Step 3: Employees

Influence on decision-making
Just as in other sectors greater control over the production process leads to increased care for the wellbeing of employees and the environment. The same indication should be adopted in the area of culture. An ecological cultural institution should include employees of all departments in decision-making processes, giving space for creation, responsibility and limitations. Employees know best how to improve their working conditions, especially in a time which requires change management, as now with the pandemic and also the dynamically developing climate crisis.

Work less

The website of New Economics Foundation has published a series of articles which prove that shortening the working week to just four days can significantly improve one’s quality of life, quality of work and the state of the environment. Experts believe that not only would this not harm the economy but it would drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Trade unions all over the world agree on this point and together pressurise governments. As teams of institutions, you may consider supporting this solution.

Weronika Zalewska, Untitled (Towards holy peace), mixed media, 2021

Alliance for changes in the relationship with funding bodies

An institution’s functioning is regulated by its funding bodies: Culture Ministry, municipal office, a local government authority. But the change of assumptions does not come out of the blue. When setting up coalitions, you can lobby for the change in the indicators which are used to hold institutions accountable. Currently, these include visitor numbers and income from tickets, which perfectly reflects the economic model focused on production and profit. While transforming internal policies, this way of accounting also has to change. As we understand more about the climate emergency and the mechanisms lying at its source, we need to insist on new ways of accounting for the implementation of programmes when transforming workplaces. New criteria should include partnerships with other institutions, neighbours, NGOs, carrying out social, civic and pro-environmental initiatives, attempting to lower one’s carbon footprint, supporting ecological movements with real and concrete activities, raising biodiversity of the neighbourhood and adhering to the policy of production moderation. One can start by including the commute time and cost.

This may also interest you