Stewards of Our Future: Live Stream – Morning Session

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Stewards of Our Future: Live Stream – Morning Session

Today’s live subtitles are by Stagetext

Today’s live subtitles are by Stagetext sign up at www stagetext.org for subtitled event listings. Thank you Sign up at www.stagetext.org for subtitled event listings Thank you. Test. Test Test Good morning. Welcome to Julie’s

Bicycle CLAIRE: CLAIRE: We’re delighted to see

so many people here from all across the sector, and from all across the country, and also very happy to have so many people from the South West. I’m Claire from Julie’s Bicycle, and you’ll be hearing more from me later on today. I just wanted to say that this is the first time Julie’s Bicycle has done an event which is focused solely on museums. It’s nice, makes it easier than having the whole of the sector And realise what an incredibly diverse sector is, so, it’s been very interesting getting ready for today, and so great to see such a diversity from across the sector here We’re looking forward to a day of exploring, sharing, and

learning about what the museum sector has been doing and can do further around environmental sustainability Taking practical action, engaging, audiences, visitors, communities. We’re looking forward to some really interesting presentations and interventions from a range of different museum sector representatives and museums as well. I’m going to start with a few practicalities. There is no fire alarm test planned, so, if the fire alarm does go off, please follow the fire exit signs out of the building. The loos are outside in the corridor just facing this room, so very easy to find. Lunch will be served at one o’clock, and it will be in this space. During lunch, please feel free to get to know everybody, to network, to have a look around the building; there’s an exhibition on about the history of disability, and there’s also the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition which is on, and M Shed have very kindly offered tickets to the Wildlife Photography Exhibition if you want to see it. Go down to the reception and say you’re here for the Julie’s Bicycle event, and you’ll be able to take a look, so thank you you four for that. The wifi today is is M Shed. It is an open Wi-Fi. You don’t need a password for it. We will be using Twitter today with the hashtags JBmuseums. You can see the hashtag there at the bottom Please do remember to sign up for the discussion groups which are happening this afternoon There’s a list on the table, so it would be great to know who is going to be doing what as soon as possible by lunchtime. The event is being livestreamed and subtitled by Stagetext, so hello to everybody who is listening in on the live stream I would pass the practical bit, and I would just like to say briefly a few words of thanks to in particular South West Museums Development Programme, and to Vic, who is the person – the reason that we are here today in Bristol, and at M Shed A big thank you to Arts Council England for supporting this event and making it possible. Also, thanks to Good Energy who are sponsoring the drinks reception at the end of the day, and James and Ben are here in the room also available for any questions if you want to talk to them about renewable energy, and energy procure the They’re here for your questions We have our tech team here today as well: photographer James, Walter, and Paul helping us who are our tech team, and we’ve got Stagetext as well doing the fantastic job of entitling to make the life-streaming accessible, so thanks to everybody. I’m going to hand over now. Can I ask Alison and David, and Vic to set up just here. Not you, sorry, David! Alison and Vic if you could come up We’ve got David Martin, who is Operations Manager for the Bristol Culture Team DAVID: Good morning, everyone I would like to welcome to you Bristol and to M Shed. I hope that you find the day rewarding and informative, and also find the facilities comfortable. I’m David Martin. I’m the Operations Manager for Bristol Culture Team, overseeing operations across Bristol museum and arts gallery, Red lodge The Georgian House, and M Shed I’ve been asked to speak briefly today about this venue, and some of the environmental improvements we have made. I’ve been asked to focus on what we did and why, what funding and support we had to do it, what benefits it brought, what we learned, and what we’re going to do next. M Shed opened to the public in 2011 after the previous Bristol Industrial Museum was redeveloped. The

build’s rebirth saw it containing an integrated mass system and boiler. Since the seven years it’s opened, there’s been a number of opportunities to improve how the building operates and performance from an environmental and economical point of view. We have undertaken various improvements such as preventing the hot water being heated overnight 24/7, preventing the humid fires were dumping waste water, changing the control system so it communicates more effectively with itself and with the building management system outstation. So I would like to start with a bit of information about the biomass boiler that we have here, and then move on to highlight some of the other improvements we have made. Just a bit in general about a biomass boiler for those who don’t know. It works by wished wood fuel – chips or logs – to create heat. On a biomass boiler there’s a storage area called a hopper where the food fuel is kept and a boiler where the fuel is ignited. The wood fuel is fed into the boiler from the hopper and ignited by an autostart. The biomass boiler we have installed here at M Shed is a 300-kilowatt binder. It was commissioned to 2012, and is on the renewable heat incentive It’s produced 1.2 gigawatt hours of heat. It produces up to 350 kilowatt hours a we are. Use of the biomass boiler reduces gas demand for heating purpose Based on the current gas unit rate, the biomass boiler has achieved savings of £26,000 and reduced carbon emissions by 22 tonnes. It has also yielded 66 ,000 approximately in tier 1 and tier 2 payments as part of the renewable heat incentive scream Moving on now to look at one of the main projects we’ve undertaken which includes natural ventilation and a building management system upgrade. This project involved the use of an external consultant, Kevin Williams, from a company called Hurt Wood and Bristol Council’s energy team It included upgrades to the building management system which linked the windows to temperature and humidity sensors. This allowed for a dramatic upgrade on the heating control and also for the comfort level in the a few year and event spaces. It cost £100,000 and will save £2,000 on energy bills, and 100 tonnes of C02 per year. This is the equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 111 households Natural ventilation in this instance also means we placing windows that can’t open with – replacing windows which can’t open into ones that will. This means we can naturally ventilate some of the spaces in the building without relying on the costly air-conditioning systems Sometimes, the solutions to issues don’t have to be high -tech. An important note here is to monitor that the air conditioning is not on when the windows are open. I would like to explore the cost of also integrating sensors to the windows in this room so they turn the the air-conditioning off when opened. There are a number of beneficial benefits to the project: M Shed has suffered problems since built because of a lack of natural ventilation. Over-and under- heating had – M Shed is one of the best places to hold events in Bristol! This project improved comfort levels for delegates. In 2015, we introduced a large photo voltaicic array on the roof The sun’s energy is captured and converted into electricity It’s converted into DC electricity which is then fed into an inverter, and then the inverter converts it from DC into AC, so direct current to alternating current meaning the electricity is now suitable for building consumption. Any surplus electricity generated is fed back into the grid. There is a 49-kilowatt solar system on the roof of M Shed and has generated an out. Of 44,535 kilowatt hours a year, and year, and 23,000 kilograms of C02 a year. The installation cost approximately £56,000 Since the time of its inception in 2015, the solar panels have generated enough electricity to power approximately 30,000 lifts of our historic cranes which, insistently, we were able to use for — incidentally we were used to move the materials up on to the building. We have undertaken various improvements such as the ones I mentioned before, like hot water being hit overnight, repositioning the

