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Green Museums Summit

Schedule

28th March 2022

12:00PM (BST)

Staying with the Trouble

Unlike education for sustainable development, which merely sustains unsustainable ways of living and learning, education for future survival, with the more modest ambition of learning to live well, to live together, and to live with the world, and with a focus on care, will be presented as a more authentic approach for museums. To illustrate how this may work in practice, I will offer an honest personal account of ‘staying with the trouble’; an exhausting, emotional, inspiring and invigorating experience of working with a group of young people in a museum and watching the magic unfold.

12:30PM (BST)

It Starts with Us: Inspiring Creative Action

Find out about the Peabody Essex Museum’s new multi-pronged Climate + Environment Initiative that features a series of diverse exhibitions, related digital and on-site programming, and an internal cross-departmental team of staff “Ideators”. The goal? To make PEM a hub for climate engagement and creative environmental solutions, and to forward the museum’s progress towards becoming a greener organisation and community member.

1:00PM (BST)

Sustainability measures at Miraikan as exhibits or science communication activities

Tokyo based science museum Miraikan will share how they are implementing sustainability measures from their building to museum management, from exhibition production to maintenance.

1:30PM (BST)

The Art and Science of a Greener Gallery

At a time of urgency for global action on the climate crisis, how can science and creativity shape a greener gallery? Through radical architecture, engineering, curatorial practice and exhibition production, Science Gallery Melbourne at The University of Melbourne has boldly begun a journey to be a sustainable place for social change. Creative design has ensured green energy production and reduced exhibition waste, and a youth-focused programme of exhibitions regularly explores creative solutions to waste and climate change through the collision of art and science.

2:00PM (BST)

A 'Concept of Digitality' for Cultural Climate Action

How should museums respond to the climate emergency? What tools and capabilities do we need to make a future that is joyous, sustainable, and just? In this provocative and inspiring talk, Michael Peter Edson draws from work on 5 continents to argue that museums are working with an outdated ‘concept of digitality’ that is unable to answer today’s most important questions about culture, society, and change. An updated concept of digitality — new tools, skills, and a new understanding of the digital public sphere — is required if the sector is to take consequential action in the face of cataclysmic change.

2:30PM (BST)

BREAK

2:45PM (BST)

Developing Sustainability Strategies for Exhibitions

Organising more sustainable temporary exhibitions is on the agenda of any museum committed to the Sustainable Development Goals. However, launching an action plan, developing a strategic framework or even setting up a green committee are complex processes that can slow down the call to action excessively. There are many aspects that we can start working on almost immediately without succumbing to the complexities of measuring the carbon footprint of our activity or being shipwrecked by the impossibility of hiring an external consultant. In this presentation we will share several practical examples of how we can reduce the carbon footprint of our exhibitions immediately.

3:15PM (BST)

A Liveable World is a Matter of Choice - How Does a Museum Fulfill its Social Role?

Whereas museums used to be independent institutions, nowadays you see that museums increasingly see a social role for themselves. But how do you give it shape in a way that suits you?
We would like to share our experience of how Naturalis takes a more active stance in the social debate on biodiversity, nature and climate.

With the project JongerenXNaturalis we show how we, together with young people who are concerned about the quality of life on our planet for future generations, put pressure on politicians by jointly writing a manifesto followed by various debates.

3:45PM (BST)

Powering Up: Sustainability and Climate Outreach at the Australian Museum

The Australian Museum (AM) has a new mission to advance action on climate change and sustainability. Tune in for this walk through the AM to discover how we have reduced energy use and waste and achieved carbon neutrality. We’ll show you the AM’s exciting set of exhibitions, digital resources and programmes to empower engagement in climate solutions.

4:15PM (BST)

Museums For Future

Most museums state that it is their duty to preserve culture and objects for upcoming generations. We will only succeed to do so if we are using our reach – here and now – to face the climate crisis collectively. At Museums For Future (MFF) we say: Let’s live up to our own promises and duties. Protecting the climate means protecting objects and communities we care for as public servants. Listen to four examples on how individual and institutional MFF members take and demand necessary climate action – locally (Austria, Germany, Turkey) and globally.

29th March 2022

12:00PM (BST)

Putting an Eco Lens on Your Things

How can any objects be used to connect people with ideas about the Earth crisis, by putting an Eco Lens on your collections? How have some museums developed new approaches to interpretation that stir thinking about climate change and environmental harms, to learn from the past and imagine regenerative possibilities for the future? This presentation will reflect on some practice by Climate Museum UK and its partner museums, where artists, curators and audience groups are illuminating their collections in fresh and relevant ways, inspiring sustainability shifts in the museums and their communities.

