STEP #1: Researches on Biomimetic Museums

“The natural water cycle never ends and, so do museums. Transformation is fully-part of our lives, and museums are now ready to evolve and start their cycle inspired by Nature.”

In September 2019, We Are Museums and the Biomimicry Academy started a 9-months research-project to shape the future of museums inspired by Nature.

STEP #2: To Turn Our Annual Conference Green

We Are Museums is taking serious measures to lower the impact of the event on the environment and climate as much as possible.

We always gave the priority to re-used materials, vegetarian options and gave back our event furniture to the community, but we wanted to do more for our 2019 annual conference. On top of partnering with the Museum Slaskie which is the only polish museum which received the Green Key Environmental Certificate, some of the things we do this year to minimize the footprint of our event include:

We partnered with suppliers who make environmentally friendly promotional products. Our notebooks and pens were made from recycled materials, our lanyards were recyclable, our ID badges were biodegradables and you could even grow a sunflower from it afterwards if you plant it, our gym bags were made with organic cotton and our programmes were printed on eco-paper. Also, all the textile-based promotional and informational flags will be transformed into bags by the Muzeum Slaskie.

We offered vegan and vegetarian options for each of our food breaks. Also, having no-dairy kinds of milk, organic fruits and healthy biscuits was a must.

The conference was plastic-free. Water and drinks were distributed in glass carafes or small glass bottles.

Participants could find in each room three-types recycled bins.

We provided environmentally friendly transport during the event such as a public tram and city-buses exclusively for all our participants.

Also, the speakers and the staff of WAM were accommodated in a hotel within walking distance from the Muzeum Slaskie.

Some of our speakers choose to join the conference in a videoconference or with pre-recorded speeches, to access the venue by train only and favourited the car of the bus instead of the plane. And our speakers making a long-distance trip to come to Europe committed to use their trip wisely and combine several reasons for travel.

We offset the footprint of the plane tickets we buy in most of the plane companies we use.

STEP #3: Support the Climate Collective Poland

The mission: understand the local specificities of Silesia to find solutions for museums to combat climate change with their local communities.

Responding to the challenges posed by climate change, the Muzeum Śląskie cooperating with a curator from the POLIN Museum and with the support of the We Are Museums community, started to initiate in May 2019 a long-term action addressed at the local community of Katowice and the Silesian Region.

During the conference We Are Museums 2019, guest speakers were invited to share their own experiences and debate on the role of museums in the green revolution through plenary sessions, panels and workshops. The Climate Collective outlined on stage the planned model for the project, connecting the resources and experiences of museum professionals, artists and activists in common action with the local community. The presentation concluded with a proposal of manifesto “Museums for climate” developed by both the Climate Collective and representatives of Polish museums.

On 10 May 2019 the Climate Collective – an interdisciplinary team consisting of museum specialists, scientists, artists and activists – worked on a model which could be implemented in cooperation with the local community of Katowice/Silesia in response to climate challenges.

The discussion was attended by Patryk Białas (activist), Katarzyna Bizacka (activist/Muzeum Śląskie), Ewa Chomicka (POLIN Museum), Michał Łuczak (artist), Diana Lelonek (artist), Aleksandra Matuszczyk (City Museum of Tychy), Katarzyna Podyma (Municipal Museum in Żory) and Piotr Skubała (University of Silesia). The Climate Collective investigated how museums could become the agents of pro-environmental activities in their local communities and what barriers are encountered by those who want to initiate work for the environment. The group also put forward some suggestions for the ‘Museums for climate’ manifesto.

On 27 and 28 May 2019, international guests were invited to run keynotes and panels were presented to the international community of museum experts at We Are Museums 2019 at the Museum Slaskie in Poland.

Therefore, the conference kick-off with a series of inspiration vision of today’s museum’s issues including the participation of Robert R. Janes, Founder and Co-Chair of the Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice (Canada) in video and Michael Peter Edson, Co-founder of the Museum for the United Nations (United States) in videoconference.

The plenary session “Museums as green revolution leaders” gathered guests speakers including Dr Kristin Alford, Director of the MOD Museum (Australia), Morien Rees, Museum Development Advisor at the Varanger Museum and Chair of the ICOM Working Group on Sustainability (Norway), Bridget McKenzie, Founder of the Climate Museum UK at Flow Associates (United Kingdom) and Ewa Chomicka representing the Climate Collective set up by the POLIN Museum and the Silesian Museum (Poland).

Among the workshops, participants were able to attend the session “Be the Captain Planet of your institution” by Artur Povodor, sales strategist at Cultware Sp. Zoo. (Poland).

On 29 May 2019, the representant of the Climate Collective gathered at We Are Museums with a small group of museum experts already working on the climate issues or willing to. During this day, the group worked on ways museums could activate their green potential but also how to engage with the local communities.

in collaboration with

STEP #4: Produce solutions to transform museums and their local communities into climate role models

Produce an ever-growing database of activable-solutions for museums to foster climate-resilient communities.

In partnership with EIT Climate-KIC and starting in November 2019, we will foster a series of small-scale workshops happening across Europe bringing together 10 decision-makers from museums, working together to create solutions and encouraging their communities to move towards a climate-friendly future.

in collaboration with