Values and Ethical Aspirations

Since IMPACT's inception, its leadership has recognized the importance of shared ethical principles and values.

Ethical questions are on the minds of people throughout acct, as revealed through our multiregional research. We recognize that they require constant attention, including within our own interactions and practices.

Explore Ethical Aspirations and Ideas for Action developed by IMPACT Leadership Circle in November 2020. We intend for this to be a living document, anticipating that users suggest additions and/or changes as they embody these values and test these actions in creating and assessing projects in which they are engaged.

Guiding Values and Commitments

Updated October 2019

We intend for IMPACT and its contributions to the arts, culture and conflict transformation (ACCT) ecosystem to imagine and embody a more just, more vibrant, less violent world. We aim to cultivate resources, relationships, knowledge, collaborations and networks that enliven and align forces of creativity commensurate with the grand challenges confronting humanity — climate change, growing inequalities, wars and legacies of past wars, displacement, the rise of authoritarian regimes, political and social polarization and more.

We recognize the urgency and fragility of the moment, including the vulnerability of the planet, the accelerating loss of languages and cultures and the wisdom they embody, and the assaults on freedom of expression and other human rights from many sources.

We work to strengthen the multisectoral arts, culture and conflict transformation ecosystem. To be optimally effective within all the roles we hold in this ecosystem, we welcome each other's cooperation and support. We intend for our processes to continually strengthen awareness of the interdependence of all players in this ecosystem.

We acknowledge that our best intentions do not eliminate risks of harm, that ethical guidelines and discourse principles need to be central to our work, and that opportunities to deepen ethical practice in the acct ecosystem need to be more prevalent and accessible.

We align ourselves with values of reciprocity and life-affirming creative collaboration and we invite others to participate with us in this spirit. We recognize that in many cases, violent conflict is part of the legacy of colonialism and related patterns of exclusion; and so we are working to avoid perpetuating these hurtful patterns. For instance, we are crafting discourse principles designed to help uf engage sensitivity with trauma, diverse knowledge systems and senses of time, substantive criticism and generative conflict, self-determination of identity/ies, the opportunities and dangers of communication technology, and the impact of historical antagonisms and conflicts.

We commit to processes that are inclusive of the diverse perspectives, languages, and ways of seeing the world in this ecosystem of artists, cultural workers, scholars, conflict transformation practitioners, educators, diplomats, activists, policymakers, funders and many others. We facilitate participation from people of different regions, abilities, genders, classes, ethnicities, races, faiths and languages. We build bridges by promoting respect and cooperation across the differences in power that often divide us and impede effective collaborations.

We value knowledge that arises from multiple sources, including diverse wisdom traditions; indigenous cultures; artistic practices; peacebuilding practices; scholarly disciplines; and experiences of funders, activists, policymakers and diplomats. We seek to bring these different sources of insight, wisdom and knowledge into generative relationship.

We infuse our processes with creativity, joy and care for ourselves and those we engage. We aspire to enhance our vitality and our relationships by imagining together and bringing our dreams to life.

We work to balance our commitments to inclusion and distributed leadership with appropriate coherence, effectiveness and momentum. The complexity of our commitments and the challenges we faces require flexibility and adaptability to what emerges. The urgencies of the moment, the needs and potentials of the field, and our commitments to our communities and our values demand nothing less.