What does it mean to be sustainable?

Giovanni Schiuma

When we consider the relationship between arts and business and in particular when we explore why business should be investing in creative sector the attention is usually focused on the economic, the financial return of this relationship. Definitely this is very important. Businesses will invest in the arts, will invest in creative processes only if they would be able to see the returns of their investment. But this is important to stress the investor in arts do not produce a direct impact on the financial capital. Actually they can produce relevant influential impact on creating capacity of creating economic value but this happens through an indirect set of relationships and interdependences within the organization. Basically investing in arts is a way to develop other dimensions that ultimately will have an impact also on financial dimension.

But very importantly today we talk about sustainability. But what is the concept of sustainability? What does it mean to be sustainable? In my opinion sustainability is very much about making sure that people will have a better life, better life in the organizational context, better life in society.

And this is at the end of the day that the all of organization try to create a value in order to improve the life of people. We produce output with the idea of increasing the wellbeing of people. And here is where arts can play an important role because arts and creativity can support either the financial creation value but most importantly can support the creation of better human environment where people are engaged with their senses, where people are engaged with their passion, where people can discover who really they are, where the people can be in touch with themselves.

So the point is that by creating these links between arts and business, by implementing creative processes within the organizational context and also at a societal level it is possible to create a better human organizational system. This is a way to create a sustainable value, a way look not only at economical value but to look at the benefits that we generate for people, for living a better life, to be more satisfied and to make people more happy. And it is probably the most challenging thing that as individuals we try to pursue and the organizations should be working in that direction.

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Giovanni Schiuma

Giovanni Schiuma

Director of the Innovation Insights Hub at University of the Arts London

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