condensing fans and changing the control systems, but with project such as these, and in order to identify where improvements can be made, it’s important to have a good understanding of how your buildings are performing. Using the expertise of consultants and professionals is using, but it can be costly. Building performance surveys such as TM22 can also be a useful tool in assessing the building’s performance and identifying efficiencies. One piece of advice I could give here is that, more often than not, surveys such as that will identify the biggest saving as being light, so sometimes, replacement of light fittings can produce massive savings in the region of 80 per cent consumption per light fitting In my opinion times out of ten, that will be the big saving that a survey like that will identify. When M Shed was built the lighting was relatively efficient but there’s been dramatic developments in the LED lighting market which means it would be good to upgrade as we’ve in our venues. We are about to embark on a large-scale back-of-house upgrade. Now a little bit about finance: you heard me talk about projects with some costs which have been as much as £100,000, and I can imagine that the reaction would be it’s all well and good making savings if you’ve got the capital to spend. The truth is that the majority of the finance for these projects has been externally funded through loan agreements such as the Salex fund. Essentially, this is a loan which is paid back from a five-year period from savings from your utilities spent, and this has involved support from my colleagues energy team Savings can also be made from spending very little. This might include trying to ensure staff teams are aware of the individual impact they can make by turning lights off and computers off at the end of the day, and also developing a shared attitude and commitment to energy reduction. It could also meaning simple alterations such as relocating light switches to more convenient locations, and therefore making them easier to turn on and off when you enter rooms. I’ve also recently added energy consumption as a key performance indicator for the operations team as we are controlling the premises with a commitment to reducing by ten per cent over the next three years. We have also installed more smart metres into our premises so we can better understand how the different areas are used Despite all these works, our DEC certificate is still relatively poor at M Shed and I think this maybe connected to the building’s installation which is something we are planning to investigate next. So, I hope some of that was useful. Please do get in touch with me if you’ve got any questions you would like to ask about the project or details that I’ve discussed today, either by email or telephone. I’m always happy to link up and share experiences and best practice Also, if you have any interest in hiring out this or any of our other event spaces, please do contact us via the email addresses on the screen. I hope that you find the rest of the day informative and inspiring So thank you. [Applause] NEW SPEAKER: Good morning. We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Julie’s Bicycle. We hope today gives us a valuable opportunity to engage with and engage with a wide range of practice underway in the sector. South West Museum Development is participating in today event because we believe we have a collective responsibility to engage with environmental sustainability. All museums have a potential to play an important role in highlighting the impact of this change on local communities. We believe we can wisely and sensitively engage – wisely and sensitively use this unique position to encourage debate and discussion Before I share with you one example of a small coastal museum, I would like to provide you with some regional context South West Museum Development is one of nine regional providers funded by Arts Council England. In the south-west, we also have funding agreements with 24 local authorities across the south-west region. Our function is to provide development, support, and advisory service s to 210 accredited museums within the region, and we operate within the Arts Council England strategic framework: Great Art and Culture for Everyone. Our objective is to meet and exceed standards, raise ambition, drive excellence, and strengthen the resilience of the sector. As a result of the additional local authority investment within our region, we have the opportunity to work beyond accredited museums, and, last year, supported directly – directly supported 246 museums in the region. The south-west is a special place. The region welcomes large numbers of visitors each year that are

drawn to the spectacular natural and cultural environment and heritage. The south-west is the largest tourism market outside of London and the south-east, and Visit England David shows us – or rather estimates — that the South West tourism is an industry worth £10.6 billion to the UK’s economy. However, there is a contrast in the significant value that heritage and museums make to tourism and the benefit of these museum generate in delivering this unique function. Most museum operating in these local tourist destinations receive no public funding and very little recognition of the contribution that they make to the quality of the tourism offer. There is also a significant contrast in the scale of this museum provision. The South West Museum sector is largely comprised of small or even micro museums. They operate at low levels of investment and communications infrastructure, and within networks that span large rural geographies geographies. South West regional data carried out by South West Regional Development Programme shows us 30 per cent of the sector is wholly run by volunteers. Two thirds of the sector is predominantly small independents, and half of these attract less than 10,000 visits per annum. However, the collective power of museums in the region welcomed 8.5 million visits during 2015/16. If we were to apply the tool kit and methodology for impact but just focus on local and day visitors, we estimate that the 8.5 million visits during 2015/16 equates to and contributes £200 million to the region’s economy The distinctiveness of local community museum uniquely positions them to influence public opinion and raise awareness of the impact of environmental sustainability on our natural and built environment. Local museums are uniquely placed to bring these global issues into a local context. An example of this local context can be provided by Dawlish which is placed at the centre of national attention during the 2014 storms which hit the normally sheltered south coast of Devon and Cornwall The eight-week sequence of Atlantic storms in 2014, the most energetic since the 1950s, equates to a one-in-60-year event. The extensive physical and socio-economic impact of these storms highlights the vulnerable of the UK to coastal hazards Dawlish: Dawlish is a traditional seaside town renowned for its sandy beaches, its relaxing gardens and the quality of its cream teas Dawlish Museum has 11 rooms over three floors and is run by dedicated skilled team of volunteers. Their collections depict life past and present in a town of Dawlish in the south coast of Devon On the 4 February 2014, at around 9.00 pm, a combination of spring tide, 80 miles per hour winds and a storm surge created truly terrifying large waves president the storm caused the destruction of the mainland rail route connecting the south-west to the rest of the country Coastal wave heights exceeding ten metres with peak wave periods exceeding 20 seconds, effectively double the norm of an inner storm, truly created an impact on that local area Images of waves tearing apart the sea-wall defences and any attempts to restore them, along with pictures of railtrack physically dangling in the air were beamed to the nation for weeks at a time. Dawlish Museum quickly recognised the importance of working with the community in order to capture the impact of these storms on the local area. Their first action was to co-ordinate a large social event. This big social event was held in partnership with history groups, local people, and key agents, and involved a programme of contemporary collecting. This direct engagement with mostly new audiences enabled the community to share their own stories, their images, and footage of the impact of the storms on their local area Museum volunteers recorded personal histories, collected digital content, and arranged for copyright. They also co-ordinated engagement with key parties such as the local authority in Railtrack. Their work came together in the Big Archive which you canstorms on their local area. Museum volunteers recorded personal histories, collected digital content, and arranged for copyright. They also co-ordinated engagement with key parties such as the local authority in Railtrack. Their work came together in the Big Archive which you can see here – Storm Room which you can see here. Over the next months, led by Andrew Wright and a team of volunteers, they created a dedicated exhibition in one of the eleven rooms named The Storm Room. They embarked on the production of a film following the

300-strong orange army Railtrack workers. This video can be purchased for £le.plus pose tackle and packaging. While the storm did have a devastating physical impact on the local town, the proactive and positive approach taken by Dawlish museum in response to the storm has had a significant impact, and it has significantly enhanced the role of the museums at the centre of their community. The Storm Room has contributed to an increase and also a diversification of their audiences. They have seen a noticeable increase in the levels of schools engagement; they were consult ed on and provided content for the production of a schools resource, key stage 3 to 5, on extreme weather and coastal flooding. Their social media has rocketed with a ten-fold increase in their Facebook sign -ups. This activity has also had a positive impact on the museum’s own financial resilience. The Storm Room has increased admissions and been supported with the online sale of the film Dawlish Museum and their experience at the centre of the 2014 storms highlights the unique role of local museum to work with partnership in order to highlight the impact of extreme weather and their local communities in the immediate environment. Whilst they did not brand their programme Climate Change or overtly challenge audiences regarding environmental sustainability, the combination of the exhibition, the archive, and the film that they’ve produced highlights a unique position of local museums to open discussion around the human impact on the environment. I hope you enjoy the rest of the day. Many thanks. [Applause] NEW SPEAKER: My turn. I will be brief! First of all, thank you very much, everybody, for coming. It is great to see you all here. I hope you enjoy the day, and that we hear a lot more from everybody here. For those of us who are following the climate narrative, which is probably everybody in this room, we’ve been turning our heads towards Bonn and the climate negotiations known as COP23 over the last couple of weeks, placing our faith in this unique conference to provide the leadership needed to move us all towards a sustainable society that holds environmental sustainability as a cherished core value. But what is the key to the global framework for ecological and heory that lies embedded in the very fabric of culture? You know where I’m going. What are the solutions we seek to climate challenge run like golden threads, weaving through our communities, not simply as individual or collective actions, but as very deeply enmeshed in our cultural narratives, and I think the people in this room today will understand that very profoundly Despite an increasing sense of urgency, though, that we all feel, two thirds of people have never had a conversation about climate change – of. That’s two thirds, two in every three. We need therefore not just to find solutions to our environmental challenges, but to address the cultural climate for environmental action and engagement, and it’s very difficult to really pinpoint exactly what hinders climate progress. The obvious one that we all feel deeply, I think, is as Paul Hawkin put it quite some years ago, “We have an economy where we steal from the future, sell it to the present, and call it GDP.” It’s a beautifully simple way of putting it. Human consumerism has lodged itself into our culture as the dominant economic and therefore everything else-type of narrative. It’s such a powerful ideology, and we are so entrenched in it in our everyday lives that it’s very difficult to lift our heads up above the parapet and see beyond it. Even itself into our culture as the dominant economic and therefore everything else-type of narrative. It’s such a powerful ideology, and we are so entrenched in it in our everyday lives that it’s very difficult to lift our heads up above the parapet and see beyond it. Even using the word “environment” – and I’m sure all of you agree that the termology about climate, sustainability, is hugely problematic – implies a sense of detachment, as if the natural world is somehow out there, separated and de-attached from us humans. Oddly, nature, doesn’t include us. We have yet to embed within our society a consensus for a natural particular of ecology in the purest sense of the word, a deeply felt understanding that all life on earth interconnectors, exists beyond human-made hierarchies and structures, and that every single action we take as individuals, as communities, as

