Industry news

Governance a core theme at Julie’s Bicycle We Make Tomorrow event

By Lewis Jamieson

We Make Tomorrow, the day long culture and climate summit organised by Julie’s Bicycle in partnership with Arts Council England, delivered a series of thought provoking and challenging discussions centred on how cultural organisations and practitioners can respond to the climate emergency - with governance a core theme. The event continued to build on Julie’s Bicycle’s twelve years of work within culture, leading the response to climate change and sustainability across the sector.

We Make Tomorrow branding - white text over graduated blue to red vertical stripes

A morning session saw Brian Eno and renegade economist Kate Raworth discuss the need to reimagine our systems and shift from a degenerative and linear model to a regenerative and distributive model which allows us to thrive within safe boundaries for people and planet, as outlined in Kate’s book ‘Doughnut Economics’. Key to the discussion was the need for board level guidance and inspiration to create and deliver that change.

Two women and a man on stage at conference, the man with a doughnut item around his neck
L-R: Alison Tickell, Julie's Bicycle's Founder and Director; Brian Eno, world-renowned musician; and Kate Raworth, renegade economist. Photo by Ben Darlington.

The need to reimagine what constitutes success and progress away from linear growth models continued in an afternoon panel featuring Tate Modern’s Frances Morris, Richard Ashton of Opera North, Afsheen Kabir Rashid co-Founder and co-CEO of Repowering London and Chiara Badiali of Julie’s Bicycle looking at the road to net zero carbon. Panel chair Chaitanya Kumar, Head of Climate and Energy at the Green Alliance, started the conversation by noting that net zero carbon commitments need ‘buy in from the most senior levels of administration, heads of institutions and heads of business’ to ensure a road map for change and adequate finance to deliver this. Frances’ observation that ‘the growth model is deeply damaged’ reinforced the synergy between governance commitment to change and the need for that change. Richard Ashton of Opera North highlighted their work in creating the conditions for meaningful action, including their carbon literacy training programme for board members and trustees, a necessity given his assertion that ‘a company that is not environmentally sustainable has no future’.

Following the annual ‘Sustaining Great Art and Culture’ report from The Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle, which demonstrated commitment to change from the leaders of organisations reporting, and the financial, environmental and emotional benefits which this can bring, the summit marked a key moment for the cultural sector in the year of COP26, Surmised by Alison Tickell, Founder and CEO of Julie’s Bicycle as ‘an incredibly important moment, not just for climate negotiations, not just for us, but for everything else’ in her closing address.

Watch the videos >>

For those who couldn’t make the day you can watch all the panels, alongside performances curated by Julie’s Bicycle, The Serpentine General Ecology Project and The Nest Collective on the We Make Tomorrow livestream recording.

Julie’s Bicycle is an Organisational Member of the Cultural Governance Alliance. Join your organisation for FREE here.

To find out who else is a member, take a look at our Members list.

arts_councilFill 42BoardFill 1 CopyFill 1Fill 42Dropdown Copy 2FacebookFinanceInstagramLinkedInMenu ToggleSearcbui-chevron-nextui-chevron-prevArtboard 4RolesSearchStructuresStudyTwitterYouTube