Since the publication of Art and Civic Engagement: Mapping the Connections, I’ve been especially interested in powerful examples of conceptual maps and pattern languages – tools that can help organizations and individuals navigate in difficult mental terrain and complex conceptual environments. So, I was delighted when my friend Paul Schmelzer hipped me to Ecotrusts’ online pattern map that provides a framework for creating a “Conservation Economy.”
One of the most difficult mental terrains to navigate these days (mostly because of all the smoke and mirrors laying about) is the environment. And Orwellian initiatives like “Clear Skies” and “Healthy Forests” aren’t helping to clear the air. So, what are we to do? How do we create a sustainable world? How do all the pieces fit together to create “an ecologically restorative, socially just, and reliably prosperous society?”
Well, thank the Green Goddess that Ecotrust, a conservation non-profit dedicated to the creation of a “Salmon Nation” has web-published a dynamic and multi-pronged concept map that shows 57 patterns that form “a visual and conceptual framework that can be used to inspire innovation, focus planning efforts, and document emerging best practices.” Exactly what the Walker hopes to accomplish with the Art and Civic Engagement concept map…only in the context of a contemporary art center.
And, can art and artists make meaningful and esthetic contributions to the creation of a more ecologically sustainable world? I say yes…but then perhaps I’m some sort of utopian.