Pathway to Action: Tools for an Emergency Response

What do you do after declaring a climate and ecological emergency to make a difference?

performance still
Culture Declares Emergency launch event, April 2019.

This toolkit is aimed at practitioners and organisations in the arts, heritage and design sectors. Whether you have declared an emergency, or are considering it, we invite you to work through the stages of this toolkit packed with transformative and holistic inspiration to guide your pathway to action.

Your action plan can express your role in helping the survival of biodiverse and human life on this troubled planet. It can also help the survival of your practice or organisation as the impacts of the emergency are felt. A truthful look at the emergency can make you question and change your current mission and mode of working.

At the heart of this toolkit is the new Culture Takes Action framework based on three pillars:

  • Truth-telling: Reflect on your responsibility, and then face, understand and communicate the gravity and urgency of the emergency. 
  • Care-taking: Anticipate and prepare for the impacts on your work and on your communities, aiming to be more resilient and adaptive.
  • Change-making: Develop policies and plans to limit and stop harm, directly in your practice and working systemically towards a regenerative future. 

You can find a supportive community for this challenge in Culture Declares, and in allied groups. If you are ready to take this approach, read on…

This is hard work in a complex and challenging situation. You might feel it would need expert facilitation to support this process. We offer online or in-person workshops using these tools. Get in touch with us on 

This toolkit takes you through a three-stage process to develop a policy and action plan in response to the emergency, that is effective, responsible and appropriate to its urgency and severity. As you work through each stage, we invite you to click on the sections to find tasks, resources and inspiration to support you on your journey.

Each stage of this toolkit offers tasks and resources to help guide you through declaring a Climate and Ecological Emergency, telling your communities, and leading your personal or organisational journey by sharing knowledge and feelings about the emergency.

  1. Declare a climate and ecological emergency
  2. Grasp the scope of an emergency response
  3. Reach an understanding of the Earth crisis
  4. Gather good practice and other inspiring policies

Our new 2024 Culture Takes Action framework walks you through the steps to review your practice, your relationships with communities, and your long-term bigger-picture vision. We invite you to involve colleagues and stakeholders in this process.

Using this framework and the guiding tasks, you can plan where to make particular contributions to suit your assets, location, expertise or passions.

The three pillars of the Culture Takes Action framework are: 


  • Looking back in time, what’s our historic responsibility for harm? 
  • What does that mean for how we serve the planet, our communities and ourselves?


  • Looking in the present to the unfolding impacts and uncertainties, what are the risks, and how do we adapt and support resilient communities? 
  • What are our priorities of care and protection for heritage, creativity and communities?


  • Looking to the future, what do we imagine as an alternative to the current harmful system? 
  • What can we do to transition to a regenerative system to restore the biosphere to its balanced state?

Through this framework, you will be guided to reflect on each of these pillars and how they relate to:

  1. Your practice and organisation
  2. Your relationships with communities
  3. Your longer-term and bigger picture.

  1. Reflect on emotions with close peers and discuss your guiding principles 
  2. Keep detailed notes on your planet-kind practices
  3. Communicate your plans with colleagues, stakeholders and communities
  4. Assess the impact and ethics of potential funders.

This stage is about reflecting, communicating and documenting your pathway once you are on the way.

You might want to share more details of your emergency declaration and plans. Get in touch with our communications coordinator and we can help by amplifying your work:

At a later stage, you can reflect regularly to explore how you might stretch to other areas of action.

Skip links

  1. Top
  2. Skip to content top
  3. Skip to quick links
  4. Skip to main menu
  5. Skip to search