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Arts for impact

AY Young and the RSA join forces to inspire audiences and communities to act on climate change
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Arts for impact at LCAW

This article first appeared in our World Environment Day issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 05 June 2024. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

To coincide with London Climate Action Week (22-30 June), the RSA is joining forces with Project 17 founder, musician, UN Youth Leader and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) champion AY Young.

The RSA and AY Young will host a day of conversations that will focus on the different ways in which artists can mobilise audiences and communities to champion sustainability and secure a healthier future for everyone, everywhere – and for the Earth on which we all depend.

Breaking down barriers

AY Young is the creator of the ground-breaking, renewably charged Battery Tour; he’s teaming up with RSA Events and bringing his expertise in ‘Music for Impact’ to co-curate a takeover day at RSA House in central London.

Many of the activities are open to the public and will be livestreamed for global access.

In a high-energy lunchtime panel session, AY will lead a discussion exploring how to break down the barriers and bridge the divides that are preventing us from meeting the UN’s 17 SDGs.

Achieving the SDGs

Leading figures from culture, industry and civil society will share insights into how we can foster the cross-sector collaboration that will be essential to achieve the goals, which sit at the heart of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – a blueprint for peace and prosperity.

The goals are an urgent call for action by all countries through a global, cross-sectoral partnership.

They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand in hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

‘Ask me Anything’

We know that the worlds of music, culture and art have a massive role to play in making progress on the SDGs. But how do young people starting out in the industry navigate a path that connects their creative talent to their social change mission?

AY will talk about his career as a producer and performer, supporting acts from Wyclef Jean to Wiz Khalifa, founding Project 17 and creating the Battery Tour.

He will also be joined by artists and musicians who are pursuing sustainable pathways through the industry, including singer-songwriter Alex Hepburn.

Conversations will include People. Environment. Achievement. (P.E.A.) Awards founder Jarvis Smith, musician and social impact storyteller Timo Peach and sustainable finance communications specialist Sarisher Mann, among others.

Later in the day, young creatives are invited to an ‘Ask me Anything’ session with AY on sustainability and artistry in the music business.

Making an impact

The RSA has been at the forefront of significant social impact since 1754. Through field-leading policy research, innovative ideas platforms and a unique global network of Fellows, the RSA today pursues a ‘Design for Life’ mission, working collectively to enable people, places and the planet to flourish in harmony.

This event, in collaboration with Project 17, BNP Paribas and London Climate Action Week, is an unmissable invitation to unite, innovate and propel the global sustainability agenda – and the regenerative agenda at the heart of the RSA – forward.

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