Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – in the arts? SDG 16- Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions.

In the performing art sector, sustainability development rest on the capability of the cultural leaders to understand how the ‘art’ and its cultural composition can serve as a source for nurturing sustainable values in society. From Slaper and Hall’s (2011) standpoint, a socially sustainable organization seeks to address social factors that can positively impact the well-being development of society. In our sector, these factors aim to provide a cultural service that empowers the use of the art form to enable change in the future of our world; a cultural service that can concentrate on strategic and social challenges that can make not only strong organizations but a healthier society as a whole (Blowfield 2013).

Lashley (2016) argued the importance of an organization taking actions that can enhance the “social, economic and cultural” state of their community. Leadership is one of the key aspects to enabling this and other sustainable ideas (Szczepańska et al., 2016). Muff et al. (2020) believe that “responsive leadership” is a crucial factor in answering societal needs and expectations and that businesses have the duty of taking external societal affairs as part of their ethical dilemmas and as a determinant of behaving responsibly and ethically. In that sense, one may argue that leaders and businesses can serve as a model to explore and reflect the dynamics of power, structures, and systems and in developing a prioritized notion of unity that can capture messages of justice for a better world. Besides this, (Blowfield 2013) states that as a process of sensemaking (Ancona n.d), a leader should have the capacity to help people by shaping their actions and giving a sustainable meaning to what they are experiencing. 

One can say that these ideas, merely concerned with maximizing society’s “overall good”, may be linked to a consequentialist thought and, therefore, can be categorized under what Desjardins and McCall (2014) called ideas that can assist businesses and individuals “oughts and shoulds” – utilitarian ideas concerned with an all-inclusive call that invites to a sincere, truthful way of thinking which starts with a “common-sense observation” of our acts. 

 In resume, an ethical and responsible organization can be considered one that follows a golden rule principle and that embodies a sustainable way of acting through inclusive governance that can help develop an effective response to a participatory society – an organization with leaders that can support all aspect of sustainability through its business lens. An organization that can create a good and healthy enough strategy and that can serve as a policy model in the adaptation of sustainable goals that can respond to changes in the political and socio-economic context (Elkington 2018). 

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