The UN General Assembly in 2011 has called for a more visible and effective integration and mainstreaming of culture into development policies and strategies at all levels. It is important to note that despite the recent global financial crisis there has been continuous growth and prosperity in the domain of culture among the countries of the South. This is the most significant indicator in considering the paradigm shift from the persistent deficit model of culture in development to an affirmative and empowering approach where creativity, knowledge, culture and technology become drivers of job creation, innovation and social inclusion.
The Common Statement on the Outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) in 2012 calls for innovative and entrepreneurial ways of moving forward. We have learnt from the successes and failures attaining of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The UN Secretary General emphatically said “more of the same will not do”.
It is acknowledged that there remains much to be done including ensuring that culture in all its dimensions needs to be integrated more forcefully in development. Culture must become an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the post-2015 Development Agenda.
At the UN General Assembly in New York on 12 June 2013, the UN Secretary-General, H.E. Mr Ban Ki-moon opened the debate emphasising the significance of the role of culture in development. A few days later on 2nd of July in Geneva a general understanding was reached about the UN processes for culture to be included in goals for sustainable development (post-2015).
Clear goals, targets and indicators need to be embedded into development strategies, programmes and practices to be defined in the post-2015 UN development agenda. In integrating culture in development some of the key considerations will be: leveraging culture in poverty reduction and inclusive economic development; ensuring cultural rights for all to promote inclusive social development; and maximising on culture to foster innovative and sustainable models of cooperation.
2. AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The World Culture Forum convened by the President of Indonesia in Bali from 24 to 27 November 2013 aspires to recommend:
• New pathways for locating culture as an integral part of sustainable development
• Ethical frameworks for ensuring community engagement and stakeholder benefits
• New participatory models for promoting cultural democracy
• Draft frameworks for evidence based measuring of sustainable cultural development
• Strategic inputs into the framing of Sustainable Development
Goals in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
3. ANTICIPATED OUTCOMES
It is envisaged that the World Culture Forum will result in a shared vision and strategic directions to:
- Promote knowledge communities for intercultural, intergenerational and interfaith dialogues
- Further ethical investment and business practices for creative
- and cultural industries
- Establish clearing houses for people-centered projects and practices, emphasizing local knowledge systems
- Draft conceptual frameworks informing the Post 2015
- Development Agenda
- Foster corporate governance for evidence based measures in ensuring meaningful outcomes for primary stakeholders
The theme of the WCF: The Power of
Culture in Sustainable Development.
Leading international agencies and critical thinkers will engage the participants in six themed symposia that will form the overarching framework of WCF 2013:
Symposium 1 : Holistic Approaches to Culture in Development
A review of the recent and current practices of dealing with arts, culture and heritage in sustainable development demonstrate that the state of the field is administratively and professionally fragmented and informed by inchoate or uncoordinated instruments and policies. This Symposium will be moderated by an outstanding expert who has provided leadership across all the domains of culture. The expert speakers include a range that addresses the theme in a holistic and inclusive manner from practical experience.
Symposium 2 : Civil Society and Cultural Democracy
Participatory Democracy and Inclusive Governance are critical for civil society engagement in enabling cultural practitioners to become protagonist in sustainable development. New modalities of engagement are needed to ensure a bottom up approach to inform the post-2015 Development Agenda.
Symposium 3 : Creativity and Cultural Economics
Evidence based approaches, both qualitative and quantitative, are still new in understanding cultural economics. Micro finance, critical for poverty alleviation and job creation, is poorly understood in the field of culture and development. Contingency valuation and choice modelling are important to shift the paradigm of the deficit model of culture in development to an affirmative and empowering framework. This symposium of eminent and experienced experts will discuss and address the importance of locating cultural economics in sustainable development.
Symposium 4 : Culture in Environmental Sustainability
The legacies of colonialism are evident in the nature-culture dichotomy that was alien to Asia, Africa, and Americas and to indigenous peoples of the world. This is so embedded in the contemporary discourse of culture and development that an integrated local area planning approach has become essential to further sustainable development. If nature is
cultural perceived then how do we transcend the dichotomy.
Symposium 5 : Sustainable Urban Development
It is widely known that everyday some 200,000 people are moving into an urban area in the world and that several cities from Oslo to Seoul to Jakarta are becoming the fastest growing cities. This phenomenal movement of populations makes new approaches to culture and urbanism as a process which warrant new and relevant interdisciplinary approaches to sustainable urban development.
Symposium 6 : Inter-Faith Dialogue and Community Building
In the post September 11, 2011, the importance of understanding faith and community building have been finally recognised as important for the cultural dimension of sustainable development. Yet few International Government Organisations are prepared to address this important aspect and cultural institutions have sadly neglected it. This symposium is the first of its kind to place on the agenda the role of inert-faith dialogue in culture in development.