Creative Europe, European Projects

Empathy & Sustainability
The Art of Thinking Like a Mountain

EMPACT – Empathy and Sustainability: The Art of Thinking Like a Mountain” is a pioneering 24-month project, co-funded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union, starting on the 1st of September 2022 and estimated to be completed on the 31st of August 2024.

The project adopts an innovative approach in advocating for the climate crisis based on the idea that the concept of empathy can shed new light on how we understand and embody sustainability in the arts. The project lies on two interconnected pillars:

(i) the facilitation of artists to produce, through sustainable practices, art that fosters an empathic stance towards non-human beings and nature, and thus effectively incorporate the concept of sustainability in their artistic production;

(ii) the necessity for artists and cultural workers to become themselves empathic and resilient individuals in order to deal with the post-pandemic social and economic crisis.


EMPACT project aims to address the following needs:

  1. To bring together artists, cultural institutions and key thinkers in creative sustainability, philosophy and social sciences to discuss and explore ways of intensifying the powers of art in tackling the key pillars of sustainability.
  2. To introduce, discuss and clarify the meaning of “empathy” in arts, which has important implications for artistic research, training and practice.
  3. To support male and female, in all their diversity, artists, and cultural professionals to engage with mainstream research from philosophy, social sciences and sustainability studies on the role of empathy and perspective-taking in advocating for environmental issues.
  4. To offer artists training courses that will allow them to transfigure moral emotions (empathy, compassion, perspective-taking imagination) to new skills related to sustainable creation.
  5. To inspire the creation of innovative projects that address the empathy-sustainability relationship through arts and raise awareness on the challenges that climate change poses to environmental, physical and emotional health.
  6. To engage new audiences and establish an innovative, participatory approach to contemporary visual and performative arts.
  7. To support European artistic co-operation and mobility of artists and of artworks that redefine sustainability within an empathic and creative context.
The Consortium

EMPACT consortium is composed of (9) nine partners from (7) seven European countries with diversified experiences and expertise necessary to achieve the objectives and activities of the project: Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus), Wisefour Innovation and Development Organisation Ltd (Cyprus), Fondazione Lamberto Puggelli (Italy), Nature, Art & Habitat Residency (NAHR) ECO-Laboratory of Multidisciplinary Practice (Italy), Espacio Rojo (Spain), Vorres Museum (Greece), ID22: Institute for Creative Sustainability (Germany), National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA) “Kr. Sarafov (Bulgaria) and Umetnostna Galerija Maribor (Slovenia).

Start date 01-09-2022 – End date 31-08-2024.

The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union.

Project Number: 101055903 — EMPACT — CREA-CULT-2021-COOP-2

EN Co-funded

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.