Friday, May 29, 2015, 9:00 – 11:00 A.M.
SFU Woodward’s – Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre
149 W Hastings St., Vancouver, BC, Canada


Can art challenge us to shift our economy to one that embraces sustainability, equality, and justice? Can we create local and global economies that are not only resilient and thriving but inclusive of everyone?

The Artist Round Table (A.RT) on New Economies brings together a diverse group of panellists who have provocative ideas about art, economy, and transformative change. Set within a staged 1983 corporate boardroom, the A.RT will kick off with a presentation by artist Marilou Lemmens about her collaborative, multidisciplinary practice with Richard Ibghy. Lemmens will present artistic projects that explore the ways in which the economic system pervades nearly every facet of our daily lives. In response, panellists from various fields will engage in a lively discussion, digging deeply into the issues at the heart of the duo’s practice. The panellists will draw on their experiences in the realms of art and culture, activism and citizenship, and sustainability and radical urbanism as they tell stories, debate ideas, and challenge each other and the audience with thought-provoking questions. The audience will be invited into a discourse on the emergence of a new economy and how art can be a driving force for social change.


Marilou Lemmens is a visual artist based in Durham-Sud and Montreal, Quebec where she works in collaboration with Richard Ibghy. Spanning various media, including video, performance, and installation, their work explores the material, affective, and sensory dimensions of experience that cannot be fully translated into signs or systems. For several years, they have examined the rationale upon which economic actions are described and represented, and how the logic of economy has come to infiltrate the most intimate aspects of life. Their work has been shown nationally and internationally, including at La Biennale de Montréal (Montreal, 2014), 27th Images Festival (Toronto, 2014), La Filature, Scène Nationale (Mulhouse, France, 2013-14), Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow, 2012), and the 10th Sharjah Biennial (Sharjah, UAE, 2011), among others.


Community organizer, writer, and activist Matt Hern teaches at UBC and is known for his work in radical urbanism, community development, and alternative forms of education. He is founder of the Purple Thistle Centre, Car-Free Vancouver Day, and Groundswell: Grassroots Economic Alternatives.

An avid seeker of beauty, authentic connections, and learning, Cédric Jamet has been involved in a flurry of citizen-led projects, exploring the relationship between urban imaginary, active citizenship, and the co-creation of sustainable cities. Most recently, he helped start 100in1day in Montreal and is completing an M.A. in Human Systems Intervention from Concordia University.

Artist and cultural producer Todd Lester has dedicated his career to supporting and enabling socially engaged artists around the world. He is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and founder of both freeDimensional and



SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre
149 W Hastings St.Vancouver, BC, Vancouver, Canada

The Artist Round Table on New Economies is an experiment of Adjacent Possibilities, Musagetes, One Earth, and Cities for People. It is one in a series of international roundtables in which artists can share their ideas and projects with scientists, historians, Aboriginal leaders, policymakers, politicians, community organizers, and social movement leaders. Musagetes initially developed the A.RT approach in collaboration with Todd Lester.

Adjacent Possibilities
Adjacent Possibilities is a creative agency experimenting at the intersection of art, technology and society’s most complex challenges. We connect adjacent types of thinkers: artists, entrepreneurs, policy makers and others, to explore what possibilities might emerge from these unlikely combinations of thought in addressing daunting questions of human resilience. Our work is fuelled by a belief in our ingenuity as a species and includes the curation, design and production of exhibitions, facilitation of workshops and strategic planning, consulting on organizational strategy, and production of film and creative media.

One Earth is a nonprofit ‘think and do’ tank based in Vancouver, Canada. Our mission is to transform production and consumption patterns locally, nationally and internationally to be sustainable, healthy, and just within the limits of living systems. Our passion is bringing people, ideas and activities together to accelerate the transition towards sustainability – we catalyze networking and action on the issues we care about. One Earth adopts a systems approach to identify high-impact solutions, and engages the arts and citizens to create compelling visions of life in sustainable futures.

Musagetes logo
Musagetes, the curator of the Art and Society theme of Cities for People, is an international organization that makes the arts more central and meaningful in people’s lives, in our communities, and in our societies. The arts play a fundamental role in mediating our life experiences, making artistic creativity central to healthy, empathic, social, and conscientious ways of living. Art creates a space for thinking differently, for opening up new possibilities for ourselves and the world around us.

Cities for People
Cities for People, a grassroots movement that looks at the resilience and liveability of cities, asks the question: how can we enhance social, ecological, and economic well-being and help civic cultures thrive? We are approaching this from the perspectives of four themes: Art and Society, CityScapes, Citizen Spaces, and New Economies. Each of these themes has a curating organization that is gathering compelling stories, connecting people within and across fields, and experimenting with new ways to approach old problems.

Lead Image: Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens, Is there anything left to be done at all? (2014), five-channel video, sound, sculpture, dimensions variable. Video still.
We want a country in which:

  • public, private and social sectors are engaged in active efforts to close the gap between the socioeconomic wellbeing of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people
  • the public sector, private investors and philanthropists separately and collaboratively deploy financial capital to create positive social and environmental impact
  • social innovation is an integral part of Canada’s innovation ecosystem, enabling civic institutions to co-create policies, initiatives and programs that enable citizens to contribute a diversity of skills and perspectives to Canadian society
  • public, private and civil society sectors act collaboratively and courageously to advance human thriving and address shared challenges
  • humans’ social and economic footprint is in balance with the natural ecosystems that sustain life.