The Summit 2012 – Creating the Future Conference

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The Project

Emergence Summit 2012: Creating the Future Conference

If we cannot imagine a positive future, how can we create it? A Summit of arts, environment and sustainability at Wales’ pioneering sustainability hub the Centre for Alternative Technology.

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Emergence Summit 2012: Creating the Future Conference

If we cannot imagine a positive future, how can we create it? A Summit of arts, environment and sustainability at Wales’ pioneering sustainability hub the Centre for Alternative Technology.

The Emergence summit was really two events in one – a five day Land Journey and a conference held over three days. During the planning, our dream for the Emergence conference was to make something similar to an immersive sensory experience. We knew that the idea of the walk was novel but we also wanted to keep that creativity central to the conference. The title ‘Creating the Future’ was put forward and supported unanimously.

The challenge we set ourselves was to run an event which welcomed (as inspired by the economist E.F. Schumacher) ‘the heart, the head and the hands.’ The head is usually the part invited to conferences but as the mythologist Joseph Campbell has said, ‘the brain is a secondary organ – don’t let it run the show.’ We wanted to not only bring people from different sectors together to practice ‘dialogue and doing’ but -perhaps more radically – to put the heart front and centre.

Of course some absolutely see the relevance for one or two of these but not always the third – especially in so-called professional gatherings. Welcoming the heart without alienating, provoking or patronizing felt too important an opportunity to miss. One of our collaborators advised that perhaps if we could not envisage and risk failure then the event was destined to be too comfortable and predictable!

Fritjov Capra in his book ‘The Hidden Connections’ talks about how health and growth is maintained in a system – whether it be a single cell, the human body, an organization, country or planet. The system is continually being ‘disturbed,’ by new impulses or information. An adaptive system responds to the disturbance (or disturbing information) and uses it as an opportunity for learning and growth. If the disturbance is ignored, the system fails to learn, fails to develop and eventually dies. Those of us who worked on Emergence in any capacity certainly had many opportunities to be disturbed and then to learn or to die just a little.

Our conference design was consciously constructed with disturbance- or risk already built in. At every level our desire outstripped our resources and a small amount of people made these stretch as far as possible. Goodwill and the energy of helpers, collaborators and volunteers also made our resources go further. We were in a sense setting out to build community. This was perhaps the greatest experiment and challenge for the summit – the challenge to build community whether it be in the planning, walking half way up a mountain or in conference inside the beautifully designed eco-venue the Wales Institute for Sustainable Education at CAT.

Some challenges:
Creating balance between ‘light-touch’ and over managed facilitation.
Empowering young delegates to take a leadership role in the conference and ‘co-creating the future’ whilst also making them feel welcome without being patronized.
Finding a balance between making space for delegate led, emergent sessions and ‘leading from the podium.’
Inviting a mix of newbees and oldbees to the gathering an ensuring the event speaks to all of them…..and many many more.

‘The opportunities for learning and for failure were enormous. We should probably have never begun! We did it though, in the knowledge that we would not succeed all the time, we would not please everyone and that sometimes we might make some people very unhappy. Knowing this and facing this are different things. I’d say we were 100% successful, took 100% of risks, made 100% sure that we were accountable, accessible and authentic and made 100% of mistakes. Maybe there is a little leeway with these statistics but you get the picture.’ Fern Smith

Some headline statistics:
Number of presenters, workshop leaders and delegates at conference – 170.
Delegates’ backgrounds included the arts, economics, energy, planning, activism, strategy, politics, health, well being and personal development.
Fourteen workshops on a wide range of topics were organized at the conference, from death and dying to alternative currencies, storytelling and Zero Carbon Britain.
The distilled inspiration from each workshop was interpreted by young delegates who then gave back to the conference their words which spoke to ‘Creating the Future’
An opening and closing ceremony was devised and led by Dead Good Guides Sue Gill and John Fox.
Talks on energy, capitalism and systems theory were given by Paul Allen, Peter Harper, Robert Newman and Rupesh Shah
Chief Exectutive of Arts Council Wales, Nick Capaldi spoke about the role of the arts in a life-sustaining future
Leading self-organised spaces and future-oriented project dialogues in service of the planet were available to all delegates
Ten young delegates took leading roles addressing the conference throughout the weekend.

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Quotes

“I felt in touch with something into which I could dissolve while simultaneously becoming more of what I am”

Micki Schloessingk (requoting Antjle Krog)

“What you put on was kind-of -impossible and I loved that about it.
I’m really moved by the whole thing itself, the idea of it, the intention of it, the goodness in it, the warmth of it.. I loved the vulnerbility and I enjoyed thinking that through while chewing over Rob Newman’s beautiful bits..(!) I loved the whole thing and am still loving it now, today as I write this.. Doesn’t mean I approved of everything – but that goes without saying anyway.”