nations, will impact the entire ecosystem. Julie’s Bicycle has released the Sustaining Great Art report on the Arts Council England programme which demonstrated not just impressive reductions which are actually so materially important, but also inspiring a lot of inspires creative responses from across the cultural community, including museums and galleries, and many of you in this room will know what I’m talking about. Not only are more cultural organisations involved in the climate movement than ever before – and it’s not just in the UK, this is an international movement – but the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions which are so important and so difficult to talk about have reduced substantially. The Arts Council initiative alone – and that’s only one initiative – has generated at least £11 million in savings but actually more importantly, I think, is stimulating a cultural ecology which puts sustainability at its heart, that is job, its new roles, it’s new goods, it’s new services, it’s new activities, it’s new missions, it’s new governance priorities. And even more crucially, the report highlights the artistic outputs and responses that are inviting audiences to be part of something different. Today, we’re going to hear a lot about museums, and how we’re bringing together the big stories of human culture, and the values which shape them. Many of you are already reframing environmental action, seeing it assess an opportunity to create stronger and happier organisations. For you and for the communities that you serve You know where I am going here – I’ve landed. What an incredible purpose for museums; what an incredible purpose More so perhaps than any other cultural format. Museums, as heritage organisations, as stewards, custodians of cultural values past, present, and future, have an incredible job on your hands. This framework captures some of your work Supporting by Arts Council and consultation with many of you, and the response from the sector has been really extraordinary in wanting to be involved, and giving the best of yourselves to the ideas in it. It covers an overview of sustainability action and practice – beautiful examples of work. A summary of legal funding and other requirements, and an overview of what’s out there to support you, the guidance, the tools, and the networks. So, thank you for coming; thank you for listening if you’re on the live stream; and please do, all of you, continue to contribute and give your ideas to it. Here’s to change. Thank you very much [Applause] CLAIRE: Thanks. So now I am going to hand you over to Honor Beddard who is Curator of Temporary Exhibitions at Wellcome Collection, and she is going to speak to you about their experiences and how it really demonstrates the roles of museums and collections in this climate change debate HONOR: Hello, so my name is Honor Beddard and I’m an exhibitions curator at Wellcome Collection in London, and I want to begin by saying a huge thank you to Julie’s Bicycle for inviting me to speak at today’s event but also for providing a space for us all to discuss this very critical question of the role that museums can play in creating sustainable futures I am going to talk today about some of the programming that Wellcome Collection has been doing over the last year, engaging our visitors on environmental themes. But I want to begin by briefly looking at Wellcome Collection’s particular approach. This will, I hope, provide some context for the exhibitions that I am going to go on and talk about but also for me it’s a starting point from which to think about the role that museums can play in civic life For those of you not familiar with us, Wellcome Collection is a free museum a library, whose programme looks at the culture of medicine. It does so by bringing together science, medicine, life and art to explore how people think and feel about health. We address topics that do not sit within

one single discipline and this allows us to unite objects and works of art from different fields and different perspectives. Topics have ranged from forensic medicine, consciousness and the voice through to our current exhibitions on the role of graphic design and health care and the West’s relationship with Indian medecine. Wellcome Collection does not operate on a model of science communication, nor does it operate on a public health model. What underpins our approach is a commitment to the idea of museum programming as a form of investigation. Ken Arnold, our former head of public programmes, described Wellcome Collection’s approach by citing a formula first put forward by the academic Stefan Collini That experience plus reflection equals understanding It has been applied successfully in the humanities In contrast to that second equation: skills plus information equals knowledge – that Collini argues has found more success within the sciences. It’s in this very subtle distinction, I think, between knowledge and understanding that we begin to find a suggestion of how museums can be active and positive participants in civic life Understanding is a process It’s an active and mindful form of engagement. It involves thinking things through and it’s unquestionably relational Understanding depends on the qualities of the understander In so doing, it allows – it frees us, sorry, from this quest for objective knowledge. It allows for a messy, tangled and contradictory world but most importantly it offers a space for fresh ideas, for fresh thoughts and it prepares us for change. Wellcome Collection is, as many of you I am sure will know, funded by Wellcome, a global, charitable foundation devoted to improving health Over the last few years the Trust has been developing a strand of work entitled Our Planet Our Health that aims to establish a community of researchers taking on the challenges that food systems, increasing urbanisation and climate change pose to our health At Wellcome Collection, in the Museum, our year of nature programming enabled us to explore some of these same environmental questions but in a very, very different way. We were able to broaden that enquiry, to ask not just where are we going but how did we get here in the first place? It allowed us to consider the philosophical and historical origins of our beliefs about the natural world and by doing so it put those environmental issues into a social and cultural context, allowing us to address the cultural perceptions of our visitors So the year began with Making Nature, an exhibition that explored the relationship between humans and animals. It examined the narratives about nature that have been created by science and how these have been made manifest in the more traditional natural history museums and in zoo design. The exhibition started in the 18th century with the arrival of taxonomy, the science of naming and classifying organisms and this moment signalled the point in which we began it believe in rational explanation for the differences between us and other animals. The exhibition was curated and designed with a very strong emphasis on physical interaction with the objects and the space, so we see here Canadian artist Abbas Akhavan Akhavan’s ethical taxidermy animals, discretely placed in low corners. They force people to bend down to resist the urge sometimes to reach down and touch these animals, to think about the size of their bodies in relation to the creatures before them. We did receive a small number of comments that some visitors found these distressing. Interestingly, not one visitor comment commented on the 19th century taxidermy foxes raised on a pedestal in a case, hunting mementoes from another era. Visitors in room 3, the section on zoos, could look back on their fellow visitors in

