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SHAPE - Social sciences, humanities and the arts for people and the economy.

What is SHAPE?

SHAPE is a new collective name for those subjects that help us understand ourselves, others and the human world around us. They provide us with the methods and forms of expression we need to build better, deeper, more colourful and more valuable lives for all.

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SHAPE subjects teach us to understand more profoundly the world around us and the people in it, through observation, analysis, translation and interpretation.

A vector which reads: 'Shape life, shape laws, shape solutions, shape constitutions, shape how people see the world, shape data, shape how they understand the future.'

They help us to be curious, creative and empathetic – and to assess what’s right and what’s wrong, what will work and what won’t, and what really matters in life.

A stack of 'Making the case for SHAPE' books.

They help us express ourselves, our knowledge and our ideas in different ways, from analysis to art, prose to poetry, statistics to sound and data to drama.

SHAPE subjects teach us to analyse, interpret, create, communicate and collaborate with rigour, clarity and energy – crucial skills for today. And together with STEM subjects, they help us make innovation work harder for the benefit of everyone. At the same time, they bring colour, texture, opinion and perspective to our everyday.

In short, SHAPE subjects give progress a purpose and light up human life. And there’s never been a more important time for them than now.

Why now?

Academic and business leaders believe the future lies in recognising and capturing the value of SHAPE disciplines themselves, as well as how they work together with STEM to build a better functioning future.

The extraordinary times we’re all currently living through show us just how crucial SHAPE subjects are in keeping life running, care going, communities together, the economy working, the environment sustainable and people’s spirits lifted.

How can you get involved?

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Talk about it In conversation, speeches, op eds and your own comms

SHAPE - Social sciences, humanities and the arts for people and the economy.

Spell it out We need as many people as possible to know what it stands for

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