Empathy and Sustainability

The Art of Thinking Like a Mountain is a 24-month transnational cooperation project among the Cyprus University of Technology (CY) as lead partner, Espacio Rojo (SP), Nature, Art & Habitat Residency (IT), National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts “Kr. Sarafov ” (NATFA) (BG), Umetnostna Galerija Maribor (SL), Vorres Museum (GR), and Fondazione Lamberto Puggelli (IT), which is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

With this project, we adopt an innovative approach to advocating and acting upon environmental challenges by exploring the empathy-sustainability relationship through the arts. 

The project focuses on the power of arts to rebuild trust in a sustainable future and a more inclusive society, stimulating creativity in citizens to find solutions and opportunities for the future. EMPACT acknowledges the New European Agenda for Culture strategic objectives, by focusing on the promotion of cultural participation, the mobility of artists, the promotion of skills for artists and creative professionals, and the potential of arts to foster sustainable development and social cohesion. Considering the challenging recovery from the pandemic that society faces, we support that a participational empathic model is required, which will set the basis for dynamic actions and creations with regards to sustainability.

EMPACT aims at supporting a diverse set of cultural players to take an active role promoting empathy and sustainability in their respective local, national and transnational/European communities, advancing a better understanding of the ways in which empathy-related arts contribute to individual sustainability orientations and broader environmental sustainability.


EMPACT aims at supporting a diverse set of cultural players

The project initiates a dialogue between artists, sustainability experts, philosophers and social scientists, in order to explore the importance of empathy as a key to aid people tackle and act upon climate change. In that scope, it lies on two interconnected pillars:

  1. 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;  
  2. The necessity for artists and cultural workers to become empathic and resilient individuals in order to deal with the post-pandemic social and economic crisis. 


  • Convene artists, institutions, and scholars to enhance art’s role in sustainability.
  • Define empathy’s significance in arts; influence research and practice.
  • Support diverse artists engaging with empathy research for environmental advocacy.
  • Provide training for artists to convert moral emotions into sustainable skills.
  • Foster innovative projects linking empathy, sustainability, and climate change awareness.
  • Cultivate new audiences through participatory contemporary arts approach.
  • Facilitate European artistic cooperation and mobility focusing on sustainability and empathy.


Direct Target Audiences
  • Artists
  • Cultural Professionals
Indirect Target Audiences
  • Arts and Cultural Management Students
  • Professionals in the Creative Industries
  • Museum and Cultural Organization Managers
  • Professionals active in fields related to Sustainability Sciences and Local Communities
  • Decision Makers in both Arts and Environmental.


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