As we have seen throughout this module, important lessons can be learnt from the experiences of other societies, both past and in the present.

Disciplines within the Arts and Humanities have perhaps the greatest responsibility for researching and curating such cultural information. As arguably the most creative disciplines, the Arts and Humanities also have the skills to make this knowledge accessible and sustainable through a variety of media: writing, art, music but increasingly also virtually.

These resources are important not only so that people in the future might benefit from the knowledge they contain, cultural repositories serve a more fundamental psychological role: they ease the process of change.

Change –  the very thing that has sustained human cultures over the millennia – necessitates that some traditions or practices are left behind. Extinction is not a pleasant concept and so change is often fought against.  As we have seen in this chapter, the Arts and Humanities can ensure that cultures are sustainable, thus allowing them to evolve rather than face extinction.

Viewed in this way, our disciplines are at the very foundation of sustainability and we need to take up the challenge set us by the Culture and Climate Change: who will be the one to create the next work of art, music, literature or film that changes public perception and enables society to ease into a new direction?

Those of us that populate universities are supposed to be the ‘bright’ ones – if we cannot rise to the challenge and think of ways to tackle the issues that confront the planet and those that live upon it then perhaps we do not deserve the status that we have been given.

In the next chapter, which represent the final assessment, you will have the opportunity to influence the future.