Gary Anderson

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Contributors

Fern Smith

fern

Fern was born in London and now lives in Swansea, South Wales. After studying for a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Industrial Relations she formed Volcano Theatre Company with Paul Davies in the 1980’s.

Since then Fern has performed, directed and taught workshops for Volcano and as a freelancer nationally and internationally for 25 years. Fern is co-initiator and creative producer of Emergence.

fern [at] emergence-uk.org

 

Philip Ralph

Philip Ralph

Playwright and actor, aka ‘The One Eyed Man’

Land Journey Support Crew, Emergence Summit 2012


Adam Thorogood

Adam Thorogood

Adam is the natural resources coordinator at the Centre for Alternative Technology. He ran a workshop at the 2012 Emergence Summit.

Centre for Alternative Technology


Alice Hooker-Stroud

Alice Hooker-Stroud

Zero Carbon Britain Research Coordinator & Technical Communications Officer
Centre for Alternative Technology


Allan Shepherd

Allan Shepherd

Publications Editor
Centre for Alternative Technology


Anna Ledgard

Anna Ledgard

Anna Ledgard is an independent producer, researcher and professional development leader. Her roots as a teacher led to initiating international arts collaborations and pioneering accredited training for artists and teachers at LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) and Eastfeast. She has developed award-winning projects with artists and performers in bio-medical and education settings across the UK. She has a particular interest in the role of the arts in sustainable education and is producer of 5 arts and science collaborations in chronic healthcare settings with artist Mark Storor. Anna is an associate producer with Artsadmin; Chair of the Wellcome Trust large arts awards panel 2010 – 2013; and is a Secondary School governor.

http://livingwelldyingwell.net

www.annaledgard.com

Ansuman Biswas

Ansuman Biswas

Ansuman Biswas works in a wide variety of media from music, performance, theatre, text and 3D, but his main concern lies between science, work and religion. He is interested in traversing, transposing and translating across many different kinds of border, where improvisation and play are important elements in his practice, yet at its core is the technique of vipassana meditation.


Clare Cooper

Clare Cooper

Clare is a co-founder of Mission Models Money (MMM). She has an extensive career in arts management and policy which started with the British Council in 1981. From 1991 to 2003 she specialised in development with a portfolio of diverse clients the largest of which was Laban where she led the development of their award winning Hertzog & de Meuron building. In 1999 she moved to set up the capital campaign for Hampstead Theatre’s new building. In 2001, she joined Arts & Business (A&B) first taking the role of Director of Development and then becoming their first Director of Policy & Communications. She left A&B in 2005 to set up the third phase of MMM. She has served as a Trustee on the Boards of a number of arts organisations and higher education institutions over the last fifteen years but is currently focusing her volunteering in broader community settings. She was born in Tanzania and lived there and in Kenya until her early 20’s. She currently lives in Perthshire in Scotland.

 

Clare Whistler

Clare Whistler

Artist


Eric Maddern

Eric Maddern

Eric was born in Australia but came to Britain with his family aged 11. After completing his formal education in social psychology he set out to travel the world in two years. It took him ten. The last few years of that time he spent working as a bush artist in the remote Aboriginal communities of Central Australia. This was a turning point. Since returning to Britain he’s become a storyteller and author, with a dozen children’s picture books in print. He is also a singer- songwriter and has recorded a couple of recent albums, ‘Full of Life’ and ‘Rare and Precious Earth.’ He is currently touring three storytelling and music shows to inspire action to protect the Earth for future generations – ‘What the Bees Know,’ ‘Fire under the Stars’ and ‘The Listening Bone.’ See www.ericmaddern.co.uk

For the last 25 years Eric has lived in Fachwen near Llanberis where, with help from friends, he has created the Cae Mabon Eco-Retreat Centre. Set in a beautiful forest clearing by a rushing river it hosts retreats and workshops with overall themes of healing and creativity – on singing, storytelling, yoga, meditation, green spirituality, environmental awareness
and rites of passage. In 2008, Sustain magazine declared Cae Mabon ‘number one natural building project in the UK’ and called it ‘a Welsh Shangri-La.’