room 2 and observe them as they moved around, themselves becoming exhibits. So the purpose of this emphasis on interactivity was to encourage people to reflect on the value of embodied knowledge. What information does our body understand without conscious thought? Why is this kind of knowledge important? How might it compare and contrast with the information that we are given in traditional natural history museums or other scientific institutions? So that was the end of exhibition 1, but where could we go from here? How could the second half of our nature-themed year explore these environmental questions in a way that was perhaps more meaningful, or more relevant? For our second exhibition, we turned to our visitors and we ran ten pop-up sessions in our Reading Room, a hybrid space of library, gallery and events Visitors were asked: what is nature? What does it mean to you? What object would you put in a Museum of Modern Nature? The events provoked incredibly wide-ranging discussion, conflicting viewpoints, some very personal accounts and memories, very passionate polemics and I want to read just a few of the hundreds of questions and statements that came out of these events Is nature the government’s responsibility or is it ours? How do you get beyond the environmental message? It’s a stuck record. How do you get the excitement back? If we don’t use genetic modification, we can’t feed a growing population When you talk about conservation, it’s in reference to saving ourselves. And lastly : I don’t think we can any longer make a distinction between nature and the man-made That gives you a flavour of just some of the very wide-ranging discussions that were taking place. We also went out and we ran workshops with groups from the local community so the first was a group of women originally from Bangladesh who now live in Central London; the second, those who attend the Camden branch of Age UK and we also worked with an inner city school to do an extensive project with Year 9 boys and artist Verity-Jane Keefe to explore their views on the future of the environment At the end of this process, what struck us most was what we perceived as a gap between people and policy. How do you get beyond that so-called stuck record? How could we, as a museum, explore environmental themes in a way that connected with people’s behaviours and their values? So we decided to step back and to let our visitors create their own museum of nature. We did a massive call-out, asking people to bring us an object that represented their relationship to the natural world, and we asked them to tell us the story behind it. So over three days in May we received everything you can imagine from an oxygen cylinder to a slice of bread, musical instruments through to a slither of plastic turf and much, much more in between, and we photographed every one and we collected their stories and I want to show you just some of those images briefly One week later, a team of individuals who each relate to nature in a different way chose the objects that would go on display in Wellcome Collection’s gallery. They included a London park manager, a plant scientist, the first woman to climb Everest, an urban shaman, a sustainability practitioner, a farmer and a materials expert and maker. The result was this exhibition, a Museum of Modern Nature, an incredibly human, tender exhibition that was at times funny, both joyful and sad. We stripped the gallery of virtually all interpretation, save for the voices of those 56 individuals whose objects were on display, many of which could be heard directly on individual headphones by each object, explaining in their own words why it represented their relationship to nature. So why did we do it? We know that museums are changing. The role of the curator, its visitor and its objects are all being rethought This idea of museums as bastions of authority or purvey ors of received wisdom is outdated. I was struck by an

article by journalist Rob Sharp who pointed out the risks that an educational approach of passively giving information can carry in entrenching opinion rather than changing it By sharing their stories, we encouraged the visitors who took part in a Museum of Modern Nature to become more active and mindful contributors. Stories stop us from sitting outside of an experience. It’s popular culture and narrative that shape how people think and ultimately act. At Wellcome Collection we do not aim to take a didactic approach and we do not advocate the values of everyone that we give a platform to. What drives us is a belief in our responsibility to create a space for discussion and a space for experimentation, both by us and by our visitors. That thinking things through that I mentioned at the beginning of my talk When I’m speaking about a Museum of Modern Nature, in hindsight it all sounds relatively straightforward. It most certainly was not. We embarked on a project in which, until six weeks before it was due to open, we had no idea what content, if any, we would have But what we did carry with us was a belief that our visitors had something important to say, and that we had a role to play in creating a space for them to do so, a space in which they felt they had some ownership As we face the future, there are complex and difficult questions to be asked about who decides what are the right decisions to be made in relation to the environment Museums are a space where different disciplines, perspectives and cultures can be brought together on a neutral playing field. Our own particular collections and programmes will offer opportunities that are unique to each of us. But what unites all of us is our audiences They are one of our biggest assets and we must use them The Museums’ Framework that Julie’s Bicycle launches today covers every aspect of creating a more sustainable museum, and our audiences also have a role to play in that. What knowledge might they share with one another that fits within our organisational objectives? How might we create frameworks to help them do that? One of the greatest gifts we might give them could just be each other And it’s in this way that museums can build bridges, bridges between knowledge and understanding, bridges between communities and bridges between people and the world around them Thank you very much [Applause] CLAIRE: Thank you, Honor CLAIRE: So I’m going to introduce you now to Sabrina Mahfouz. Sabrina is a poet, a playwright and a writer. Her work has won critical acclaim and she is going to bring her own personal perspective to today and the themes of today, and perform a selection of her poetry for us. Thanks, Sabrina SABRINA: Thanks I will have to use this one because I don’t know them off by heart and I’m reading them from my phone, sorry. A very hectic morning. So yes, it’s very nice to be here and, even though I am a poet, can I close the computer – thanks. I originally – oh, sorry. You know who I am now, so it’s all right. I originally studied Classical Archaeology at King’s College for a year until I realised I was really rubbish at it and changed to Classics and English Literature which I was slightly better at but the reason I did classical archaeology was because I wanted to work in museums and when I changed I still kept one of my units as antiquities in the British Museum. Then, when I was doing my MA I applied to the fast stream, the Government Civil Service graduate scheme to work in the national archives

in Kew and I got in, but they were like: there is no fast stream position at the National Archives. Like fast streamers don’t want to go there. I was like: oh, but I do! Then they said you have to go somewhere else so then the only thing that was left by then was the Ministry of Defence. [Laughter] So that was the demise really of my journey into heritage a museums, but through various things I ended up being a poet and it started to come back, so I got a job as Poet In Residence for a climate change and arts charity called Cape Farewell who were associated with the science museum so that started a process of working a little bit with museums and then this year I have been working with the V&A doing stories about Middle Eastern stories, with the focus on girls and young women, and I’ve also been associate curator at the Science Gallery London which doesn’t exist yet in a proper space but had an exhibition on in a temporary space in Peckham, and I will read some of the poems that I wrote for that exhibition. So that’s basically just to say that all of the issues that I’m interested in exploring in my work, I’m interested in exploring them in partnership with museums and galleries because of all the reasons that everybody who has already spoken has so articulately said: how important they are, and who they engage with. It’s really the only place where, as a kid, everyone goes there. Well, most people go there. Most schools go to museums at least a little bit so when I do theatre and everyone is really excited about it, and oh it’s going to reach all these people, I’m like: it’s not because no one is really going to come except people who already know all this stuff, whereas museums are different so that’s why I’m always excited to work with them. So I am going to read a little one about climate because the other ones I am going to read aren’t about climate at all but they are about blood, which I guess could, you know – nature. Oddly we are not connected with nature, but I will reconnect us with nature by doing poems about blood. So this was for LSE when I was at Cape Farewell, they were doing a project with LSE to try and get people from outside the Climate Department interested in climate and it was part of a slam, so lots of the students came and read their poems about the environment I want to say something but I don’t know what to say. I’m here on this stage and there’s so many things to bring into this space between me and you, so how to choose. Do I tell you about how pollution is defined in UK law as contamination of the land, water or air by harmful or potentially harmful substances? The thing with this is it reminds me of things that bring me memories of the kind of contamination from hard hearts and hands. No matter who you pay for clearing it up somehow the space remains for branches of pain to travel to all parts of a place like when street drains overflow and puddles are just the same size, big enough to surprise you with splashes from cars with no sound yet small enough this time to not let you down but then that sounds like it could be quite a depressing poem so do I talk about her, the woman in charge, who stands stuck to sinking sand one handheld up by concrete promises, who makes me believe that believing in something is not something I would recommend except believing in someone, but perhaps that’s been done. It could be about Qatar’s emissions but that sounds like a whole lot of sums for a poem. I could say something about the gold golden age of the industrial age that has caused a carbon footprint double that of China’s , but again I’m not sure you came for a history class. What about talking about what I know? That way, we will leave pretty early. I know that the UK might be reducing emissions emitted here but we buy, buy, buy things from places that crisscross skies … uncovered, unwanted bits of plastic that end up bought in charity shops and placed in landfill. I know there’s ways to make things righter than they are right now, there’s inventors who have answers to take us escalating to process without having to undress the matter that makes us breathe but business bosses and money loss protection officers aren’t too keen to hear these solutions, confusion over stock market failure allowing them to keep the illusion that the only way to live now is to live how we live

