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Shift Happens:environmentally sustainable arts get digital

BBC technology journalist Bill Thompson has written a great article “Giving Life a Shape” on how the arts can help us all think in new ways about digital. See more on Hannah Rudman’s ConsultRudman blog on the arts and digital, but also note that Bill Thompson picks out Envirodigital’s calls (my slides here) for cultural sector digital developments to be environmentally sustainable:

“[The arts] are helping us to explore the latest chapter in the ongoing conversation between human psychology and the capabilities of modern technology, something which will matter more and more as the network becomes pervasive and digital devices penetrate every area of our lives.
The point was made clear to me at Shift Happens, a conference on the ways arts organisations are using new technologies that took place this week at York Theatre Royal.
Over a day and a half the audience, mostly made up of practitioners, was treated to a fascinating selection of arts-based technology, or technology-based arts, from the interactive animations of the always-engaging Sancho Plan through calls to ensure that tech-based arts are environmentally sustainable from Envirodigital…”

Says Marcus Romer, producer of the Shift Happens conference about greening the event:

“We were a paperless event. I know for some of you expecting printed lists and forms, we did disappoint you on that score I am afraid!

This network site is in place of a delegate list, but we will make that available as an online viewing document here. we have also posted as an Issuu viewable PDF the 150 page twitter feed document from the two days. It makes a fascinating and absorbing flick through

The Issuu publication of the programme, the online nature of all communication, plus the checking in and welcome was all done online and on our laptops. we did print one copy of the programme out and place that for all to see in the entrance.

We also asked delegates to bring their own badges from their workplace, or make one with our recycled and returnable badge holders in the foyer. All of this was to encourage introductions, and people to ask where and what was next on the list. Also the lack of a corporate lanyard and badge, people retained their ense of individuality and personalisation about themselves, or the organisation they were representing. I found two people recycling their Thinking Digital Conference badges like myself.

Another almost subliminal offer was the tap water, and no plastic bottles. I am going to drop a video in called tears of a Cloud by Dothegreenthing which is excellent, and was a major driver for us at Pilot to ensure there was no bottled water.

The cups were made from plant material and were made from recycled materials and were 100% compostible and bio-degradable into organic matter.

These are some of the ‘Shifts’ we wanted to make as part of our sustainable policy and for us to make the conference tackle these issues right at the core, and on the edges of the event…”

If you want to join the discussion about sustainable ability and envirodigital communities in the cultural sector, join the Shift Happens envirodigital group!.