12:30PM (BST)

Considering the Environment with a Limited Budget

Dundee Museum of Transport recently curated an exhibition about sustainable transport, at UN COP-26, at Glasgow Science Centre, using upcycled and recycled materials, panels and interactives, and materials that can be easily recycled. They are also procuring eco-friendly products to sell in their retail offer. This talk explores how this can be done on a limited budget.

1:00PM (BST)

M+ Sustainability Vision

M+, Hong Kong’s vibrant new museum of contemporary visual culture, opened its doors to the public on 12th November 2021.

M+ have developed a committed group of M+ Environmental Advocates who have directly developed the Museum’s Sustainability Vision and are now working together to deliver four workstreams of sustainable activities.

Hear about the museums Sustainability Vision from encouraging people to make sustainable choices in their daily lives to reducing waste and working towards net zero.

 

1:30PM (BST)

Building a Green Museum

All museums and cultural ogranisations, no matter how small they are and wherever they are located, should join the fight against climate change through various ways starting with raising public awareness among local communities. They should understand that climate action is an urgent social issue as well and that they have to incorporate it in their mission and establish a strategy towards creating a resilient and sustainable organisation. We invite you to discover the story of the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest which undertook the ambitious project of turning its building green.

2:00PM (BST)

Incorporating Sea Level Rise at Historic Sites and Museums

How can historic sites talk about future environmental threats? This presentation explores the power and efficacy of coastal historic sites and museums to foster dialogue about the threat of sea level rise to their institutions and to their coastal communities. It details how incorporating sea level rise programming in the historic programming allows these institutions to expand their historic narrative, increase their relevancy, and inspire climate action and resilience.

2:30PM (BST)

BREAK

2:45PM (BST)

Path to Sustainability

In this presentation you will hear from Paul Brooks (IWM) and Ben Melham (Mortice Consulting) about the lessons learned, and those still being learned, as Imperial War Museums develops it’s sustainability strategy and delivery of sustainability change for it’s complex estate and a diverse range of operations. The presentation will focus on providing advice and insights on achieving measurable sustainability outcomes. The challenges faced by IWM include:
– which sustainability outcomes to prioritise
– implementing change across it’s complex organisation
– creating sustainability solutions for collections, historic buildings and even an ex-Royal Navy warship moored in central London.

3:15PM (BST)

Art, Children and the Sustainable Development Goals

At Concordia, children teamed up as official art-curators, setting up an exhibition about three of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The kids help Concordia’s curator in every facet of the job: they discuss the theme together, pick the artists, give guided tours, write museum texts and interview the artists. This year they talked about preserving nature, recycling plastic and reducing waste. The outcome of their discussions and research is an interactive exhibition featuring contemporary artists and several assignments for the public to do while visiting the exhibition space.

3:45PM (BST)

Environmental Sustainability from the Top Down and Bottom Up

Leadership from The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History will address how we are holistically embedding Sustainability throughout our entire museum. Our unique leadership expertise spans from law, anthropology, public history, visual studies, to architecture, service design and computer science; developing frameworks to co-create a Green Museum of the Future. Learn how we’re using Storytelling as a multidisciplinary tool to create a Green Manifesto and Climate Action Plan to embed Sustainability in our strategic goals, learning engagements, and infrastructure to attract and retain audiences, staff, volunteers and vendors to create a truly regenerative museum for the next generation.

4:15PM (BST)

Once Upon a Planet

Join us as we host a collaborative project, engaging young people and community groups in the story of climate change through a journey-like exhibition. From the depths of time, to the reality of the present and looking to an uncertain future, we will communicate a message of hope and change. The project holds sustainability at the forefront, whilst engaging visitors and participants with local conservation efforts in key Cumbrian habitats.

4:45PM (BST)

Forging a Framework for a Carbon Neutral Exhibition Industry

The pandemic put a pause on the in-person experience economy, offering a perfect opportunity to step back and consider how to make the fast-growing experience economy more sustainable. In this talk, we’ll share Local Projects’ latest innovations, organisational frameworks, tactics, and ideas for developing sustainable exhibits.

30th March 2022

12:00PM (BST)

How to Greenify Your Museum with a Positive Green Handprint

We make green choices daily and want to work in a sustainable way in our museums, too. At the Finnish National Gallery a few staff members began to engage the organization from the grassroots upwards through Green Handprint workshops. Green Handprint measures ecological positives and encourages everyone to take small and big steps to mitigate climate change. Three years later, the Green Handprint has become our official strategy, and spread to ten other institutions in Finland, including EMMA Espoo Museum of Modern Art. You will hear practical tips and examples on how to start your own Green Handprint movement.

