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Happy New Year - Time to roll up our creative sleeves & steer a new course

Thu, 31/12/2015

From a small hotel at Melbourne Airport, with my eldest son asleep beside me, in transit on the way back from an unseasonably warm UK Xmas, I am counting up the deeds and disasters of 2015, dreaming about the year ahead. 2015 was another strange year, more death and uncertainty at home and abroad, with refugees flooding into Europe escaping war and seeking a better life, the rise of right wng governments preaching austerity, Australia still locking up asylum seekers on remote islands despite evidence of abuse, many stories about increased violence against women and children and untold devestation as climate change bites fiercely. The world is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels despite the fact we made new 'hottest' records (NOT sexy ones) on every continent and extreme weather continues to distrupt and destroy lives. There were also signs of hope and change. Social media telling of many individuals stepping up to take action and help others despite the fog of fear perpetrated by the mainstream media. Finally when world leaders decended on Paris in December, following terrifying terrorist attacks, to discuss Climate Action there finally seemed some concensus that nations must work harder to mitigate the warming effects for the sake of our kids and future generations. Some hope but there is plenty still to do.

Personally, I am determined not to hope for greater personal gain in the coming year, my family are all well and have enough, I only wish for their health and happiness. Instead I am more focussed on growing awaremess for climate change and our need to change our ways; focus on women's processes and perceptions, diversify the voices we listen to and hear the ancient wisdom of our indigenous people. All this could contribute to more sustainable living, new ways of seeing and being in the delicate finite ecosystem of our planet. I hope 2016 is a creative step in the right direction where we can redress our greed and insatiable consumption to dream up a better future that extends way beyond 2016.

If you stop thinking you are part of the solution and realise you play a part in the problems, we can do this.

If you cast aside personal ambition to share success with others for a more equitable future, we can do this.

If you can ask difficult questions about where our food and goods come from in order to start unpacking our reliance on exploitation and slavery, we can do this.

If you can get off the growth, bigger, more agenda and act to enhance the lives of those less fortunate, we can do this.

If you can invest in rich experiences rather than material gain, we can do this.

And perhaps you can get involved in BiDiNG TiME. This project was a part of my response to the crisis I saw all around me, an investigation into the world I knew best - the theatre and live events - to see how a new way of working might help us imagine new ways of working in the wider world. By sharing this story about a young woman and encouraging people to interpret it however they'd like to, I am defying the authorial voices dominating our stages and inviting creative expression. That can change the world. I have been on this road for awhile, the need to work differently and imagine better seems ever more urgent. I notice that people are afraid of change, we resist and justify systems that are not working rather than leap into untried new ones.

BiDiNG TiME  is moving forward again in 2016/17 and I am very excited about the new creative partners signing up to be a part of this project. The story will be reshaped and created in many different communities, led by people who have been inspired to take part. Who is the young woman called Thyme in your neighbourhood? What does she dream of and how can you help her imagine a better future?

We are looking for more people to take part. SO please, join this big crazy experiment, take a risk, chase a dream and actively imagine a better future.The sharing of this project is a part of its strength, the more people who join, the stronger it is. We are better together.

What are you waiting for?

HAPPY NEW YEAR - Big love and happiness to you, whereever you are.