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RIO+20 The Future We Want

RIO+20 the future we want

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor: The Future We Want

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor

Creativity is at the centre of the future economy. The future I want to see will place more emphasis on what artists can offer to this process of creativity starting with early learning programs to engaging with cultural activities to employing artists to address issues of concern for governments and businesses. There is growing recognition that creativity is the key to innovation and that those pioneering organizations that have played a pivotal role in the rapidly expanding digital age, are those that embrace, encourage and foster creativity within the workforce.

But creativity needs to be nurtured and encouraged. As businesses look for ways to develop creativity in their workforce, the role of artists and arts organisations as a source of inspiration will be increasingly recognised.

Artists are brimming with new ideas. It is the role of the arts institution to provide the connection between artist and viewer to engage audiences in a dialogue that is open to experimentation and hence innovation. The future I see contains dynamic arts organizations that cultivate strong engagement with audiences by connecting them directly with varied and vibrant ideas that address important issues.

Arts education plays a valuable role in developing the skills required by successful individuals in an increasingly sophisticated knowledge economy. By fostering creative education now, the next generation will have the critical thinking and analytical skills required to address issues as they arise in the decades to come. Artists have the potential to offer solutions to our problems. They look at issues from new perspectives and encourage debate and the evolution of critical ideas. The future I see will place much more emphasis on the central role that artists can play in re-imagining society.

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor is Director of the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Sydney, Australia.