Watch Again: COPtimism - Lightning Talks

Julie's Bicycle with King's College London and Somerset House broadcast a morning filled with flashes of inspiration and insight into culture and environmental change.

Following the celebratory spirit of last December's historical COP21 Paris climate agreement we're left with the question of how we, as global citizens, cultural leaders and artists, can translate this commitment into action.

Our speakers share their "COPtimism" for how culture is and can continue to be at the heart of a movement of change. They'll reveal institutions in transition, new artworks and art forms, the maker movement, and collaboration within, between and beyond the creative sector. 

Energy Renaissance

Lucy Wood Programme Director, Cape Farewell and Andy Franzkowiak Creative Director, Shrinking Space
Start time: 23:15

Cape Farewell is using the vast potential of VR to create an immersive digital
experience ‘Energy Renaissance’, where the user is placed within a world where they can turn the congested Strand in London into a low-pollution, environmentally sustainable landscape. A recent study by Kings College London revealed that nearly 9,500 people die a year as a result of air pollution in London, with WHO estimating that it cost the UK economy £54 billion in the last year. Energy Renaissance is a partnership between technology, science and culture that aims to enable Londoners to engage with the impacts of pollution and climate change in the here and now, and educate them on ways to make a greener and healthier urban future a reality.

Looking Back To Look Forward

Brendan Carr Community Engagement Curator, Reading Museum
Start time: 35:26

Through a community history project, Reading Museum has repositioned itself as a creative and community hub for rethinking the future. Working with local people, environmental charities, artists and the council, Reading Museum is now involved with consultations about Reading becoming a sustainable city by 2050. Brendan reflects on these experiences, the "soft power" wielded by creative institutions in the city, and the relevance of museums in the context of a changing world.

Classics For A New Climate

Daniel Harrison Taking Part Assistant, Young Vic
Start time: 47.45

In 2012 the Young Vic launched their "Classics for a New Climate" series of plays with After Miss Julie, a pilot project to explore what sustainable stage production might look like. Working in collaboration with creatives, production professionals, suppliers and Julie's Bicycle, the theatre has been experimenting with various approaches, from paperless programmes to local sourcing and reinvented minimalism. Daniel shares the learning from their latest "Classic", La Musica, and how these experiments are influencing their approach to design, production and work with creatives overall.

Bigger Than The Sum Of Our Parts

Emma Rees Director, London Theatre Consortium
Start time: 1:00:30

Twelve of London’s producing theatres have been collaborating to tackle their environmental impacts since 2010, inspired by the Major of London’s target to reduce carbon emissions in the city by 60% before 2025. Their experience encapsulates the challenges but also the incredible opportunities in collaboration, and the collective creativity required to meet ambitious and inspiration local and international environmental goals.

From Consumers to Creators

Ursula Davies Managing Director, Makerversity
Start time: 1:13:45

Making can be transformational. When we connect with materials and the objects they become through a creative process, we become more mindful of their value and function in our lives. What would happen if everyone had access to this experience? 

Ursula Davies shares the stories of how makers and makespaces are rethinking our relationship with materials, and grappling with the paradox of making in a world already full of stuff.


Jessica Rapson Lecturer in Cultural and Creative Industries, King’s College London
Start time: 1:23:24

Jessica reflects on the themes and ideas presented by our panel to kick start a conversation and dialogue with the audience.

Panel Discussion and Audience Q&A
Start time: 1:30:57


Sustaining Creativity