now. I know that I love my city even though it’s built on the blood of empires and the ashes of slum bodies … and bits of other people’s lives. I know that I can never really know any of this and it’s getting a bit serious for a Tuesday so maybe I should just say something about the suburbs, the used cars parked in the old car park, neon signs, recycling bins placed in the wrong place. This is not the type of place where plastic disposal takes precedence over convenience. You get the sense that this has never been the right place for anything really so how will anything really change? I look to the ceiling and think: okay, what about the weather? You know it’s getting wetter, getting hotter, colder, sinking, brink of land and sea kissing close are but maybe you like Wellington boots and bikinis and these things don’t bother you at all. There must be something better to say to you, make you care, but like working with Greek letters, sometimes somehow a poet can make all the sounds and not really say anything out loud So I am going to just read a small selection of poems from Blood Lines just to give a sense of how nice it is to have words respond – I know, that’s saying my poems are nice – but just gives a different thing to what you can see sometimes in museums and galleries that, yes, have nothing to do actually with what the artist intended them to do but it just brought a different group of people into the gallery and it was quite fun, and this one is called The Swarm and it was a big canvas by Elaine Whittaker with mosquitos that she had captured in wax. It will look so much nicer than it sounds and there’s a lot of swearing in it so I won’t swear because of the cameras I would flipping kill mosquitos all day long mate. That sound, so insistent like they need you to know what they are about to do, you know? Which is mad, when you think about it, because what they are about to do is suck the blood right out of your body into theirs and you would see it up against the wall if you squash it, they will take over the world one day, the original drones they are, your blood is already theirs, but they won’t wait to see the life drain out of you. Instead, they will invite their mates to come have a feast too and then there you have it, there’s a flipping swarm of flying creatures making the air heavy with your blood and the thought of them taking my blood without my consent, without my nod of approval of what they are using it for, that’s what really freaks me out and that’s why I’m ready to kill every mother flipping bad one of them Bad blood which was a response to a performance artist who was knitting with wool through her menstrual blood, so this is why art is important – challenge those taboos I am charged 5% to catch the blood with cotton stubs, blood which makes it possible for me to be paid 18% less than a being who does not bleed every month but a worthy woman is a woman who pays 50%, who says I am independent and do not need you to pay for me just because I bleed, does not mean I am weak I cannot be hung out to dry after the slaughter, right? Then this one was slightly inspired by the artwork and then also slightly inspired by Cape Farewell when we went to the Shetland Islands to do a little tour around their fish factories Transfusion. I see silver pipes flow down, down from the ringed farm like a deep diving paddling pool to the practical rectangle of factory where soundless shocks of lightning bring sustainable salmon to our supermarkets, cut gills dripping blood into water that soon will be burnt blue again. This transfusion, fish, pipes, factory, oesophagus, tubed and timed with tremors of life meeting death leaves me vegan I am going to leave you with the last one here called You Beaut in response to ladies who actually do lots of environmental-based graffiti in Australia but this particular piece that they did is about challenging the womb not being used but other genitalia of men is used in public toilets, I think that’s the point and it was done with little bits of

sweets and stuff in male toilets Womb envy is, of course, what it is. Karen Horny knew this in 1905. Freud – I’m actually just realising this is probably totally inappropriate because it actually has quite a lot of rude words in it. [Laughter] So it’s really difficult for me to find appropriate conference poems because I generally write about sex work. Anyway, I am going to write an appropriate poem for you at the end of the day based on all the wonderful discussions that I will be listening to and writing as we go along and I look forward to that moment. Thank you [Applause] CLAIRE: Thank you so much, NEW SPEAKER: Sabrina will be here partaking for the rest of the day as well I would like to ask the panel to come up, please. Phil, Isabel? I’ve got NEW SPEAKER: Sabrina will be here partaking for the rest of the day as well NEW SPEAKER: I would like to ask the panel to come up, please Phil, Isabel? I’ve got to restart. … Apologies, we have to start up the projector again. Just give us a second NEW SPEAKER: Hello, everyone I’m Isabelas well NEW SPEAKER: I would like to ask the panel to come up, please Phil, Isabel? I’ve got to restart. … . Apologies, we have to start up the projector again. Just give us a second NEW SPEAKER: Hello, everyone I’m Isabel Wilson [sound cutting out] Please be thinking about your questions those of you in the room and those of you online as well. The question that the panel will be thinking about and presenting to you is about the role of museums and collections in the 21st century in the context of climate out]. Please be thinking about your questions those of you in the room and those of you online as well. The question that the panel will be thinking about and presenting to you is about the role of museums and collections in the 21st century in the context of climate change, so [sound cut]. We’re looking at the relationship between well being and environmental sustainability, and how museums could contribute to society in which well-being and environmental sustainability [inaudible]

and collections in the 21st century in the context of climate change, so [sound cut] We’re looking at the relationship between well being and environmental sustainability, and how museums could contribute to society in which well-being and environmental sustainability [inaudible]. [Sound cut] Projects. Trust. We will have roughly five minutes per second and very much over to you start with someone who is not Henry because we need to restart the projector NEW SPEAKER: Does anyone not have slides? NEW SPEAKER: The three of us don’t have slides, only Henry I’ve got loads of different media. Hello. I’m going to start this undiverse panel. You can go to the Happy Museum website. Open your textbooks up at the Happy Museum website for further information, but I’m definitely going to talk for five minutes. So Happy Museum was founded in 2012. It was prompted by a lot of the work we were doing with the New Economics Foundation, who, for many years, have looked at different ways to measure well being and what a good comet looks like We envisioned a holiest lick approach to well being and sustainability, and early influence was a collection of essays in a book edited by Joe Smith and Andrew Simms, “Why good lives shouldn’t cost the earth”, and they were short essays which looked at individuals can do to contribute to good well being. So we believe that communities and individuals are most able to address the challenges of climate change. They were also the ones with the highest levels of well being and cohesion. We thought museums were uniquely placed to promote those values – they’re social places and places for encounters. They take the long view of history They have nothing to sell, apart from the union big to us gift shop, except learning, engagement, enjoyment, and they’re succeed trees from commercialism. Since 2013, we’ve funded 22 museums in England and Wales to carry out projects and interventions to promote the values of sustainability and well being, so, a couple of examples of those were the Garden Museum down in London which worked with a woman’s group from a local housing estate to explore the ethics of the winter cut-flower trade. We worked with Canterbury Museums, working with Counter Arts, animate arts They created a pharmacy made of recycled paper which could dispense well-being treatments across the city. In west Wales, they worked with the social enterprise training young people to create old tools – sorry, new tools from old inpeered by the old collections which were then sold to the public, the profits being shared by community and by the museum So, since then, 25 other Muslims are now part of an affiliate scheme rangeing from the People’s History Museum in man chest, the That will Trust, and Culture 24. We are working with Culture 24 to explore what good digital looks like – not good as in the best, but good as in digital that contributes to a good life. We are exploring and setting up an international affiliate scheme, having interests from the US, Canada, and Scandinavia. We think that these sorts of projects are the sorts of things that give our communities, and our individuals who use our museums the agency to make change. Now, within Happy Museum, we follow six follow six key principles. We think the conditions should make the conditions for well-being, connect, give back to the community, to keep learning, take notice of the world around them, and to be more physically active. Secondly, we want all our museums to encourage people to be active citizens. Using, as we stayed earlier, local issues to explore global challenges. We see museums have an important role to play in helping us learn for a more resilient future because museum learning is all the things that formal learning isn’t: it is non-judgmental, it’s active, and it’s fun. We believe museums should be stewards for the future as well as the past, looking at the

