22 December 2015back

Creative Internships Blog Week 11

Clio Ryan, Artes Mundi

Drawing from comments made previously by my fellow interns, a major influence in the past weeks has been that of my business mentor. Paired with Dr. Jane Davidson, former Minister both of Education and later the Environment in Wales, the opportunity even to know Jane has been an absolute privilege.

Over previous years my interests and understanding of politics has grown and evolved and in such economic and socially turbulent times, to be offered the chance to learn and be supported by someone who has experience in politics at such a high level is incredible. I could not be more grateful both to Arts and Business Cymru for pairing me with such an inspirational woman (in very many ways) and to Jane herself for agreeing to take part in the internship programme.

Now working as the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director of INSPIRE, (Institute for Sustainability Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness) at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Jane is at the very cutting edge of sustainable practice and development and as such it has been impossible for me not to have been eagerly drawn into the world of sustainability and all that it entails. Reading through many invaluable resources Jane has provided me with, it has shocked me to learn the extent of international and global environmental practice. Listing challenges on the global stage such as a readiness for rhetoric about global environmental issues but little delivery, findings at the Convention of Biological Diversity held in 2011 in Nagoya, it transpired that not one single country has lived up to the biodiversity conservation targets set in 2000, a fact that remained largely unreported in the media. Legally underpinning such targets, Jane argues, is the key to success.

Speaking with Dr. Davidson just last week, our conversation surrounding environmental and sustainable action moved closer towards a fundraising perspective and we began to discuss implementing sustainable practice into fundraising. This in turn gave rise to a discussion about general ethics in fundraising and Jane explained some of the complexities that underpin funding channels. She spoke of the importance of correctly matching organisations to funders who hold similar values and of the importance for institutions and organisations of being aware of the kinds of industries that they have invested in. 

With Dr. Davidson as by business mentor, I look forward to many avenues of sustainability still to be explored at our monthly meetings, and I am greatly inspired by her absolute determination and drive to create positive change. 

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