Preserving Yemen's needlework and hand embroidery traditions
Preserving Yemen's needlework and hand embroidery traditions ©

Felix Arabia International

The Missing Pillar Global Talks: Common Sense and The Community takes place 9-10 March 2022, 13:00-17:00 GMT. All live sessions will be available in English, French, Arabic and Spanish and will be British Sign Language interpreted.

Free to attend — register here

Cultural practices and the creative economy have incredible potential to shape a greener, fairer, safer, more inclusive world for everyone.

Culture is a core part of what makes us human. It helps us to make sense of the world, to challenge our perceptions, and to ignite our emotions. It has the power to unite us around shared goals and inspire action for a better future.

The Missing Pillar Talks return on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th March with ‘Common Sense and The Community’, a global programme of virtual talks, films, performances and discussions that look at culture’s contribution to UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, including People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships. Over two half days participants will look at how culture can inspire us, change our way of thinking and bring us together.

The Missing Pillar Talks are commissioned by the British Council in association with the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC) and the Culture Committee of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). This Missing Pillar Talk is programmed by Barker Langham.

See the full programme (Adobe PDF 295KB)

Wednesday 9 March: Common Sense

A vision of a greener, cleaner, fairer, safer, and more inclusive world for all: Do the UN’s SDGs represent a new ‘common sense’? And, with 8 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, how is today’s common sense holding us back?

To open the Missing Pillar Talks, artists, academics, policymakers and development professionals will explore the role of arts and culture in shaping and embedding new ways of thinking and being in today’s world, and imagining alternative futures.

We’ll be starting the day with a focus on gender equality, exploring the capacity of the arts to disrupt the ways we understand ourselves and others. Following a break, the day’s second session will focus on climate change, and the power of culture to drive action to protect our planet.

Thursday 10 March: The Community

There are many forms of division (sometimes artificial or cultural) that make it more difficult for humanity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and work together to address shared challenges. Divisions between policy and practice; between the Global North and South; between the cultural sector and the development sector.

On this second day, turning to the theme of community, we ask what role can culture play in bringing us together? Can powerful ideas and actions bind together communities, in which power and prosperity are shared by all?

In the first half of the day, we will be looking at informal creative economies in India, South Africa and Brazil and exploring routes to reducing economic inequality globally. The day’s second session will showcase a series of projects using culture to bind and build resilient communities in contexts of crisis and recovery.