Every year the Living Futures initiative at Prague College designs an annual theme which brings to light the challenges humanity faces and explores them via the interconnection of business and finance, design, media, art and computing. Fittingly, this year’s annual theme focuses on change #facingchange and what we can do to face it with creativity and skill.The topic is further explored questioning how we approach and work with change on a personal level and how we face change in society? Our Schools, students and staff work to embed a chosen theme into projects, lectures, workshops, conferences and shows in order to illustrate, adapt current practice and inspire future action. As a collective, we explore what change is, investigating areas where it's happening, as well as developing skills to engage and participate in the process of change. An example is our Art & Design students who created illustrated works (above) on societal issues and change, which we have re-purposed for our College 2020 Calendar.
So far this academic year the College has held a number of successful events and activities related to the theme. Explorer Benedict Allen gave a college-wide talk in which he described the influence of a changing world on the societies of the Amazon and Papua New Guinea. Photographer Antonio Cossa gave a talk about his visits to Mozambique, where he documented communities reacting to floods as a result of climate change, and Hong Kong where protests of political and social change can transform from being peaceful to more radical and dangerous. Graduate Zeina Kanawati gave a lecturer in which she pointed out the ways women are experiencing the Syrian war and what mechanisms they draw on and how their roles change as a result of it. And Associate Head of the Business School Bruce Gahir gave a talk to the college partner IFSA on how business can be sustainable and still make a profit. In addition, Ordinary magazine #2, a beautifully crafted publication created by a collective of Prague College Graphic Design graduates selected Transformations as their topic.
The College has also engaged in social activity related to the theme by raising money for a shelter house for mothers and children, and collected clothes for Moment Charity Shop.
Our students have also personally responded to the firestorms that devastated Australia by organising a very successful Art Exhibition on February 28, where over 18,000 Czech Crowns was raised for the indigenous people of Mogo and the Two Thumbs Wildlife Trust who both lost critical infrastructure, and in the case of Two Thumbs all the native animals in their care. Both students, teachers and the general public were grateful for this opportunity to come together as a community and to transform our sadness and feelings of powerlessness into creativity and generosity.
Within all of these events and activities it became apparent that with each change there is the possibility of both positive and negative outcomes, that there is always a choice we can make in how we respond to change, and there is great power in coming together and finding new ways to respond.
The previous theme for the academic year 2018/19 was 'No Time to Waste' #notimetowaste where students and staff investigated and reacted to issues around Climate Change, environmental practices, waste management and pollution.