Climate change is, at its heart, a socio-cultural problem. It’s a result of cumulative human behaviours embedded in social and cultural systems. A cultural shift in values and normalities is needed to accelerate and steer behavioural change. The converse also applies — the more people see behaviour changing around them, the more likely a cultural shift will take place. Without a change in culture, there will always be a need for authorities to do things for people, to decide for people, undermining the communities they serve.
Culture is also valuable, containing within it the wisdom of generations. Te Ao Māori, for example, offers valuable pathways toward a regenerative society. People of all cultures must join together, under the framework of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi – Treaty of Waitangi, with introspection and openness as we navigate our way through this changing world.
Art and cultural institutions are central to this cultural change. Art invites us to use our imagination, and in doing so, creates space for feelings and impressions (the basis for how people make complex decisions – e.g. what a good life looks like) to be encountered, tested, and spread.
The Society and Culture group has online meetups that are open to everybody and with the aim of encouraging conversations and the brainstorming of ideas. Everyone is welcome.