The Future is Unwritten is a global initiative to engage the international arts community in the most critical health and sustainability challenges of our time. With leading UN agencies describing the recent pandemic as nature’s first ‘warning shot’ to civilizations playing with fire, global cultural action that contributes to the envisioning and shaping of a more resilient and sustainable future is now more urgent than ever. We facilitate cooperation between artists, cultural institutions and international agencies in order to amplify and accelerate implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the most ambitious and comprehensive global development plan in human history.
Degrees of Separation
by Sudanese artist Almigdad Aldikhaiiry
UN75 Moderated Dialogues
Artists for Tomorrow
The Painted Desert by Chip Thomas
Healing Arts Initiative
X-Ray by Dr Ahmed Mater
The Future is Unwritten (TFIU) is a project by CULTURUNNERS, publicly launched in 2020 in partnership with the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations (WCPUN) as part of UN’s 75th Anniversary Program, UN75. TFIU’s 2020 Program was presented in partnership with the Open Mind Project.
CULTURUNNERS is as an independent platform for cross-cultural campaigns, exhibitions, films and live events – promoting pluralism, peace-building and sustainable development through art. Launched at MIT in 2014, CULTURUNNERS’ first project was a multi-year artists’ roadtrip between the United States and the Middle East. Since then, it has prioritised artists-led projects which transform communities, societies and systems and inspire greater empathy across ideological and geographical borders. CULTURUNNERS initiated The Future is Unwritten as the culmination of its multi-year artists road trip across Europe, the Middle East and North America; travelling from rural towns to major cities, championing the role of artist in activating UN Global Goals.
World Council of Peoples for the United Nations (WCPUN) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to facilitating partnerships across sectors internationally that promote awareness and implementation of United Nations goals. WCPUN was founded in the aftermath of World War II to support the aims of the newly established United Nations. Through publications, workshops, dialogues, other educational, outreach-oriented events, projects and programmes, WCPUN provides alternative think spaces to enable visionary people and organizations of diverse disciplines and expertise to connect and collaborate. WCPUN is a non-governmental organization in association with the United Nations Department of Global Communications. Since 1946, WCPUN has created public engagement arts and culture projects, programmes and partnerships aligned with UN objectives.
SUPPORT GLOBAL SDG IMPLEMENTATION
- To communicate the urgency of Art and Culture’s role in SDG implementation, including culture’s contributions to Environmental Resilience, Prosperity and Livelihoods, Knowledge and Skills, and Inclusion and Participation.
- To create new opportunities for messaging and implementation campaigns and partnerships between the Arts and Culture sector and the UN to increase global public engagement with SDG implementation.
- To highlight best practices and case studies by participating artists and arts organizations which demonstrate the practical implementation of the SDGs.
- To advocate that all aspects of arts and culture operations become more aligned with the 2030 Agenda.
- To maximize the power of culture and the creative industries to foster respect for human rights, peaceful coexistence and tolerance.
- To facilitate partnerships between individual artists, cultural practitioners, arts organizations, and relevant UN Agencies to support implementation efforts.
- To initiate long-term partnerships and collaborations between a broad range of New York and international artists and cultural organizations.
- To explore how implementation efforts within and across various geographic regions can become mutually reinforcing.
Core 2020 Program
Livestreamed, on-the-record conversations bring together influential art world voices and UN personalities to explore culture’s role and value as humanity faces its greatest test since the formation of the United Nations in the aftermath of World War II.
MUSEUM MEETINGS SERIES
Private, off-the-record meetings offer art museums, UN Agencies and NGOs the chance to share best practices, develop resources and conceptualize a more sustainable institutional model during this period of transition. Launching at MoMA in February, the series continued at Brooklyn and Queens Museum during lock-down.
ARTISTS FOR TOMORROW EXHIBITION
A landmark UN75 exhibition in partnership with Google Arts & Culture presenting solution-focused artists’ projects expressing hope and innovation as society re-calibrates itself in response to the current crisis. This is a cultural call-to-action in preparation for the challenges the next decade will bring.
HEALING ARTS INITIATIVE
In collaboration with leading auction Christie’s and the World Health Organization, this high-profile, 14-month project will raise funds for the WHO Foundation and The Future is Unwritten’s Artists Response Fund, supporting health and healing post-COVID-19. It includes a program of educational events covering urgent thematic areas, each through the lens of the supportive power of the arts.
In January 2020, the UN Secretary-General launched the UN75 initiative, not as a celebration, but as the world’s largest conversation about current global challenges, and the gap between the future we want and where we are headed if current trends continue.
The Secretary-General saw UN75 as an opportunity for the UN to listen to the people it serves and identify their priorities and suggestions for enhanced global cooperation. UN75 was initiated to better understand people’s hopes and fears for the future, inviting people everywhere to imagine the future they want and contribute ideas on how to make it a reality, building a better and more sustainable world, for all.
The World Health Organization works with 194 Member States, across six regions, and from more than 150 offices, to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere. WHO’s Arts & Health Program looks at the research agenda around the health benefits of the arts, in everyday life as well as an instrument in the field.
2020 PROGRAM PARTNER:
The Open Mind Project brings diverse groups together to find common ground. They address global problems through inter-cultural and inter-religious education and diplomacy.
- Interdisciplinary Education
- Social Psychology
- Ethics and Diplomacy
The Open Mind Project is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, founded on the principle that science and spirituality can be complementary. The majority of the world’s population today have deeply held cultural and religious attachments to beliefs that stem from a radically different era of human experience and understanding. The goal of the Open Mind Project is to examine the consequences of particular beliefs and culturally embedded narratives. We want to empower people and societies to make informed decisions about which ideas and beliefs will be most likely to produce beneficial outcomes for them and for future generations, and we aim to make sure they have the conscious freedom to participate in those beliefs.