Values Exchange

5x15 at COP26: Arts and the Imagination

2 Jan 2022
Senior Thinker (2267 XP)
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5x15 at COP26: Arts and the Imagination


As COP26 draws to a close, we’re looking forward to the road ahead and exploring the power of imagination to drive change – for humans, for animals, for flora and fauna.

Supported by Rathbones

Responsible investing at Rathbone Investment Management. We see it as our responsibility to invest for everyone’s tomorrow. That means doing the right thing for our clients and for others too. Keeping the future in mind when we make decisions today. Looking beyond the short term for the most sustainable outcome. This is how we build enduring value for our clients, make a wider contribution to society and create a lasting legacy.

Brian Eno 5x15 speaker featured

Brian Eno


Brian Eno is a composer, producer and visual artist. He is widely identified with the appearance of 'Ambient Music' in the 1970s and of ‘Generative Music’ in the 1990s. He has worked extensively with David Bowie, U2, Coldplay, Laurie Anderson, Talking Heads and others. His visual and installation work has been presented in nearly 200 venues over the last 5 decades. Eno is a trustee of Client Earth, director of Earth Percent and co-founder of The Long Now Foundation- a society dedicated to the promotion of long-term thinking.

Ben okri 5x15 speaker featured

Ben Okri

Every Leaf a Hallelujah

Ben Okri is a poet, novelist, and playwright. His novel, The Famished Road, won the Booker Prize in 1991. His works have been translated into 26 languages. He has been a Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Ben Okri's books have won numerous international prizes. The recipient of many honorary doctorates, he is a vice-president of the English Centre of International PEN and was presented the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum for his outstanding contribution to the Arts and cross-cultural understanding. His book ‘Astonishing the Gods’ was chosen by the BBC as one of the most influential novels written over the last 300 years.

His latest books are The Freedom Artist, A Fire in my Head, and Every Leaf a Hallelujah.

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Charlotte Jarvis


Charlotte Jarvis, choreographer and dance activist, trained in classical ballet at London Studio centre. She was a contemporary dancer with Ballet Nurnberg, Germany. She teaches ballet, contemporary and Scaravelli inspired yoga throughout UK. Charlotte has performed and collaborated with Ben Okri in India, Italy, Scotland and London. Their companies most recent production “Starting from First Position” premiered at the Edinburgh Festival this year. Charlotte continues to rase climate awareness through the embodiment of dance.

Carolina Caycedo

Carolina Caycedo

In conversation

Carolina Caycedo is a Colombian-American artist who is researching community-led alternative energy production across the Americas. The basis of her campaign for Back to Earth is her long-running investigation into human interaction with rivers, from access to clean water supplies to toxicity levels and the impact of dams. She participates in movements of territorial resistance, solidarity economies, and housing as a human right. Carolina’s artistic practice has a collective dimension to it in which performances, drawings, photographs and videos are not just an end result, but rather part of the artist’s process of research and acting. Her work contributes to the construction of environmental historical memory as a fundamental element for non-repetition of violence against human and non-human entities, and generates a debate about the future in relation to common goods, environmental justice, just energy transition and cultural biodiversity.

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

Art and activism with Kumi Naidoo

Visual artist Olafur Eliasson (b.1967) grew up in Iceland and Denmark. In 1995, he founded Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, which today comprises a team of craftsmen, architects, archivists, researchers, administrators, cooks, art historians, and specialised technicians. Natural phenomena—such as water, light, ice, fog, and reflections—feature prominently in Eliasson’s often-large-scale artworks. Olafur Eliasson’s art is driven by his interests in perception movement embodied experience and feelings of self. He strives to make the concerns of art relevant to society at large. Art for him is a crucial means for turning thinking into doing in the world. Eliasson’s works span sculpture painting photography film and installation. Not limited to the confines of the museum and gallery his practice engages the broader public sphere through architectural projects interventions in civic space arts education policy-making and issues of sustainability and the climate crisis.

Emotithal Mahmoud

Emtithal Mahmoud


Emtithal 'Emi' Mahmoud is the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and 2016 Woman of the World Co-champion. One of BBC's 100 Most Inspirational Women of 2015, Mahmoud studied anthropology and molecular, cellular amd developmental biology at Yale University and is a Darfur native from the heart of Philadelphia.

A UNHCR High Profile Supporter, a Yale Global Health Fellow and Leonore Annenberg Scholar, Mahmoud dedicates her time to spreading understanding through poetry and advocacy, particularly for the cause of refugees and disadvantaged communities the world over.


Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh

The Nutmeg's Curse

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria and is the author of The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique Land, Dancing in Cambodia, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, and The Ibis Trilogy, consisting of Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke and Flood of Fire. The Great Derangement; Climate Change and the Unthinkable, a work of non-fiction, appeared in 2016 and his forthcoming book is The Nutmeg's Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis.

Wilson Oryema

Wilson Oryema

On fashion and futures

Wilson Oryema is an artist, writer, and entrepreneur. His work primarily focuses on the theme of human consumption and the different ways it impacts human behaviour and the environment. Which he explores through various mediums including, text, image, documentary, and more. He is a Co-Founder of the social change initiative, Regenerative Futures, as well as, Surface Tension, a platform built to realise the positive impact of materials on the body.

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Neil Gaiman

On the power of story

Neil Gaiman is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including NeverwhereAmerican GodsThe Ocean at the End of the Laneand the Sandman series of graphic novels. He is credited with being one of the creators of modern comics, as well as an author whose work crosses genres and reaches audiences of all ages. His fiction has received Newbery, Carnegie, Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner Awards. He is a creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama. Gaiman is currently writing and showrunning both Good Omens Season 2 and Anansi Boys for Amazon, due to shoot simultaneously later this year in Scotland.


Kim Stanley Robinson CREDIT Sean Curtin

Kim Stanley Robinson

The Ministry for the Future

Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy, 2312, Aurora and New York 2140. In 2008, he was named a 'Hero of the Environment' by Time, and he works with the Sierra Nevada research institute. He lives in Davis, California.

Rosie Boycott bio

Rosie Boycott


Rosie Boycott is a cross bench peer in the House of Lords. For ten years she was chair of The London food Board, responsible to the Mayor of London for food policy in the City. She is a well known food activist with particular interest in food poverty, health, environment and agricultural sustainability. She is a trustee of the Food Foundation and Feeding Britain and chair of Veg Power. She was the founder of the feminist magazine Spare Rib and the editor in chief of three national newspapers: The Independent on Sunday, the Independent and the Daily Express.

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Mirabella Okri


Mirabella Okri has performed and sung ‘Our love must save the world’ with Damon Albarn as part of ‘Paint the Land’ campaign for climate change in 2021. She has written a ‘Letter to Earth’ and read it out at the Globe Theatre London. She is a young environmentalist and has been concerned about the overuse of plastics and the future of trees since the age of 3yrs old.




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