NEMO members joined training on sustainable cultural management and policy

 Three groups of about 5-6 people each are seated around three tables each carrying out a workshop. The workshop leader is standing up discusses something with one of the groups.

From 22-25 April 2024, six persons connected to NEMO member organisations had the opportunity to participate in the ENCATC Academy on Sustainable Cultural Management and Policy in Lille, France, thanks to a partnership between NEMO and ENCATC.

The NEMO members, coming from Belgium, Estonia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia and Spain, joined a group of 40+ participants who all were eager to deepen their knowledge of sustainability and explore the role of culture in the climate crisis. Although the focus primarily laid on environmental sustainability, the group also had opportunities to discuss the other two pillars of sustainability: social and economic sustainability.

The city of Lille served as a perfect backdrop to the training considering that the city since 2001 has been committed to working towards sustainability. Recognising culture as a key pillar of sustainability since 2005, Lille promotes a vibrant artistic sector and cultural diversity for societal impact. The city's current mandate focuses on a systemic approach to ecological transition and inclusive cultural initiatives until 2026. In 2021, a dedicated cross-departmental team was established to drive the "Sustainable Culture" policy, fostering collaboration among cultural services to create a transformative 2024-2026 strategy.

Three days of intense learning

The programme’s first full day of learning on 23 April started with an overview of sustainable cultural policies at European level and how networks may shape them by Julie Hervé (Eurocities). Christophe Turon-Trommenschlager (City of Lille) followed with a deep-dive into the Eurocities’s Lille Call to Action as well as Lille’s approach to culture, sustainability and social inclusion.

Dea Vidović (Kultura Nova Foundation), continued with a presentation on the approach of funders, both public and philanthropists, across Europe and beyond regarding cultural adaptation strategies to mitigate climate change impacts on CCS. The day was then wrapped up by Iphigenia Taxopoulou (Mitos21) with insights into methods of embedding sustainability in the management and organisational policies of cultural institutions.

Iphigenia Taxopoulou continued to share her knowledge on the following day with a presentation on the connections between climate governance and cultural policy in various regional and international contexts. Taxopoulou exemplified her input with references to existing practices in the framework of the Green Deal and Paris Agreement.

Rebecca Thonander of NEMO then explored the role of museums in the sustainable transition of Europe. She shared insights into NEMO’s latest advocacy work, actions and research, such as the recent report and call to action, that all aim to foster sustainability within cultural institutions and highlight their potential as contributors and allies in the sustainable transition of Europe.

The afternoon invited to practical work in workshops where participants got to explore ways of designing sustainable cultural projects and leading sustainable organisational transformation, led by Iphigenia Taxopoulou and Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio (University of Barcelona).

The final day started with an online contribution by Carla Figueira (Goldsmiths University of London) on international cultural relations and the potential in adoption concepts of care and social learning into sustainability work to create trustful and efficient climate action.

Roberto Bernad (Fundación Banco Santander) took over and presented the CreaSus project, which aims to develop a self-assessment tool for the Cultural and Creative Industries to improve their sustainability performance and a funding schemes toolkit and business models to engage into their transformation.

Before a feedback session and visit to the hosting venue, the Palais des Beaux-Arts, participants got to map out their work-related travel in the last year. In the following discussions, moderated by Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio, it was noted that a fair bit of train travel does take place but sometimes it is not feasible to travel by train due to higher prices or time constraints. Another issue raised concerned that management might be reluctant to allow team members the extra time or cost that sustained travel requires.

The ENCATC Academy was organised by ENCATC together with the City of Lille and the partners NEMO, Eurocities, Goldsmiths - University of London and Julie's Bicycle. After a successful collaboration last year in Santander, Spain, NEMO was thrilled to be part of organising another edition of the Academy.