Doing Nothing is Not an Option – June 17-19 2016

A major event in partnership with Warwick Arts Centre and Julies Bicycle

This event is intended for everyone concerned with climate change and the role performing arts has in exploring it and its ramifications. It will energise, re-energise and inspire; our aim is that all will leave with a clear sense of direction and purpose, and not a few with concrete ideas or commissions and collaboration that will have the active involvement of producing partners.

COP21 has justifiably been hailed as a diplomatic triumph; it went a long way further than any previous attempts to achieve international consensus on a concerted response to climate change. But a world that includes, in the small corner of the UK, daffodils flowering in December and unprecedented flooding, reminds us of the scale of the chasm between what can be successfully negotiated by the Body Politic and what is actually needed.  The Paris agreement is much better seen as the end of the beginning, rather than something we can take comfort from, a finale.  The fact remains that the West has still not taken on board the scale of action – technological, political, intellectual – needed to deal with this challenge, not by a long chalk.

Taking place at the large Warwick Arts Centre, Doing Nothing is Not an Option – DNNO – will be our most ambitious event ever.  It will offer an opportunity for people in the performing arts sector to reflect on what the subject means for artists today and in the future.  During this three-day gathering, exclusively targeted at the performing arts, 200 people – writers, directors, producers and others, together with climate specialists of all types – will come together to shape new ideas and develop a platform for creative responses and new work. This will take place in the context of a public festival of climate related performance work.

The programme – details here
Using the celebrated methodology TippingPoint has used and refined in five continents, over the three days participants will work, play and eat together. They will share their knowledge, experience and understanding of climate change and will leave feeling affirmed, informed and energised; their horizons broadened, their imaginations enriched and their practice developed. It will be the beginning of a creative journey and a focus for new performance work. Here is an example of a presentation given at our last event in Oxford, by Dr Stephen Peake of the Open University:

The value of the event
Different people will gain different things from attending this event.  However, our central aim is that all will have a clearer idea of ‘what to do next’ – it is designed specifically to do that.  Particular benefits should include, for people from the performing arts world:

  • –  Greater clarity on the phenomenon of climate change
  • –  The chance to go into real depth on particular aspects of the topic
  • –  The opportunity to identify possible collaborators for creative work
  • –  The chance to access commission opportunities

For people from the research world, our intention is that the event will deliver:

  • –  An opportunity to work closely with creative people from a very different world – who will put a high value on particular expertise
  • –  An entirely new way of getting research into the public domain, of politics and policy
  • –  The potential for very rewarding long term partnerships

We can virtually guarantee that all who attend will leave feeling affirmed, enlightened and reinvigorated, with horizons broadened and work of all types enriched by a sense of purpose and new ideas. Some comments from people who have been to previous TippingPoint events:

I found the event hugely valuable – I can hardly think about much else yet. I hope my contributions helped others. It was a privilege to be there. John Ashton, then the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change
Thank you so much for a fine and thought-provoking event. Perfectly handled, I thought. Simon Beaufoy, Playwright and Scriptwriter
It was one of the most important exercises I've ever taken part in – timely, imaginatively set up, and profoundly necessary.  Philip Pullman, Author
I thought it was fantastic – stimulating and challenging – and just the right balance of learning and sharing.  John Fulljames, Artistic Director, the Opera Group
In my experience, big meetings and especially writers' conferences are a complete disaster! The masters of the word fail when it comes to communication or conversation! TippingPoint, however, was the best conference I've ever experienced. The vividness, the openness, it was an atmosphere I felt filled with creativity and concern. Liane Dirks, Author
There was an amazingly creative atmosphere of intellectual exchange, where deep moral questions were discussed on a par with the fundamental science of global warming. When one speaks as a scientist to someone who leads a theatre or to someone who performs public art, completely new ways of thinking open up. It really made me question virtually everything I did – and it also provided me with the answers I needed to continue my research with possibly more intensity than ever before. Dr Dirk Notz, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
Quite apart from being some of the best fun I’ve had in a ‘day at work’, my first experience of TippingPoint really moved my thinking — not just about the arts and creativity, but about my own research trajectory. It was a hugely enjoyable and valuable experience. Professor Joe Smith, Geographer

Commissions – more detail here.
DNNO will be a platform for the launch of a round of commissions in partnership with producing organisations from across the country, following on from the numerous previous rounds of commissions undertaken by TippingPoint.  Many people will be attending at the invitation of theatres and other organisations who may commission work from them, but we also aim to be able to fund completely open commissions emerging from the event. Here is an example of an exceptionally spectacular earlier TippingPoint commission:

At a very different scale, here is another, by Metis Arts.

For anyone with the sense that the performing arts has a role to play in rethinking the way we live in the light of this enormous challenge, this will be a ‘must-attend’ event.

Charges for attendance are as follows; they include all meals and refreshments, though accommodation onsite, very close to Warwick Arts Centre and strongly recommended, will cost extra.  All TIppingPoint events are very carefully designed, with a beginning, middle and end, so we strongly discourage partial attendance. The booking page is here.

For people from arts organisations with grants of over £750k and research institutions £240
For people from arts organistions with grants between £250k and £750k £190
For people from arts organisations with a grant less than £250k £150
For independents £95

If you have any particular access requirements that you think we should know about or for which you may require support, please do let us know by emailing here.

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