Themes: Our Creativy Diversity
A new global ethics
A commitment to pluralism
Challenges of a media-rich world
recasting cultural policies
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Summary of the conference
introductory part

"The Power of Culture is an excellent title, as it suggests the 'soul' we all need. It's no good leaving development to policy makers." With these words Lourdes Arizpe congratulated the Dutch organizers at the start of the two-day conference in Amsterdam on 8 and 9 November in the Berlage Bourse.

This section of the website contains the lectures and the summaries of the discussions that took place during those two days. The conference was held to accompany the publication of the report of the World Commission on Culture and Development, 'Our Creative Diversity'.

Three chapters from this book were selected as themes for the conference: 'A New Global Ethics', 'A Commitment to Pluralism' and 'Challenges of a Media-rich World'.

The Dutch State Secretary for Culture, Aad Nuis opened the conference. He spoke of the importance of publicizing the report in the Netherlands and of linking with the situation in Holland.

Adriaan van Dis chaired the subsequent panel discussion. On the panel were Lourdes Arizpe, Anil Ramdas, Raymond van den Boogard and Nasr Abu Zeid. The debate opened with a general review of the report and an outline of the topics for later discussions.

Ramdas commented that the ideas in the report had already been thoroughly analyzed by intellectuals and artists during the past thirty years. Van Dis feared they represented another set of Western liberal and democratic hobby-horses.

Arizpe warned against scepticism. 'We mustn't fall into the trap of relativism and we should be aware that there's a great need for absolute values. Our aim has been to compile all the various ideas in order to create a framework. This report is a start. The time has come for solutions.'

General Introduction
Opening Address by Aad Nuis
Speech by  Lourdes Arizpe
A new global ethics
pijltje.gif (179 bytes) A commitment to pluralism
pijltje.gif (179 bytes) Challenges of a media-rich world
Concluding Address
our creative diversity