Catalyst for change

How art is breaking new ground for social and environmental impact

Art has long served as a driving force for social and cultural change. It sparks conversations and inspires opportunities to infuse capital to scale change and build solutions. Today, artists are forging new pathways, expressions and perspectives—and laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, equitable world.

UBS was proud to sponsor Catalyst for change, hosted by UBS Head of Sustainable and Inclusive Investing Solutions, Lynette Jefferson and UBS Head of Multicultural Investors Segment, Melinda Hightower. The deeply inspiring conversation on how art is breaking new ground for social and environmental impact featured artist Shinique Smith, UBS Americas Head of Community Impact & Corporate Responsibility Jamie Sears, and UBS Sustainable Investing Strategist Amantia Muhedini and was moderated by Forbes Senior Editor Maneet Ahuja. Guests gathered among an intimate, select audience of art appreciators, investors and global activists in the UBS Lounge to explore these ideas and what they mean for our collective future.

The space was adorned with the beautiful Roll, Jordan, Roll, shoelace art installation, which served as the backdrop for the discussion. According to Reimagining: New Perspectives, the new UBS Art Collection publication, the shoelaces “form the title of a nineteenth-century Black spiritual that was sung by enslaved workers on plantations in the South who adapted songs of worship as a form of resistance . . . The artist sees the act of creating the title from shoelaces affixed to the wall as a means of revisiting the song’s history and visually activating the text, which also references the basketball player and contemporary African American icon Michael Jordan.” Roll, Jordan, Roll is an epitomic example of how sustainable artwork can drive meaningful conversation.