Paris autumn conference

from 17 to 20 October

Imagination has the power to transform people’s lives.

People of any age, but especially young people, live happier and more fulfilled lives if they have healthy bodies and healthy minds. That is why sport and culture are equally important factors in realising our potential. Participants learn life skills like teamwork and striving to improve. Spectators learn to discern beauty and professional skills. Aspiration unlocks the imagination.

The ancient Greeks described the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions as catharsis. Their tragedies paradoxically engendered a feeling of well-being. Music performs the same function. Opera, which combines music and theatre, is especially good at it. But opera does not have a monopoly. Dance adds an extreme physical effort, comparable to an athlete’s, towards the expression of strong emotions.

The most social of the arts is architecture, because it creates the space in which we live. Whether it is a home or an office, a museum or an opera house or a landscaped park, it invites people to inhabit and use that space, to breathe life into it.

Education is the process by which we learn to live, to understand and develop our mental and physical capabilities and to interact with society. Its primary purpose is to set free our imagination.

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