entire ecology of our museums, and not just our collections but the TRRs measures environment too. We want our organisations to pursue mutual relationships with all our communities, sharing and making sure that we are – that that old authoritative didactic role of the museum can be shared across our community. Lastly, we want our museums to measure what matters, to encourage learning – evaluation for learning, that helps us be better. Our latest piece of work is involved with an old friend of the museum, the Happy Museum, Andrew Simms, who is helping us work towards the Festival of Change, and looking at issues around rapid transition. This will help us spotlight narratives nationalist where we have, as a society, changed rapidly, because time is of the essence with climate change, and so the notion that a museum can help people understand how we can we can rapidly transition to a more – to a higher wellbeing and more environmentally responsible society, again, it is our next piece of work Thanks for listening, and enjoy the rest. [Applause] for that to come down. Can we have some Vivaldi instead, or something more ethnic. Thank you for inviting me. I’m going to talk about particularly my time when I was director of was director of Torquay Museum which has some examples of the practical application that Tony has talked about. Happy Museum funded one of our key projects, and the whole philosophy in a way underpinned what we were trying to do. There were really three sort of philosophies that came together: one, Torquay museum, first half of the 19th century museums, founded by a Natural History Society, and an archaeology society, with the key I’m going out storing the environment, finding things, describing, educating, engaging people in that world out there. We had a situation in Torquay where huge amounts of environment, lots of stuff going on, you know, it is the second largest urban conurbation in Devon, but still, if you go out to Buryhead, you can see more sites of special scientific interest than anywhere else in England Extraordinary richness. A lot going on. The museum completely disconnected from it. Thirdly, it is a pay-per-view. It is not local authority funded. It had four core staff. How on earth could we get more people in the door in a settlement that had 35 visitors attractions ranging from Piagnton Zoo, with dinosaur museum – all that? Our nudges philosophy was bringing together the type of approach Happy Museum has described with a real belief that, actually, people’s well being has improved by being out in that environment and underpinning that that can we get people from the outdoor environment to come into ours? We developed the thesis that our community was people who engaged in environment or should be. More a science community than a locality community, if you like It’s how do you get from the place that’s Torquay – believe it or not, 30 per cent of primary children have never been to the sea – it’s a coastal town. How do you get them out into the environment and how do you make them part of museum community and make the museum and its collections relevant? Over the period of a number of years, with a variety of funding, we looked at some core markets. We looked at early years – joint project with the local authority and three other museums in Torbay, to get people out to the environment, and come back to the museum to use the core base of activities, and look at the elements of the archaeology collection, for example. Primary school, we were in a partnership with an organisation of community-interest company called Play-to-bay where the fundamental philosophy for them was the idea about quest – exploring. Whether it be by play or natural scoring. We

could use them as a vehicle going out, using art, drama, and one theatre company, wonderful animation, particularly one on the carbon weavel which is about climate change. They co-authored with the children events in the museum, using parts of our collection but also collected material from the coast and beaches where you can see the six levels of sea-level change over the last 10,000 years. You can discuss that climate change agenda and what is going to happen in the future. Secondary school: we had Happy Museum funding for a thing we called First Spark, which was basically designed by a group of secondary school children who were brought together by our educational reference group of teachers, and we did vessel like Wellcome did which is to say, “What are your issues? What do you want to do?” They chose climate change and eco-cide, the demise of the ecology, and ended up them organising a court case in which they tried Torbay Local Authority. God bless them, Torbay played, and the councillors came. It’s about raising the social awareness, making them part of the community, understanding the issues, and how the policy connection might work. And then, if you look at an older range of people using different techniques, we used a project called ParishScapes which is using the tide map to look at that and see how the environment ‘s changed They collated information like historic photographs of the environment, of the farm world out there, the landscape, one of those huge things that we as museums struggle with, which is our greatest heritage out there is the landscape and the influence of people. How on earth do we collect that? They tried to do that. They went out and identified things that no-one knew about – former medieval allotments, there’d been a whole series of dew ponds that had been filled in. When we look back at the historic collections, we found some rare species that are now biodiversity action plan specialalities, and, as a result of that, there was actually a working party who went out to farmers and recreated more ponds, conserved the allotments, and conserved the lime iklns. One of the things we hoped to come off was a live camera for the bats that would be viewable in the museum and all those sort of links, and all those little things that you can do, and the philosophy of us being the hub where people came, groups would meet, we would host the Environment Agency’s panel community engagement over Dawlish Warren which came up as Dawlish but there’s a big spit there which is at great threat of beak removed by climate change Hosting different groups, and particularly taking the view that we should be a centre for shepherding information – information data shepherds so we made available. We were collect, if you like, modern – the sort of thing that Dawlish were doing, a modern film of what is going on out there, what’s happened environmentally That sort of evidence of change, and trying to bring things together. There were so many websites out there that people could even look up listed buildings on How do we help people, running its courses and apprenticeships? A meshing together of different things. Hopefully, that’s given a few ideas of some things that have happened. You know, there are all sorts of things in there that didn’t work, which is always the best sort of learning, but thank you [Applause] NEW SPEAKER: Good morning. I’m from Collections Trust. We help museums capture and share the information that gives objects meaning. We’re best known for Spectrum, the collections management standard, and we’ve published Supreme 5, the fifthition of that — the fifth edition of that. We’ve changed all reference to permanent collections to “long-term collections”. Now, I went into museums about 30 years ago, and

absolutely, the language meaning. We’re best known for Spectrum, the collections management standard, and we’ve published Supreme 5, the fifthition of that — the fifth edition of that. We’ve changed all reference to permanent collections to “long-term collections”. Now, I went into museums about 30 years ago, and absolutely, the language we used, “permanent collections”, and, when we consider what we meant by stewardship, it was very much a model of carrying forward collections for the benefit of future generations, as though what the future generations would want from us would be stores of fairly poorly documented stuff. I think that model has changed quite a lot, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what a sustainable future for the sector might look like I’m very struck how the museum sector has expanded – even in the time I’ve been working in it. There were many, many buildings that did not exist or were not used as museums. Then, if you think of all the stuff that has been collected in the last 30 years, and we’re now sort of at a situation where as the museums review reminded us last week, many museums are struggling to manage the collections that they have now As we will be talking about today, museums have to keep moving. There are things, there are are ideas, there are ideas and inventions, and art that hasn’t been created yet. When you think of all the material that is out there that you might want to be collecting in the coming decades – even though that’s a 30-year time span – it just doesn’t add up. So we are going to have to get really serious about adopting a different model of stewardship. The one I would like to propose, and that I hope we can talk about is instead of this idea that we are assembling collections which then have to be kind of carefully passed on in their entirety to grateful future generations, that we actually think more about the model of, say, woodland stewardship, where, in order to preserve the wood and pass that on to future generations, actually, you have to do some fairly brutal woodland management that involves a fair amount of lopping, and I’m sure many of you have know more about that than I do. It seems to be a valid model, and, actually, it seems to me, it is the only possible model if we aspire to carry on collecting to remain relevant. The greatest threat to collections and museums is irrelevance. We have to collect to remain relevant to our audiences and the things that they are interested in, and, really, in order to do that, we have to think differently about stewardship and what that means [Applause] NEW SPEAKER: I can’t do a presentation without Powerpoint It is just me – second nature NEW SPEAKER: I’m going to talk about something that is a little bit different. It’s about joining the things up. We’ve got the five ways to wellbeing, talking about the survival or otherwise of museums, and about their roll in society and in creating a better world, so I’m going to throw out some disruptive ideas about how we might think of this stuff a little bit differently. I think the common thread that I would like to get across just to kick off is about how can we think after culture of flourishing in all of those things, whether that is individually, in society, our economy, our museums, or in the wider world? And the thing that I would really like to focus on as well, is it is very dangerous to make the assumption that you go straight from information to action. What we are interested in is action. It’s not about people knowing stuff, it’s about people knowing useful stuff that they can then use So I’ve done a great big presentation, because there’s five minutes is no time at all, but I will send this round, and the idea is that you get something useful from it. So it will give your RSI a rest, and don’t worry too much about that What I thought would be interested to learn about is in mews seals, we talk an awful lot about the five ways to wellbeing. I thought we would turn it round and think how do we apply that to ourselves? If the museum was person, what would it mean to connect, be active, take notice, to give, and keep learning. Rather than saying to the public saying, “These are the things that are good for you” what would that look like for us? To add my own two in the end, I really like to have a laugh, I like to enjoy myself, and I like to take it

