Learning from the Global Financial Crisis: Creatively, Reliably, and Sustainably

By Paul Shrivastava; Matt Statler | Go to book overview

2 Aesthetic Leadership
Walking Toward Economic Recovery

Ralph Bathurst and Margot Edwards

In this chapter, we explore the idea of communitarian artistic cocreativity and partnership as a means of solving the current global economic crisis. In light of the challenges that face leaders who are working to solve problems as a result of the crisis, we present an aesthetic approach to leadership that values heightened sensation and provocative insight through the works of the installation artists Peter Robinson and Tyree Guyton. The works of these artists help surface experience of past, painful histories and help turn our focus from financial concerns to those of much deeper and much more important human interest. How, through the aesthetic engagement that dialogic art inspires, individuals move from self-absorption to develop humility and a focus on the other and to build toward diverse communities are key issues that this chapter addresses.


Crisis and transformation

The experience of overwhelming crisis often raises existential questions about the nature and meaning of life. Such questions lead us to reassessments of our current activities and to changes in our values and behaviors. Crisis comes in many different forms, including job loss, the betrayal of a friend, or the death of a loved one. The anthropologist Ronald Wright (2005) makes these links between loss and the quest for personal meaning in his provocative text based on the 2004 Massey Lectures. He opens with a discussion of

Thanks to Merle Turner for her generous help and advice in preparing this chapter.

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