Esther Tew

Esther Tew

Esther Tew graduated from Swansea School of Art and Design where she discovered her passion for where the arts meet social change.
Following this she moved to mid Wales where she was inspired by both the stunning Snowdonia landscape and the unique intellectual, practical and radical community.
Since then she has been involved in many wide ranging projects and organisations that have taken her further afield:
• Lighting design for the internationally acclaimed Sounding the River that reconnected Brummies with their lost landscape.
• Campaign based theatrical wide games for Greenpeace.
• Set design for National Theatre Wales
• Artist in Residence for anti-food waste campaign group This Is Rubbish during their Wales Tour
• Workshops at the Centre for Alternative Technology.

Public Interest Research Centre


Fabio Santos

Fabio Santos

Fabio Santos began his acting career at home in Salvadorda Bahia, Brazil. Subsequently, he has worked extensively with young homeless people in Brazil, and developed community art projects in Germany, Holland, the UK and the US. He trained as a dancer at the JoffreyBalletSchool in New York, the Conservatoire of Dance in Holland and the London Contemporary Dance School, where he acquired an MA in Contemporary Dance and Choreography.

Fabio has worked on several projects for Lift (London International Festival of Theatre) and performed with the London Contemporary Dance School’s 4d. He also appeared in the Millennium Dome Central Show, The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre and The Birds, directed by Kathryn Hunter at the National Theatre. Fabio is a guest lecturer at London’s Metropolitan University and has been Director of Project Phakama UK for the past five years.

Fabio Santos worked as an advisor and organiser with Young Emergence delegates at The 2012 Summit.


Gabriel Anderson

Gabriel Anderson

Institute for Practice of Art and Dissent at Home. Gary Anderson was really fed up with cultural capitalism, so, in 2008, together with his partner and three children, from their council house base in Everton, Liverpool, he set up the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home. He felt it was important to critically and creatively intervene in Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture on its still ongoing aftermath. Then, in 2010, he got fed up with the way higher education was going in the UK and set up the Free University of Liverpool with other activists, artists and educationalists. Gabriel is one of Gary Anderson’s three sons.


Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson

Artist / Activist, Institute for Practice of Art and Dissent at Home

Gary Anderson was really fed up with cultural capitalism, so, in 2008, together with his partner and three children, from their council house base in Everton, Liverpool, he set up the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home. He felt it was important to critically and creatively intervene in Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture on its still ongoing aftermath. Then, in 2010, he got fed up with the way higher education was going in the UK and set up the Free University of Liverpool with other activists, artists and educationalists.


George Marshall

George Marshall

Climate Outreach Information Network

Workshop leader at Emergence Summit Conference: Creating the Future


Hannah Williams

Hannah Williams

Volcano Theatre

Administrative and logistical support for the Emergence Summit


Hermione Elliot

Hermione Elliot

Artist

Living Well, Dying Well
Workshop leader at the Emergence Summit Conference


John Fox

John Fox

John Fox and Sue Gill founded WELFARE STATE INTERNATIONAL (WSI) the celebratory arts company in 1968 and closed it on April Fools Day 2006. Together they have now formed Dead Good Guides, an artist-led company, seeking a role for art that weaves it more fully into the fabric of our lives.


Leon Rosselson

Leon Rosselson

LEON ROSSELSON has been at the forefront of songwriting in Britain for over 50 years. His songs range from the lyrical to the satirical, from the personal to the political, from the humorous to the poignant. He has performed in every conceivable venue around the country, from pub rooms in Warrington and Wigan to the Festival Hall and Albert Hall in London, and toured the U.S.A., Canada, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Australia.
His song about the 17th century Diggers, The World Turned Upside Down, has become an anthem for protest movements in this country as well as in Australia and the States. He has published 2 songbooks and released 12 CDs plus a 4 CD box set of 72 songs covering 50 years of songwriting. He has also had 18 children’s books published, including Rosa’s Singing Grandfather, which was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 1991.

Workshop leader at the Emergence Summit Conference 2012

 

Lil Woods

Lil Woods

Young Emergence Presenter

Co-Writer of The Roadless Trip with Sarah Woods and Richard Gott, an Emergence Artist Commission

Lucy Neal

Lucy Neal

Instigator, theatre maker and educator, Lucy Neal is interested in the art of social sculpture and how celebratory events act as a catalyst for change. Co-founding director of the LIFT Festival, recent projects, The Trashcatchers’ Carnival and the Tooting Transition Shop explore how artists nurture collective space to imagine a more ecological and life-sustaining society. Co-author of MMM’s Sustainable Ability, she is Happiness Associate on the Happy Museum Project and co-founder of Case For Optimism. Active in the Transition Town movement since 2008, she is currently writing Playing For Time, the Transition Book on the Arts. She was awarded an OBE in 2005 for services to drama.

