So much has changed since the onslaught of the pandemic. Life has been interrupted, lost and reconfigured. Like it or not, the world is not the same. We’re not the same. So many of us are exhausted, searching for change. We crave a new type of life, one that is more intentional and immersive, with a deeper connection to the people, places and things we love. At the same time, some of us are simply desperate for safety, support and stability. What unites us is that we can’t go back to what was, but the future path is still unclear.
The creative industry prides itself on innovation, connecting with people and good ideas but if we are honest with ourselves, how much of this is feeding the beast rather than building the kind of future we actually want? Time after time, we’ve seen brands cash in on marginalised communities and social justice movements, feigning support for self-interest, rarely ensuring that if they profit from a community, they also fuel it. The industry is still hung up on systems and storytelling with little to no accountability for people or the planet. There is endless talk of innovation, but is anyone doing it? We feel stuck in a holding pattern of the same hierarchies, methodologies, and most dangerously, the same values.
So, where does this leave us? How can we start to understand that we all play an active role in determining what comes next? If we want to build new systems, a healthier industry, and a better world – making good work is not enough. We need to be using the tools, talent and resources at our disposal to begin the kind of grassroots action that isn’t flashy, viral and PR-able. The type that isn’t about us at all – but about supporting our communities, environment, and mental health in meaningful ways that build a new world over time. We need to centre care as a creative principle.