Our mission

Turn museums and their local communities into climate leaders, and foster systemic changes towards a climate-resilient future.

A series of events designed by EIT Climate-KIC and We Are Museums

This programme is to develop solutions and actions encouraging museums and their communities to move towards a climate-friendly future. 

It is a multi-year programme of learning and doing sessions designed with respect to the local needs and specificities, with the ambition to foster systemic change at a global scale. 

By combining the expertise of EIT Climate-KIC with the international community of We Are Museums, we want to construct a blueprint for a better future.

It uses different methodologies such as community building, peer-to-peer learning, collective problem-solving, future-thinking, long-term thinking, resilience, behavioural change and systemic change.

We have been working on a transformation process, starting with the pilot event in November 2019 at the Futurium in Berlin (Step 1), followed by a series of local awareness-building events in Australia, Sweden, France and Germany. A series of small-scale workshops happening across Europe (Step 2 &3 ) is currently under production in Lithuania and France. Next in line will be testing & implementing actions and solutions (Step 4) and revision of systemic impact and global sharing of best practices (Step 5).

Watch our call to action

They support the programme “Museums Facing Extinction” by organising events within their institution: Futurium (Germany), MOD-Museum of Discovery (Australia) and Västernorrlands Museums with IdeK (Sweden)

They participated in ‘Museums Facing Extinction’ events: Natural History Museum of London, Tate, UN Live Museum, Polin Museum, Futurium, Manchester Museum, Climate Museum UK, Museum of Discovery, Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice, Climate Museum US, Museum of Movements, Museum Für Naturkunde Berlin.

Do you want to join the programme?

Raise awareness! Organise your own event and start the discussion

Do you want to inspire your museum or museum colleagues to be committed to the climate change agenda? Do you want to start a conversation on the climate crisis among your museum colleagues?

In these resources, you will find short videos easy from key museum experts explaining what they have done in their institutions and provocating the museum sector to act, five levels of actions with examples, a suggestion of format to organise your event and visuals to promote it.  These content are available online and free to use.

Do you have a challenge to solve? Organise a workshop

You and your colleagues are committed to the climate change agenda? You are now ready to take action? Read the different levels of action we listed, identify what you want to work on and we will help you solve your challenge with a 2-3 days workshop.

The group will be composed of hand-picked local and international museums, experts in systemic change, social impact, community engagement, biomimicry, scientists, artists, activists, etc.

Read more about the four levels of actions for museums to act for the planet

The following four levels of museum action serve as a framework to give a working structure for the team to co-design respective solutions:

1. Join Forces with the Museum Community Worldwide
2. Use Your Voice
3. Act Like a Neighbor
4. Turn Your Physical Museum Green

The programme is being developed since November 2019 in different countries in various formats. Here is a list of our past and upcoming events. Join them if you want!

February 3rd 2020: MOD Museum / Museum of Discovery, Adelaide, Australia

February 26th 2020: Västernorrlands Museum / IdeK, Härnösand, Sweden

September 24th 2020: Klimahaus Bremerhaven 8° Ost, Bremerhaven, Germany (link to the Symposium)

October 13th 2020: French National Heritage Center, Paris, France (link to the webinar to be announced soon)

Currently under production: a programme for the museums in Lithuania in collaboration with the MO Museum in Vilnius. 

Go Deeper

From local to systemic change

We partnered with EIT Climate-KIC to produce a multi-year programme to guide museums towards better futures.

Read more about the programme

In a context of high climate emergency, the potential of museums as agents of social and environmental change is vast. From their physicality to their voice as a large community of 80 000 museums internationally, it is time for museums to embrace this new role and embody the behaviour and values that will impact our future. Therefore, we wish to capitalise on the strength of the We Are Museums community composed of the most daring and committed museum professionals, combined with the experts from EIT Climate-KIC and their theory of change to construct a blueprint for a better future.

Pilot event – International mapping, key principles, levels of actions

Our pilot event took place at the Futurium in Berlin from 21 to 25 November 2019 and gathered around 25 museum experts with expertise around climate action and community engagement, as well as a variety of experts like architects, journalists and systemic innovation designers.

We run research on the current state of the museum industry within the scope of the climate emergency. We discussed the key principles of behaviour, values and actions of museums to move towards a climate-resilient future, the strengths and sore points of the industry and the possible levels of actions.

Available for the community: Examples from international experts in videos + 5 levels of actions detailed

Raise awareness, start the discussions, local mapping

Museums and cultural institutions can use the resources produced during the pilot event to organise Reaction Events for their teams, museum colleagues or local key cultural leaders and practitioners.

By doing so, a first mapping of the local actors and practices will be produced.

Suggested formats: team meeting, micro-conference, panel discussion

Identify local priorities and capacities, produce solutions, actions, toolkits

After mapping the current state of the museum community, museums will understand their local priorities and capacities (strategic decisions, human resources, skills, financial capacities, etc.). Within the frame of one or two levels of action or challenges, the team will produce practical take-outs to start acting towards a climate-resilient future.

Suggested formats: 2 or 3 days workshop with participants coming from local and international museums, experts in systemic change, social impact, community engagement, biomimicry, scientists, artists, activists, etc. + public event

Use, test, adapt, review, revise + document

Each workshop will generate a list of practical actions, solutions or toolkits ready to be adopted and adapted in order to be used by the museum. Each case will provide documentation and recommendation on how to review and revise it.

Share revisions with the global community

It is with the transformation of simple local actions into a large database of tested and proved solutions that the museum community will be able to foster systemic change. The local variety of the “Museums Facing Extinction” programmes combined with the quality of revision ensure the so-researched impacts.

Take a look at our pilot event:

21-24 November 2019 at the Futurium, Berlin, Germany

The pilot event took place at the Futurium, the recently-opened and future-focused museum in Berlin. We welcomed around 25 museum experts with expertise around climate action and community engagement, as well as a variety of experts like architects, journalists, systemic innovation designers, and more.

A key factor of the success of this series of events is the diffusion potential of our dissemination partners. We join arms with great partner to be able to reach out to an many museums as possible all around the globe to facilitate the adoption of our toolkits:

Climate Museum UK, Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice, UN Live – United Nations Museum, Natural History Museum of London, ICOM Sustainability Working Group, Museum Associations UK, Climate Museum US, California Association of Museums.

This programme is supported by

EIT Climate-KIC is an EU funded knowledge and innovation community who’s purpose is to tackle climate change through innovation. They are Europe’s largest public-private partnership with this purpose – a growing pan-European community of diverse organisations united by a commitment to direct the power of creativity and human ingenuity at the climate change challenge.

Their Community Activation team is running a series of experimental sessions, like this one, involving pioneering thinkers and organizations across Europe. During these sessions, with their partners and community, they will observe and identify patterns, make observations and search for learnings with the aim of finding unique insights to support systemic level change.

To find out more, refer to the Transformation, in Time strategy.