TippingPoint, in partnership with NIReS, held a major national gathering of those concerned with the interface between the arts and culture on one hand, and environmental issues, particularly climate change, on the other.
The aim was to continue and strengthen the vital process of giving the urgent challenges of climate change and sustainability a cultural and artistic voice. This was a rare opportunity for many participants to step outside day-to-day work and engage with innovative peers from across many disciplines, using presentations, panel discussions, group exercises and creative projects. Our ultimate aim was to help stimulate radical and imaginative thinking in wider society, as we all attempt to comprehend, mitigate and prepare for our inevitably changing environment.
This event in February was the latest in a series of events that have been held by TippingPoint worldwide, and in the UK previously in Oxford. The new location of Newcastle enables the event to draw from the city’s unique and exciting resources in both research and practice in the field (it has now been top of Forum For the Future’s Green Cities index for two years in a row) as well as its diverse arts community.
The first TippingPoint conference to be held at Newcastle University, in February 2012, was hailed a great success. The event, which aimed to forge links between the arts and science, attracted more than 200 delegates from across the country – the largest number the conference has ever managed in its history.
The conference was also used by Arts Council England to announce that it would be the first arts funding body in the world to ensure environmental sustainability was included in the funding agreements of its major programmes.
Professor Paul Younger, Director of NIReS, said it had been an "engrossing and inspiring" two days.
"TippingPoint concerns the interface between sustainability issues - especially climate change - and the arts and is essentially the culminatory event of the University's incredibly successful Sustainability Launch Year," he said.
"Newcastle was chosen this year not only because of the research going on here at the University but also because of our city's commitment to sustainability - we have been top of Forum For the Future's Green Cities index for two years in a row.
"We are really proud to have hosted TippingPoint here at NIReS, in the Great North Museum, for the first time. We hope we’ll be doing so for many years to come now. We have always believed that all of our sustainability research must be engaged with the public at every step and the creative energy of the participants in TippingPoint can take this engagement to new heights of impactful innovation.”
Videos, interviews, photographs and blog articles are available at this link.