Interview: Creativity as Love in Action
Ethics to guide creative transformation
The creation of new ideas can have positive or negative impacts on the world. For creativity to thrive and contribute meaningfully, it needs an ethical framework to guide the creation of positively transformative ideas and actions. During the Creatorship research and design process, internationally renowned theatre director and permaculture designer, Chris Baldwin, gave his reflections on how collective creativity can become a force for love in action, if guided by values that reach for a vision of everyone's highest good.
Here is a distillation from our rich interview, offering ethical provocations to frame your creative process. What else would you add?
1. Common good. Find motivation to create ideas that contribute to the common good of people and the planet, not only financially motivated reasons.
2. Humanity. Creativity thrives in psychologically safe spaces. Make people feel respected and valued by creating a space that enables everyone to express themselves and their individuality without judgement or prejudice. Create ideas and solutions that support equality and compassion with and amongst people, including people who are differently abled, all genders and races.
3. Inquisitiveness. Dialogue and deep listening is crucial to identifying blocks and solutions to challenges, whether social or material. This is the starting point for all creative processes.
4. Sustainability. All actions and products relate to the environment through the idea of materials, interaction with other species and use of natural resources, whether it be water, land or natural elements. How can your ideas and creations contribute positively to environmental sustainability?
5. Connection. Share ideas and create relationships and networks through which creative energy can flow. Overcome fear by acknowledging its presence and connect with others to remind yourself that fear is a common, human experience which we find the courage to face in connection.
Chris Baldwin is a performance director, curator and writer. He is artistic director and co-founder of CCD Productions Ltd. He is known widely for Teatro de Creacion (TdC) and citizen-centred dramaturgy - approaches to making large scale performance designed for a place, about that place and made in deep collaboration with the people of that place. He is presently Artistic Director of big events for Kaunas2022 (European Capital of Culture, Lithuania), was Creative Director of Galway 2020 (European Capital of Culture, Ireland) and previously Curator of Interdisciplinary Performance for Wroclaw2016 (European Capital of Culture, Poland). He directed two large scale performances as part of the 2012 London Olympics. He also acts as an advisor to cities and rural spaces wishing to develop their cultural policies - in particular within a European context (European Capitals of Culture). He was Cultural Coordinator for Piran4Istria2025 (Slovenia) in its recent shortlisted bid for the ECoC title. His articles, books and plays are published in various languages and his new book on citizen-centred dramaturgy is due out in 2020 (Routledge). He regularly teaches and speaks at universities across Europe. His PhD was awarded by the University of Kent. Chris is also a permaculture designer.