Since cave paintings, humans have been using art to make sense of the world around them. Art is also a tool for envisioning the future. Science fiction, from Jules Verne to Philip K. Dick, featured fantastical technologies that are now realities. From Picasso's Guernica to Pussy Riot, art also confronts injustices and calls attention to urgent human rights issues. It's safe to say that we, as a species, need art for our survival.
Sarah Lewis, the author of The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery, explains how art also makes us discover our shared humanity. She stopped by the Big Think studio to talk about the power of art to change the world and shared this story: “Think about the way that Brown versus the Board of Education would not have had Charles Black there, that constitutional lawyer, if he hadn’t seen Louis Armstrong perform that night in 1931 in Austin, Texas. And in that moment say to himself, well there is genius coming out of this man’s horn. And if there’s genius in this black man then segregation must be wrong.”
Today's big idea challenges you not to underestimate how art can change us and therefore the world.