easy sometimes I would make a plea for those to be added on. In climate change communication, it often has these four fatal flaws in it that people don’t do stuff because they don’t know about it. Everybody knows about climate change. That’s not the issue. In some ways, knowing too much about it inhibits action Fearing visions of catastrophe might sell films or video games, but they’re not a future any of us would like to live in. If you look at computer games, they’re generally either zombie apocalypse, Blade Runner post-truth world, Mad Max. None of us would like to live in that world, but they give us a strongarm to think about, “Well, what kind of world we would like to live in?” One-size-fits-all is completely fatal and using the mass media as a means of communication The mass media is a poor-quality form of communication. The other other I would like to introduce is that engagement is often mistakenly thought of as something that happens on almost like a lesson, it happens in the museum. Climate change engagement is what happens in the hour and a half when of communication. The other other I would like to introduce is that engagement is often mistakenly thought of as something that happens on almost like a lesson, it happens in the museum. Climate change engagement is what happens in the hour and a half when you’re in the museum – “I engaged with someone.” It is totally the wrong way round. The engagement is how that thinking, feeling, and doing is woven into people’s lives beyond the museum Rather than separating out the engagement, and the impact, this different way of thinking about did, it makes the it same thing. you’re in the museum – “I engaged with someone.” It is totally the wrong way round The engagement is how that thinking, feeling, and doing is woven into people’s lives beyond the museum. Rather than separating out the engagement, and the impact, this different way of thinking about did, it makes the it same thing. — it makes it the same thing. Our job in museums is critically evaluate what they want to do So, when they are in a shop, in a garage, choosing a holiday, choosing some clothes – anything – climate change engagement is how they negotiate what they think, what they feel, and what they want to do at that time And our job is to help – our job, I think, is to help that to be congruent. What do people want, what is important to them, and how can they do it? So, if we take this – this is from CBT – thoughts create feelings Feelings drive behaviour Thoughts don’t bereave behaviour. There’s a big bit in the middle. If you think about in our museums, we’re so heavily emphasising the information, and often paid little regard to the impact that that information has on people And then, what happens afterwards is kind of left to its own devices. So, if inspiration is – I love this: inspiration is the feeling that moves you to action. So this – all this stuff that we are talking about today, it’s not about turning everyone into environmentalists, it is not into persuading everybody that they’re wrong and I’m right, it is about working with people, and work with people as their bestselves, so I love the – best selves, so I love the idea of my best self when I’m doing stuff that really happens to me and I can see it happening, that’s great. I just love it How can we build that inspiration of the feeling that moves to us action? That doesn’t come from me putting out a load of information, it comes from me talking to people We’re all different. You could take museums. The approach to current affairs is we are neutral, we sit on the fence, we don’t have an opinion, which is just not true, or there is the one where you do it in terms of current affairs, so, what somebody high up in a museum has read in the Guardian at that moment, “Oh, we must do this.” It’s totally wrong. As Tony, I think said, museums – how can we help people hold a more creative and long-term vision, one that is not governed by a five-year election cycle? What would I want in 15 years’ time? What would each of you want? The only way we can work that out is to talk about it. I’m going to stop there because I’m probably up to my five minutes, but that’s my plea for that, is that we absolutely must speak to people, to connect with people from their own position Absolutely, I firmly believe we must believe that people are ultimately good, and that they want to do the right thing. I heard an economist once say to me, “Of course, we economists work on the principle that everybody is ultimately selfish,” which is extremely depressing but explains a great deal. So, while economists and

believe we must believe that people are ultimately good, and that they want to do the right thing. I heard an economist once say to me, “Of course, we economists work on the principle that everybody is ultimately selfish,” which is extremely depressing but explains a great deal. So, while economists and politicians … [sound cut] society exists within the economy, it is the other way around. So, look at how we can make things very, very congruent, where we have each of us contributing in society on the things that matter to us, participating, that’s how we will build a strong society, and support a strong environment That’s it. Thank you [Applause] ISABEL: Thanks very much to all our speakers. I was really interested in the idea that, of course, museums are long term institutions. They tended to collect over decades and even hundreds of years, but that notion that museums are changing and we need to be thinking long term and those points about museums needing to inspire choices [sound problem] … so we are hope for questions. We have a roving mic so please indicate if you would like to ask a question and I think somebody is monitoring the live stream as well for questions. When you get the mic, please let us know your name and where you are from Could I just ask in the round, what is not working well enough? NEW SPEAKER: I will kick off – feel free to disagree, that’s totally fine – I think [sound problem] … is that okay? So I think museums have become very good at engaging people with the museum, slightly at the cost of connecting people with the world and so if we look at – if museums slightly struggle to find a purpose for themselves – that’s better. For argument’s sake could I just have a quick show of hands of who has come across the sustainable development goals? Great. That’s a lot better than it has been in the past Wonderful. So 17 ideas to transform our world by 2030, so that no one is left behind, you know, climate action is in there, equality, loads of good stuff. Nothing to disagree with. It’s just the best agenda for us to connect with and I think we should all be talking about it, and maybe not talking about it all the time but certainly connecting our work with it NEW SPEAKER: I think in terms of programming, I think museums are quite timid, I think they could be more adventurous, more ready to deal with controversial topics and not perhaps always aspire to be quite so neutral and even-handed as they tend to be NEW SPEAKER: Yes, I would agree with that but I think particularly, say, if you look at archaeology and the way that is portrayed – and been guilty of this in the past – archaeology reflects that climate has changed but often that is used without explicitly saying it, but to say: well, it’s going to change again so what have we got to worry about? There’s quite a big risk around that. Particularly I spent a long time in the environmental sector, there’s a big disconnection between museums and the environmental sector that has been allowed to grow up, if you like, for whatever reason. Somehow we need to tackle that connectivity back into the environmental movement NEW SPEAKER: I think there’s still a problem with a culture of loss in our sector. Many of our museums’ origins come from loss. I used to run a rural life museum in Suffolk and the whole of the collection was about loss rather than about change, and the same applies to industrial museums and the whole reason that these things were collected back in the 60s and 70s was reflecting a tremendous change in our industrial society or our rural lives, so – and I still think in many parts of our sector we haven’t got over that loss and if we frame the climate challenge as loss then we are going to fall into the same trap that we found ourselves today. I remember reading a book 30 years ago The Heritage Industry, and there are still sectors that haven’t moved on from that culture of loss and I would challenge us as a sector that we really must be about change, about transition and not about loss ISABEL: Who would like to ask a question?

