As part of my MSc in Holistic Science, at Schumacher College, I concluded my research dissertation under the theme mentioned in the title above. More specifically, my main interest has always been related to music, youth empowerment and social transformation.
In times of so many challenges, we can be overwhelmed by the tragic news that is intensely exposed by the media. However, instead, we can place our focus on the positive initiatives that have been emerging all over the globe, feeling inspired to take constructive action towards the change we hope to see in this world and the dreams we believe in. And this is what the UK Youth Climate Coalition works for.
Over time people have been influenced by the hope of thinking and doing things differently, contributing to the development of a new ethics and a sense of cooperation and solidarity within communities, in a local and global level. In Venezuela, for instance, the project El Sistema, created by the conductor José António Abreu, has now worked with more than one million young people.
This national programme was created in 1975 with eleven children in a parking garage, in Caracas. The initiative has maintained, over the years, the rate of 90% of the musicians coming from a very deprived background. As claimed by the maestro Abreu, “music should no longer be a monopoly of elites, but a social right including all people, generating a deep cultural transformation through the awaking of sensibility”.
Nowadays, the most famous pupil from the programme, the 31 years old Gustavo Dudamel, not just leads the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela, but also conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in the US. His story as so many others offer us an invitation to reflect on how each individual´s initiative can make a significant change in the world. Furthermore, we are ensured that the energy and effort of young people can be very powerful and transformative.
To know more about the project El Sistema, watch this brilliant TEDtalk given by José Abreu: http://www.ted.com/talks/jose_abreu_on_kids_transformed_by_music.html
To know how you can act in your own community and become a catalyst for positive social change see: http://ukycc.org/archives/7909
To engage in a participatory art activity check the project ‘I want to be’: http://yfgj.ukycc.org/blog/?page_id=918