12:30PM (BST)

Reinventing the Biosphere

The Biosphère, the newest museum to join the Space for Life complex in Montreal, is currently working on reinventing its mandate, which is at the crossroads of environment, science, art and citizen museology. Aiming to raise public awareness and encourage action, the museum wishes to become a positive and inspiring space for thinking about the socio-ecological transition. How can we think of an inclusive environmental museum that is part of the public debate? Why build a place for dialogue based on exchanges between scientists, artists and the public?

1:00PM (BST)

Towards Ethical Models of Cultural Funding

Museums around the globe are feeling the pressure to divest from fossil fuels. From artists to activists, museum communities have highlighted the incompatibilities between our institutions’ climate- and justice-oriented aims and ongoing sponsorship by companies like Shell or BP. Yet in the absence of structural changes to museum funding and forward-looking discussions of the entanglement between corporate interests and culture, how can museums prepare for the next wave of controversial sponsors, such as the mining companies currently heading the “green” energy transition? Tune in for a critical conversation about the limits of divestment and the need for alternative funding models.

1:30PM (BST)

Healthy Museums, Healthy Children

Louisiana Children’s Museum (LCM) and Madison Children’s Museum (MCM), USA, both address climate change and its impacts on children’s health through their facilities, programs, operations, and exhibits with urgency and a shared responsibility to the young audiences they serve. This session will highlight both museum’s leadership, design approaches and the learning contexts most suitable for young children in light of increasing environmental threats. LCM and MCM will take visitors on tours of their buildings and grounds, highlighting design solutions and strategies for putting children first, while promoting a greater sense of urgency, and an adaptive mindset to create resilient, regenerative climate solutions.

2:00PM (BST)

Green Museum Mission

Slovak Mining Museum is located in Banská Štiavnica, a medieval UNESCO town. The Museum’s rich collections are exhibited in two castles and several other precious historical buildings in the town and its surroundings. Being aware of the climate crisis, the Museum works toward transforming the way it functions. We implement environment-friendly measures, motivate employees to engage in ecologically responsible behaviour, plant trees, organize exhibitions and events that address a wide range of environmental issues, etc. As an institution, we are fully aware of the need to take action, if we want to have a hope for greener future.

2:30PM (BST)

Break

2:45pm (BST)

Setting New Standards for Sustainable Design

The Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney sits on Gadigal Country overlooking one of the world’s most beautiful harbours. The 150-year-old public art museum is undertaking a A$344 million expansion known as the Sydney Modern Project to create an indoor-outdoor art campus across two buildings connected by a public art garden. When the new building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA is completed this year, it will be Sydney’s most significant cultural infrastructure project to open since the Sydney Opera House almost half a century ago. It’s also the first art museum in Australia to achieve the highest rating for sustainable design, setting new standards for cultural institutions internationally.

3:15PM (BST)

Cultural Reforesting

Ultimately the climate emergency, biodiversity emergency, environmental injustice and all other ecological crises stem from a broken relationship with nature. Whether as individuals or as a society the west has led us to the brink of ecological collapse – Cultural Reforesting is a provocation that we can alter our culture, and step back from the brink. Human’s are a part of all ecosystems we encounter, however we must see ourselves as equal to all other species around us. Cultural Reforesting believes that with storytelling and artists, and therefore cultural spaces, is where this renewal starts. How would you answer the simultaneously complex and simple question – how can we renew our relationship with nature?

3:45PM (BST)

The Multi-Layered Approach

An attempt to provide a short analysis from the experiences of developing and refining a systemic and holistic sustainability work in a Swedish museum agency. The basic conclusion is that there is a need for increased cooperation, internally and externally. For museums to have real impact on a sustainable development; we need to work with local/institutional changes, regional collaboration, as well as in sector-wide agreements on an international level.

4:15PM (BST)

Taking the First Step into Radical Change

Join Lottie Dodwell, Senior Interpretation Developer at the Natural History Museum, and Amanda Gore, Director of the Liminal Space, in discussion about the development, realisation and impact of Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It. This talk will reveal how an exhibition can be a trial for a bigger step into building a new conversation with audiences, encouraging activism without taking an activist stance and expressing how a museum can live its values.

4:45PM (BST)

The Museum as a Site of Ecological Resistance

Breaking Cover at IMMA was designed as an innovative programme to explore the links between art and socio-ecological activism. In March 2020, amidst public lockdowns, images of wild animals roaming city streets began to appear online. Despite its challenges, the pandemic offered a window of opportunity to re-imagine our relationship with the living world; with human activity paused, nature was breaking cover. These images inspired a new programme for IMMA; examining the role of the museum in the climate crisis, exploring it as a site for social action, and showcasing art as a potent tool for change.