200+ museum and cultural heritage professionals from 38 different countries got a deep dive into museums' contribution to a better future at NEMO's European Museum Conference 2019. From 7-10 November, we inspired museums to lead the way and become key players in creating a sustainable and equitable future and planet. It is time for museums to step it up and dare to take action.
The conference illustrated how museums can do so by incorporating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in their work. The conference showed that museums are excellent key players and that they should be recognized and supported by EU policy makers for their work contributing to a sustainable future. Museums also make great partners for making the SDGs accessible since they already are familiar with translating processes of change and communicating concepts from global to local level in an understandable way.
Even the smallest of change can help to contribute to sustainable development. We can all be part of creating a better future by:
Set an example by for instance paying the workforce adequately, by employing refugees, by providing spaces for encounter, dialogue and interaction.
For example by inviting and collaborating with local companies, craftspeople or designers that also work with the SDGs to the museum.
To quote Jasper Visser; “walking the walk by talking the talk”. If we promote our audiences to be sustainable, we have to do the same in our organisations.
At the conference, we launched the global museum climate campaign #MuseumsforFuture. The campaign represents a movement of museum workers and offers low-threshold actions that museums can do to support climate strikes and to become more environmentally friendly. It is time to put museums’ potential into action and NEMO encourages the museum community to join and show its support for a sustainable world.