In Conversation: Heritage for Global Challenges

We are in the Anthropocene. Facing grand challenges as diverse and complex as extreme poverty, war and refugee crises, infectious disease, environmental degradation. Culture and Heritage are now understood to play an integral role in both enabling and driving international development and to be central to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

In February, a group of artists, film makers, researchers, policy makers and funders came together in West Bek’aa Lebanon to discuss Heritage for Global Challenges. This podcast, recorded in each of our individual homes during Covid-19 lockdown, is an opportunity to continue some of those conversations. The podcast episode is hosted by Jaideep Gupte. Jaideep is a Research Fellow and co-Leader of the Cities Cluster at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Jaideep also leads the Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure portfolio of the Global Challenges Research Fund, UKRI.

Joining Jaideep is Ian Thomas, Muna Haddad and Dr Daniele Rugo. Ian is the current global Head of Evidence for the Arts at the British Council, leading on programme evaluations such as the Cultural Protection Fund and Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth. Muna Haddad is the founding CEO of BARAKA, a social enterprise in sustainable tourism development in Jordan. Daniele is an award winning filmmaker and Reader in Film at Brunel University London. Daniele is the Principal Investigator of ‘Memories from the Margins. Bottom-up Practices for Dealing with Conflict-Produced Heritage in Lebanon and Syria. About a War is Daniele’s latest feature documentary.

The podcast explores how might we understand heritage in the context of the grand challenges; what is the role of the arts in helping us navigate the rapid transformations we are witnessing in the Anthropocene; how can heritage support livelihood; and where should heritage research go next in relation sustainable infrastructure and cities?

Listen to the podcast:


For more information on the Praxis project visit

To book an experience with BARAKA visit:

To watch ‘About a War’, Daniele’s documentary film visit:

To read the reports Ian refers to on Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth and Cultural Protection Fund visit:…ural-heritage…otection-fund

Enjoy the podcast!