People and Planet. That is what is at the heart of sustainability. Both people and planet. Sustainability not just fighting for climate action, for life below water, or about being low waste. It is also about creating and working towards a space where all people can thrive and prosper.
Sustainability is focusing on people’s wellbeing, on ending hunger, on banishing world poverty. It is about including all people. We cannot have a thriving, prospering world if we do not include all. Being inclusive is a huge part of sustainability.
Recognised by the UN, inclusivity is two of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 5 Gender Equality and SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities). Inclusivity is vital in making sure people’s voices are heard and appreciated. It is vital in ensuring people can live happy, thriving, and dignified lives.
Inclusivity plays a huge part in creating a brighter, sustainable future.
In this blog, we share some of the ways that a creative business can work towards being more inclusive.
Creating An Inclusive Space For All
Creating an inclusive space for employees, clients, and customers is one way that businesses can be more inclusive. But how can they do that?
One way to start is by asking people what they need. If an employee shares with you their disability, ask them what you can do to create a supportive environment for them.
This month I read a blog by The Cornwall Museums Partnership, where trainee curator Katie shares her experience with how Bodmin Keep created a space that supported her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In her blog, Katie shares some of the adjustments employers can make. Some examples include adjusting hours to start and end later, working at home, or changing work days to have a rest day mid-week. For Katie, Bodmin Keep created a nap spot where she could have a nap at lunchtime, helping to give back the energy to carry on through the day. We really recommend reading this wonderful blog, as it shares how employers can support their staff by creating a space that they need.
This is one example, but by asking people what they need to work to their full potential you are able to be more inclusive. Creating a safe space, a quiet room, or space that is easily accessible are some ways to make sure all employees are given a fair chance to work.
Sharing Work That Is Inclusive
Whether you are a museum, art gallery, bookshop, publishers, etc — making sure that the work you share includes and celebrates all people is so important.
It is important to make sure that whatever you sell there is representation of different groups. This allows you to highlight all voices. It helps to make sure that all visitors and customers can see themselves in your products (whether that be art or books).
One thing galleries can do is create art instillations and exhibitions that highlight and focus on work created by people who are marginalised. Having exhibitions sharing work by people in the LGBTQIA community, Black art, or art created by women. Creating a space that recognises and celebrates art by all people is a huge way to be more inclusive.
Creating A Space That Can Be Accessed By All
Having a space that is open, welcoming, and accessible to all is a really important way to be inclusive.
Having discounts for young people or those who are unemployed can be one way to make your museum or art gallery more accessible to those who might not be able to visit otherwise. The mental health benefits of art and culture is huge. Therefore, being more accessible for groups of people who are at higher risk of mental ill health is important.
Encouraging school trips and workshops for children is another way to get more people involved. Offering group discounts can give more children the opportunity to see the art and culture of your space.
We hope that inclusivity, diversity, and equality is at the heart of your creative organisation. Being more sustainable is not just about recycling. It is also about making sure each and every person has a fair and equal chance for education, learning, and good mental health.
To read more about how you can be more inclusive as a business or organisation, read our blog here. In this blog we discuss SDG 5 and SDG 10 (Gender Equality and Reduced Inequalities) in more depth. If you would like some thinking prompts then this is the blog for you.
Here are some other blogs you may enjoy:
Getting The Team Involved In Sustainability