What is Open Perspectives?
Open Perspectives by H&M Foundation is an inspirational physical and digital face-to-face concept to share insights and learnings from our own work, from the textile industry and from others who inspire us. The overarching goal is to inspire others to contribute to the vision of enabling a more inclusive and sustainable fashion and textile industry.
If you didn’t have the opportunity to watch the session live, you can find it in its entirety above.
Transformative narratives can change the world
The event was kicked off by keynote speaker Per Olsson, Associate Professor and Deputy Science Director at Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, who shared his views on the power of discourse in shaping perceptions, and specifically, some the challenges that arise and must be faced head-on if we are to succeed.
Per Olsson “Over time we have
been separating nature and people, but I think it’s fairly easy to mend;
I think we have it in us that we’re completely dependent on healthy ecosystems for our own health and survival. And it’s about life! The planet won’t die, it has gone
through several things for four billion years. Ultimately, the questions is, do we want to be
part of this journey with the
planet for longer?”
“The planet won’t die, it has gone through several things for four billion years. Ultimately, the questions is, do we want to be part of this journey with the planet for longer?”Per Olsson
After a short film showcasing a current exhibition at Fotografiska (in partnership with the H&M Foundation and Planethon) called The Echo Chamber by celebrated photographer Erik Johnasson – who through his work invites us to explore the power of perception – the stage was then given to our own Charlotte Brunnström, Strategy Lead for Inclusive Societies at H&M Foundation and Andrew Merrie, Head of Futures and Research Lead at Planethon. The discussion centered around the power of perception including themes concerning prejudice and how we overcome it, as well as looking at what we can draw on from the past to help guide us in creating a better future.
Charlotte Brunnström “I want to stress the importance of being inclusive. I want to remind us all about the importance of being aware of the current power relations out there and constantly ask yourself, who’s invited to the conversation? Is there a diversity of backgrounds and competences? If we all do that we will surely make better decisions.”
“I want to remind us all about the importance of being aware of the current power relations out there and constantly ask yourself, who’s invited to the conversation?”Charlotte Brunnström
Before concluding remarks, an evocative and impactful video made our partner BBC Media Action (the BBC’s international charity using media and communications for good) who works with perception change in our project in India, was shown highlighting the negative perceptions and social implications that can arise from those simply earning a living and trying to contribute to a better society, in this instance, a more circular economy.
Speaking to the sentiment behind this video, and in summing up the session, Planethon’s Andrew Merrie commented that “There are so many groups of people that are invisible but could be invaluable. If we imagined creating an army of invaluables from all around the world, that would create a huge network of valuable people helping to create the future we say that we want. We often talk about the role of technology to be key to create a better future, but we need to bring human dignity at the forefront and we need to image how different groups of humans are part of creating the society we want.”
Thank you to all those who participated in the event.
Interested to learn more? Below you can find some interesting resources to dive deeper into some of the topics explored across Open Perspectives.