirbutes for thriving people, we can work in the spaces that describe different perspectives, and navigate complexity. We can help scan the environment and make connections, and we can question assumptions, revealing  impact from many perspectives. We can focus on solutions and we can aid reflection.

In creating the pie apparently, it’s co-operation that works, ( we compete when it comes to dividng it up) and in that spirit and in preparation for the next issue, we’re looking for reports of work that shed light on co-operation, co-opetition, collaboration, and life friendly approaches – if you can signpost us If you have a view to share, please post it!

Musicians Strike Against Jihad

Pakistani musician Salman Ahmad believes exposure to art and engagement with art can protect young Pakistanis from militancy and fundamentalism. The ’soft’ approach to countering extremism is more effective than air strikes and military campaigns. He should know, he’s sold over 30 million albums and represents a powerful voice against violent Islamism across the Asian sub-continent and among Muslim communities in the Western Diaspora.

In an interview in the Independent, he said: “What extremists fear – and this is what arts have the power to do – is the opening up of people’s minds, [...] For people who want to control the social agenda, culture is a threat. When you look at Pakistan, 100 million of the 150 million people there are under the age of 18. The extremists know that and that’s their target market. I remember once an imam told me ,’If thousands of kids started going to rock concerts, who would come to my khutbahs [sermons]?’”

Ahmad’s band Junoon work with the Salman and Salima Global Wellness Initiative to promote their message of empowerment through creative dissent, and against violence.

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