People and Knowledge



Examination of the cultural record highlights that the key to sustainability is the ability to adapt and change. As circumstances shift in the future, as they surely will as a result of climate change, population increase and other factors, human cultures will need to adapt, potentially rather rapidly. For many, this is a scary prospect as people are often averse to the concept of change, even though the cultural record demonstrates that the world has never been static.

Cultural studies also demonstrate that human groups have a universal need for roots and identity – to know who they are and where they have come from. This need is the main reason why humanity has produced, and continues to produce, such a rich cultural record.

If we are to enter a period of increasing instability and change, it seems likely that the need for cultural identity will become ever stronger and thus the Arts and Humanities more important.

In this chapter we will explore how research and initiatives within the Arts and Humanities are helping to make people and their knowledge sustainable