Developing progressive mindsets and skills to cope with uncertainty will be the key individual and business differentiator in this uncertain world. Welcome to the new real world of uncertainty! An earlier version of this article appeared in Talent Talks. How Certain are You about Uncertainty? Our inability to answer the following questions with certainty highlights the reality of uncertainty in an increased volatile business, political and socio-economic landscape:. Does President Ramaphosa have sufficient support in making the new dawn a reality?
Will the Youth Employment Service really make a difference and reduce youth unemployment? Do we have the right leaders in business and government to take the country forward?
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Are we able to cope with the level of complexity and uncertainty today? Will the education system ever improve to provide our youngsters with the appropriate knowledge and skills to survive or rather thrive in the new world of work?
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Will we cope and be relevant in the total different world brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution? What type of world will our children live and work in?
Will we ever be able to turn the tide on fraud and corruption? Will we ever achieve the elusive dream off equality without any forms of racism and discrimination in a society in which everyone are truly equal citizens in terms of opportunities and income? Will the high levels of crime and violence ever decrease? What will be the next major technological gadget on the market? Where will we see the next major service delivery protest?
When will we face the next major corporate scandal? Will there be a new virus or outbreak of a diseases causing further panic in society? Is small business really the answer if so many smaller businesses are struggling to survive?
It should fire our imagination and feed our spirits. It should remind us that everything changes. It should give us hope to build a better world. For a while now, I have been interested in the ways in which art and politics intersect, in ideas around artistic processes, and the practical ways in which artists interact with different publics through their work. If there is a role for art in facing societal challenges, that role requires artists.
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If art can liberate us, make us more empathetic; if it should bring us joy, feed our spirit and give us hope to build a better world, then what are the conditions needed for ensuring that it does so? Language can have a gathering effect, but it can also alienate and exclude. Haraway has other ideas. She uses vocabulary that suggests more embodied and messy strategies for addressing sustainability challenges: using tentacles, feelers, digits, spider legs and compost.
For art to be political, it should challenge power. There are many and varied examples of artists that use their art as a form of praxis, to intervene in discourses on social and political change. I will introduce just a few here. Artists who follow a practice-based research approach often employ flexible, open-ended, non-linear methods to examine, explore and engage with issues and ideas.
The Light and Fast Organisation: A New Way of Dealing with Uncertainty
This chimes with the pathways approach at STEPS, which pays attention to multiple pathways, seeking to open up space for more plural and dynamic sustainabilities. Lawrence Abu Hamdan is an artist whose work might exemplify this approach well. His work deals with the relationship between listening and politics, borders, human rights, testimony and truth through the production of documentaries, essays, audio-visual installations, video works, graphic design, sculpture, photography, workshops and performance.
He also makes audio analyses for legal investigations and advocacy.
Inspiring positive change in complex and uncertain times
The Israeli soldiers had asserted they had used rubber bullets. The case against the soldiers hinged upon an audio-ballistic analysis of the recorded gunshots to determine whether the soldiers broke the law by firing live ammunition at the two unarmed teenagers. Abu Hamdan used special techniques designed to visualize the sound frequencies from footage of the incident to produce a detailed acoustic analysis, which established that they had fired live rounds and, moreover, had tried to disguise these fatal shots to make them sound as if they were rubber bullets.
The investigation was also presented before the U. A little over a year after Abu Hamdan completed his report, he returned to the case of Abu Daher and Nawara. Expanding on the original body of evidence, he created an installation of sound, photographic prints and video. It penetrates the veneer of certainty in a dominant social order. Or, Is there a world beyond the image wars? The exhibition that accompanied the publication of this essay aimed to create a space inside a cacophony of political rhetoric, to present and test a range of ideas and interpretations, through sound and image.
The art historian and critic Marina Warner has written about the digital artist Joan Jonas , one of the founding figures of performance art. Drawing inspiration from various cultures and traditions, and adapting these sources so they relate to contemporary life, Jonas creates a complex, often perplexing, layering of imagery. She does not merely represent or reflect these natural forces and structures of phenomena, but she acts as a medium through which such forces and phenomena are articulated. The STEPS pathways approach recognises that who you are shapes how you understand the way systems operate in the world.
These various understandings will lead to different narratives being told about those systems, and different choices being made. In her films, everything appears to twist and unravel in front of our eyes, undoing certainties in a flight of visual signs; a language without an explicit code. This apparent unintelligibility can be bewildering for audiences, but they may also feel freed by the experience.
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As the composite nature of reality is revealed, audiences are invited to piece together what they are seeing on their own terms. Diversity Events Newsletter Whitepapers.
How Certain are You about Uncertainty? by Marius Meyer - SABPP
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