Hierarchies of failures and solutions : Need for Cultural Diplomacy!

Raymond Saner, presentation given at DAW Singapore, 10th May 2013

Sustainability is often simplified to mean achieving “Triple E” (sustained economic, environmental and equitable social development” but little has been suggested as to how communities can harmonize the triple “Es” and find constructive solutions to the inevitable occasional tensions between the three sectors of social reality.  There needs to be an overarching strategy that ensures ways to nurture a social culture which supports, protects, leads, cajoles communities towards orienting their respective activities and roles towards an overall balance of their multiple interests and desires which at times are in opposition with each other and at other times coalesce towards the achieving of a sustained well being for all.


Cultural Diplomacy can nurture a culture of sustainability. Cultural Diplomacy pertains to the use of the arts and cultural events by state and non-state actors to bring about international cultural understanding, co-existence and mutual acceptance. Cultural diplomats can be government officials as well as representatives of civil society with strong links or background in the arts and background in the arts and culture. Sustainability in its multi-sector reality needs cultural diplomats who can offer solutions to the inevitable disagreements over priorities of how to achieve the “Triple Es” and how to ensure constructive and harmonious relations between the many actors involved in making sustainability a reality.  The Digital Art Weeks (DAW) is a unique opportunity to bring to life a culture of sustainability encompassing the three pillars of sustainability supported by mutually enriching interactions between the arts and sciences.