Towards an ‘Economy for the Common Good’ in the performing arts

A compass for sustainability

Many people in the cultural sector would like to lead a fairer, more sustainable life. But what does that mean exactly? What is sustainability? And how can we as cultural artists use resources in a targeted, efficient way to become more sustainable?

To find a comprehensive answer to these questions, the Theaterkolleg and two independent theatre collectives have drawn up a common good balance sheet for their operations and groups, thereby applying the Economy for the Common Good in the Swiss cultural sector for the first time.

They analysed which areas are particularly helpful for culture and translated economic terms into our everyday working lives. When first encountered on the balance sheet, the Economy for the Common Good is highly time-consuming and financially intensive. It requires a lot of reading and writing and a basic understanding of business administration. The business jargon must be translated for the cultural sector and adapted to the company’s own situation. Artists and art workers struggle with these hurdles.

This project aims to develop a more direct approach to the ideas of the Economy for the Common Good. It seeks to produce a compass for cultural players to check where they stand in terms of sustainability and where their greatest potential for improvement lies.

The aim is to experience the Economy for the Common Good through tried-and-tested tools in your own day-to-day work – and live it directly. It facilitates the targeted use of time and money and provides a simple way of checking the impact of your measures.

People involved


Mirjam Berger, co-manager, Das Theaterkolleg, Lucerne

Patric Gehrig, Zell:stoff, freelance actor / producer / director, Lucerne

Saskya Germann, Zell:stoff, stage designer, Lucerne

Sophie Stierle, Zell:stoff, director, Zurich


prior project phase:

Mirjam Berger, co-manager, Das Theaterkolleg, Lucerne

Christina Teuber, co-manager, Das Theaterkolleg, Lucerne

Ralf Nacke, consultant for business and Economy for the Common Good

Patric Gehrig, Bureau Substrat, freelance actor / producer / director, Lucerne

Béla Rothenbühler, Kollektiv Fetter Vetter, freelance author / dramaturge, Lucerne

Damiàn Dlaboah, Kollektiv Fetter Vetter, freelance director, Lucerne

Das Theaterkolleg

The Theaterkolleg is a Central Switzerland production office for theatre, dance and performance based in Lucerne. It supports artists with organisational and administrative work, from the initial idea through to the final invoice.