Cases for Culture stems from an interfaculty collaboration at Harvard University.
In 2018, faculty members from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Medical School, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Harvard Art Museums proposed to begin a collaborative project that would investigate the development of a hybrid genre of academic essays that would be called “Cases for Culture.”
The need for this type of innovation was and is very pressing since humanities programs at universities are losing ground to STEM professions. In order to respond to warning signs on either side of the current STEM/Liberal Arts divide, it is essential to unite quantifiable sciences with speculative humanities.
On December 2 and 3, the first Cases for Culture conference was held by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) at Harvard University and the Cultural Agents NGO. The conference brought artists, educators, engineers, political leaders, entrepreneurs, and educators together in a day-and-a-half gathering to share Cases for Culture. The objective is to produce evidence-based research on the social and economic advancements made possible by art.
Giuliano Picchi has been collaborating on producing Cases for Culture since 2021 in the framework of UNITA for Future’s programs on social impact and research.
The contribution lies in making a difference by creating more HBS-style cases that can inform policy choices by emphasizing the value of the arts for individual and societal well-being.
I believe that to persuade both artists and skeptical decision makers. ministers, mayors and CEOs, we must produce more cases for culture to render redundant a defense for artmaking. Professor Doris Sommer