Thursday, 10 February 2011

"sustainable" in what sense of the word?

The second State of the Arts conference opened with a speech from Liz Forgan, chair of Arts Council England. In the speech, Forgan outlines the "five clear goals". The third goal is:

We will make the arts sustainable in every sense of the word, from carbon reduction to marketing, from finance to fundraising and not least how the arts can seize the transformative opportunities offered by digital technology.

To put "carbon reduction" in the same sentence about sustainability as "marketing", "finance", "fund-raising" and "digital technology" is to blur the issue badly.

See also: Sustainable is not a metaphor

Update: In this week's TLS, the poet Hugo Williams writes: "The over-used 'organic' has given way to 'sustainable' to mean anything remotely decent."

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