Designer and facilitator, Emergence Summit 2012

Morgan Parry

Morgan Parry

Countryside Council for Wales

Workshop Leader at the Emergence Summit Conference in September, 2012


Nick Capaldi

Nick Capaldi

CEO, Arts Council of Wales

Nick Capaldi has been Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Wales since September 2008. The Arts Council is Wales’s national public body responsible for developing and funding the arts. Prior to his appointment in Wales, he was Executive Director of Arts Council England South West, and before that Chief Executive of South West Arts. Nick Capaldi has been a Board member of Culture South West, Chair of the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership (a pioneering public/private initiative). He was also the Chair of Arts 2000, a nationwide organisation that promoted a year long celebration of the individual artist through the commissioning of projects, performances and exhibitions. Arts 2000 supported over 1,000 artists in 1,000 locations across England.

A graduate of Manchester’s Chethams Music School, Nick Capaldi went on to study Piano at the Royal College of Music (where he was awarded the Hopkinson Gold Medal) and City University. Nick Capaldi’s career in the arts started as a professional musician. This included a diverse array of activities from playing in bars and restaurants, to teaching to formal concert performances. He made numerous broadcasts on radio and television and was a prizewinner in the first BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 1978. Nick Capaldi is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


Paul Allen

Paul Allen

External Relations, Centre for Alternative Technology

Paul is currently CAT’s External Relations Officer, heading the ground-breaking Zero Carbon Britain research and communications programme, liaising directly with key policy makers in Government, business, public sector and the devolved assemblies. Paul holds an Honours degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Liverpool University and joined the Centre for Alternative Technology in 1988. Since then Paul has held many positions at CAT and helped spearhead many projects local to the Dyfi valley and further afield including Dulas Ltd – a CAT spin-off renewable engineering company and Eco Dyfi, a local organisation facilitating the regeneration and sustainable development of the Dyfi Valley (a UNESCO Biosphere reserve). Paul took up the newly created position as CAT’s Media and Communications Officer in 1995 acting as principal spokesperson for the centre and has played a key role in shaping CAT’s direction over the past three decades. He has also been influential on Wales’ position on climate change and sustainability in roles as Wales’ Climate Change Comissioner in 2007 and part of the Wales Science Advisory Council in 2010. Paul is also a sound engineer and musician, playing double bass, guitar, bouzouki bodhran and low whistle.


Peter Harper

Peter Harper

Research and Communications for zerocarbonbritain
Centre for Alternative Technology

Peter Harper is Head of Research and Innovation at CAT where he has worked for over 20 years. He is also a visiting lecturer at universities and other institutions around the world. His interests have ranged widely, including energy policy, sustainable lifestyles, ecovillages, alternative sanitation, landscape design, organic horticulture, and composting (with which he is mildly obsessed – don’t get him started). His colleagues regard him as a loose cannon often at odds with Green orthodoxy. His friends think of him as an agreeable nerd. Peter presented at the Emergence Summit Conference, September 2012


Rebecca Sullivan

Rebecca Sullivan

Musician

Workshop Leader at Emergence Summit Conference, September 2012


  • cat.org.uk
  • Rhyn Bleddyn

    Rhyn Bleddyn

    Young Emergence Presenter

    Ria Dunkley

    Ria Dunkley

    BRASS, Cardiff University. Ria is a Researcher in the ESRC centre for Business, Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS), at Cardiff University. Her research interests include the role of arts, culture and heritage in sustainable development and sustainable tourism. She is also passionate about emergent research approaches and community engagement. Ria has led research projects for sustainability education and training programmes, funded by the Department for Education and the European Social Fund, at the Eden Project. Prior to this she held a lectureship at Cardiff School of Management, where she led tourism development, arts and cultural studies and research methods programmes.

    In January 2013 BRASS completed 11 years as an ESRC-funded Research Centre, and it is now the BRASS Research Unit within Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research Institute.

    Lori Frater and Ria Dunkley were involved in a research and advisory capacity on the Summit and Creu Cymru Emergence. BRASS were financial supporters of the Summit.


    Robert Newman

    Robert Newman

    Artist / Comedian / Activist

    Robert Newman is a British stand-up comedian, political activist and author. He has worked as a farmhand, warehouseman, house-painter, teacher, mail sorter, social worker, mover and broadcaster. Newman has been politically active with Reclaim the Streets, the Liverpool Dockers, Indymedia and People’s Global Action. He has an interesting breadth of talent spanning film, poetry, stand-up, lyricism, storytelling and political commentary.
    Rob presented at the Emergence Summit Conference, September 2012


    Rosie Leach

    Rosie Leach

    Artist / Public Interest Research Centre

    Workshop Leader at Emergence Summit Conference, September 2012


    Rupesh Shah

    Rupesh Shah

    Artist

    http://rupsindia.blogspot.com


    Sue Gill

    Sue Gill

    John Fox and Sue Gill founded WELFARE STATE INTERNATIONAL (WSI) the celebratory arts company in 1968 and closed it on April Fools Day 2006. Together they have now formed Dead Good Guides, an artist-led company, seeking a role for art that weaves it more fully into the fabric of our lives.

