As part of our ongoing research into the creative ecology we invited Prof Phil Hanlon to comment on – Balance – and how in a finite world where infinite growth is not possible we find a way to balance the resources we have against the growing adverse effects of modernity and our desire to have more.
What is the right balance?
Does striving for the kind of economic sustainability promoted by politicians and funders drain the values and energy that drive artists and creative practitioners and arts and cultural organisations? What does it really mean to be sustainable beyond the economy?
Can we find ways to better understand our ecosystem and understand its adaptive cycle – what to do at expansion or retraction, birth and death, growth and renewal, how to spot damage, what to do with it and how to recover and how to understand and promote the right kinds of interdependencies.
Phil Hanlon is Professor of Public Health at Glasgow University. He graduated in medicine from Glasgow University and, following clinical experience and a research post in the Gambia, found the true focus for his career – public health and, in particular, the challenge of improving health in Scotland. He has pursued that interest through a variety of service and academic public health posts but the successes and frustration associated with this work led him, six years ago, to seek fresh insights into some of Scotland’s most intractable health problems. The result has been the ‘Afternow’ project which asks ‘What’s next for the health of society’. The findings from the Afternow project pose a set of challenges that Scotland urgently needs to address.