    Emergence Summit Workshop Leader


    Teo Greenstreet

    Teo Greenstreet

    How can we develop creative environments that stimulate the changes needed to enable a sustainable future for society? I am a consultant and facilitator with 25 years experience in leading creative and cultural organisations with a performance background, and now focusing on fostering future-orientated skills and capacities within organisations and communities.

    Current projects include: The Case for Optimism: Co-convened with Hilary Jennings and Lucy Neal, an experiential learning space for artists and cultural leaders to deepen their creative response to resource and climate challenges.
    Sustain Abilities: A programme to help organisations and communities develop skills to respond in partnership with Artists Planet Earth and CidaCo and delivered as part of a resilience programme for 20 Arts organisations in Yorkshire, and as part of University of Sheffield’s Green Impact programme.
    Consulting assignments: Resilience and strategic development for Arts Sheffield Consortium, Actions Space Mobile and recently with UK Centre for Carnival Arts and Heads Together.

    Teo is an associate with arts/sustainability company Encounters developing a range of creative engagement practices, associate of Cida Co developing innovation practices for organisations, a Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme (first cohort) fellow of the RSA, non-executive director of the Creative Industry Quarter Agency, and co-convenor of What Next? Sheffield. He was co-founder and CEO of The Circus Space, London, CEO of The Media Centre, Huddersfield, with an early career community arts teacher and clown.

    Workshop Leader at Emergence Summit Conference, September 2012

     

    Tobi Kellner

    Tobi Kellner

    Zero Carbon Britain / Centre for Alternative Technology

    Workshop Leader at Emergence Summit Conference, September 2012


    Jenny Mackewn

    Jenny Mackewn

    Facilitator, Emergence Summit 2012. Jenny Mackewn is an organizational consultant, creative catalyst, constellator, systemic coach, trainer and author working across sectors – ranging from educational and environmental to business. She specializes in catalyzing creative conversation and dialogue and in whole systems approaches to leadership and organizational development. She has recently designed and led pioneering programmes in eco facilitation and eco constellations for schumacher college.

    Rosie Strickland

    Rosie Strickland

    Freelancer. Rosie studied for a BAhons in English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths College, London. Since graduating in 2008 she has lived and worked in Spain, Cornwall and Wales dabbling in various forms of communication and creative practice including writing for Positive News, TEFL teaching, co-organising improvisation workshops, language learning and experimenting with more connected and sustainable ways of living. She now works as a freelance media type for various arts and environmental projects. She is available for work =)

    Coordinator, Emergence 2012 – 2013


    Pete Telfer

    Pete Telfer

    Director and founder, Culture Colony

    Born in Bangor 1963, grew up in Dyffryn Ardudwy and attended Ysgol Ardudwy Harlech. He was educated through the medium of hitch hiking around Europe at the age of 17. Pete took the foundation course in Bangor (with tutors Paul Davies and Peter Prendergast) and then studied Fine Art/Painting at Maidstone Art College until 1984.

    After two years as photography teacher at a secondary school in London Pete became a freelance photographer until he joined BBC Wales’ new Arts Department in 1992. He left BBC Wales to become a Freelance television director in 1995.

    He has worked for all the main independent television production companies in Wales, working in many countries around the world. He has made a lot of TV in all genres including over 70 documentaries. In 2001 he set up his own production company ‘Pixel Foundry’ and they have made programmes for BBC Wales, S4C, ITV1 Wales, Channel 4 and BBC 4.

    Over the past six years Pete has been involved in developing and setting up the on line cultural network ‘Culture Colony – Y Wladfa Newydd’. This network runs cultural conferences, events and exhibitions and operates from a web site (see below) where content and ideas can be shared by its membership. Culture Colony also creates content for the web site and for other cultural organisations and individuals who may require a video production service.

    Culture Colony supports the documentation of Emergence and provides a platform for the projects’ films.

     

    Dan Gifford

    Dan Gifford

    Sound Technician and Video Editor, Emergence Summit 2012

    Katie Hastings

    Katie Hastings

    Green Isle Growers and Dyfi Land Share, founder

    Administration support and supplier of produce for Food of the Land Journey, Emergence Summit 2012

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