NEW SPEAKER: Kate from the Museum of Reading. We have traditionally developed a rural life museum and one of our objectives was to reengage our museum from the rural communities from which we came, we are based in an University in a very diverse town and I hope we have been successful in that One of the things we have set up is a programme that invites our newly engaged rural communities to think with us about our programming and we have been very open about this This really has not been about me reading The Guardian and suggesting to them, and they have produced a series of issues that they are now busy programming with us and slightly to my amazement our next one will be on Brexit. They’ve decided they want to do that We’ve already just done a project on mental health in rural communities and rural isolation and then also one about planning so very, very different from the agendas that our rural communities were originally part of this process In my mind, and I would just be interested to know how you feel we can kind of transform that and hook that on to The Happy Museum agenda because it sort of chimes with something that Tony you are talking about here, and I feel concerned that we want to – I’m absolutely delighted, we are a safe place and a forum for them to be having these discussions, but where do we go from here? TONY: You are already there and I think what we found a lot – Hillary found – [sound problem] – I found myself in a room of people going above and beyond what we were suggesting in the first place so a lot of this is framing global issues in a local context … [sound problem] NEW SPEAKER: There’s a whole world going on out there, looking at our – is that better? Yes, sorry. So looking at parish plans and conservation areas assessments, and local communities being engaged in them so how do you link museum into that and what do you do even with the products of that? So we had lots of millennium maps, beautiful maps done by the millennium by the local parishes. Where are they? Deteriorating on church walls So there’s something around how you engage with the community planning, design guide, all that stuff that’s out there and I don’t think we’ve cracked that yet and if anybody has really good ideas it would be interesting to hear them NEW SPEAKER: Thank you. A couple of years ago I did some workshops on collection-based audience development and we had a very interesting case study actually, somebody from a rural museum who was saying that they were really trying to engage with communities of Eastern European workers who were coming and actually they were just finding it very hard to relate the stuff that they actually had in their collections to the community that was now around them and there just seemed to be a complete mismatch really between the physical stuff that they had and the needs and interests of their audience, which I think sort of comes back to the point that I was making before, but I think there are, you know, opportunities for really imaginative reinterpretation and re-examining of some of this material that we have. There are all sorts of stories locked into this material and how it came to be and what it’s doing there, which we are possibly not tapping into. So trying to make more creative use of the stuff that we’ve got but then also not just doing programming but saying how has this manifested in the material culture which is actually our kind of raison d’etre HENRY: Just to say something about where museums tend to be situated often in city centres, access to green space is one of the measures of deprivation, that museums can – I’m not sure, I am just making this up now – but if museums can be that kind

of place to help introduce people to the countryside when they maybe don’t, it wouldn’t – so in Manchester not long ago we had a group of kids in and one of them said the countryside – they thought the countryside was somewhere you had to pay to go If it’s not part of your world, you are not going to know. And I think that as we move towards an increasingly urbanised population, increasingly urban, you know, worldwide, rather than this idea of urban and rural as some kind of hard and fast split, what are the bits that we can take forward from our sustainable communities? NEW SPEAKER: A really interesting project was in Reading, the other side of Reading, catchly titled, “Where’s Reading heading?”, and the university and council and communities explored the kind of town they wanted it to be into the future so you had these professionals who would be at the sharp end of decision-making alongside communities being inspired by the cultural heritage of the city and the place. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m now kind of a middle-aged man, I’m finding that I’m harking back to work that happened in the 90s as great, so the work of Common Ground back in the 1990s and Sue Clifford and Roger Dickens’ work was amazing They talked about local distinctiveness, and they talked about: no your place, hold your ground. It’s as though some of those values and work needs to be reinvigorated, but if you don’t know about Common Ground’s work it is absolutely inspirational and really worth checking out ISABEL: To follow on NEW SPEAKER: I think there’s something important about museums being true to their purpose but not absolutely bound to their collections because I think it’s somehow how interesting work follows because sometimes you have to take at that leap of faith, being true to what the museum is about but not necessarily feeling that you are overly constrained by your historic collections Any more questions? Hillary? NEW SPEAKER: Hello, I’m Will, I’m from Roman Baths and what do you think the role is of front of house, what is their role in getting them to engage with this project? We’ve created a group to promote and we want to know what your views are on that subject HENRY: I will kick off, so I mentioned before about this thing – this isn’t about us trying to turn the public into deep green environmentalists, this is about how can we meet people from their own position, front of house, visitor services staff are completely crucial in this, because what we are looking at here is how you deploy some of the science, if that’s what people want, but how it absolutely always must be emotionally intelligent, so how we don’t frighten people because that’s worse than doing nothing Who needs it? But how we can make sure that it’s a constructive experience. That’s crucial NEW SPEAKER: I just think at the most fundamental level it’s about making everybody welcome and feel like actually they belong there, and there is quite a bit of research that for many people they do find cultural institutions quite intimidating places and actually are sort of wondering, you know, whether they should even be there in some cases and actually I think the front of house and the way that front of house staff and volunteers engage and welcome actually can make all the difference between an environment that sort of encourages some of the sorts of things that we have been talking about and a slightly uncomfortable experience NEW SPEAKER: Is that better? There you are, see. The light doesn’t need to be on. It’s technology! It’s interesting, I think, what is front of house? Very different in different places. I come from a museum where you had only a volunteer front of house so what does that mean in comparison with

somewhere with lots of staff The best experience I had was in the Republic of Ireland, a different business model, big room, big three-dimensional model of the landscape and the front of house was the guy with the Irish blarney who told you the stories about it and although he had obviously learnt his script he told you all these other things and actually that way of engagement was fantastic, and it reinforced all those messages about: we are here, going to have an exciting time. The challenge particularly when you look at somewhere like St Albans and later with Torquay is how do you make that happen somewhere that’s constrained by money and we found it by trying to find volunteers and trying to get that enthusiasm to be able to tell the story so you are partially interpreting things It’s a bit like the National Trust guide thing which I hate because they sit in the corner and intimidate you but if you can get it right I think it’s a really critical role – I can say that because I worked for the National Trust for a while – there’s a really critical role for front of house. The problem is resource because sometimes you are just dealing with a huge queue of people waiting to buy a ticket TONY: Will’s Twitter feed is really worth following actually, and yes, it’s really good. I don’t think there’s anything specific regarding, you know, the things that we are – the subject that we are talking about today but some really basic things like ensuring front of house are involved in project planning so you’ve got a representative from front of house every time you develop a programme; you encourage your front of house to use – so we use a tool called empathy mapping where we put ourselves in the minds of the potential visitor of a certain type and then we would get all our front of house staff and back of house staff to use that as a means to try and understand our visitors a bit more so I think it’s making sure the gap between – you know, the thing between front and back of house is more permeable, making sure that front of house have a say in how you develop work, and allowing individuals at front of house to flourish as Phil said. You know, we are appointing people with their personality as well as their knowledge and we’ve got to let both of those things shine through NEW SPEAKER: And I think front of house are critical in terms of telling you whether things that have been planned are actually working. They are brilliant for informal evaluation, so yes, absolutely support what Tony is saying about the importance of getting front of house teams or representatives involved in planning of exhibitions and programmes. Any more questions? NEW SPEAKER: Hi, Hillary Jennings, also from The Happy Museum. It’s a thought really that has just come to me while you were talking rather than a question but it would be interesting to hear your response. One of the things with thinking about climate change as a challenging subject is sometimes to come at it at a tangent and what I’m hearing and heard last week was very difficult discussions around collections, what we keep and maybe don’t keep and how we manage that and then also difficult conversations in broader life around consumption, around our relationship with stuff, and whether there’s something in those tangential conversations that would make both of them easier if you could bring together a conversation around museum collections and around our relationship with stuff. It might be a way into both of them. Just a thought HENRY: Okay, so it is on now, I think. Yeah? So sustainable consumption – it is on. I am like a stuck record with these S TG, so there’s a big project run by Rodney Harrison at UCL about assembling alternative futures for heritage because heritage is thought of in different ways in different practices and looking at a way that we can kind of bring these together which is taking the idea that heritage is the building blocks for the future and so it’s like taking practices from one sector and seeing how they can be applied elsewhere, so one of the people who is involved in it is a professional declutterrer. She declutters people’s houses and I think she is working with a museum in Yorkshire. That’s a bit of a guess but it’s a great project and it’s looking at how can we – so when we talk about the future it means really different things to different people and how can we think about and plan for long term futures? KEVIN: Yes, and I think Alison was talking about people are now starting to question the model of GDP and that economic model of growth I think is now in the spotlight and I think that when the Mendoza review calls for sensible growth of collections,

what might that look like? And I think we are just really at the start of thinking through how we might develop rather than necessarily grow our collections, and I think we just really don’t have the tools or the processes, or frankly the language at the moment to think about what, you know, sustainable collections development across the sector might look like, who might be involved, the sorts of criteria that we might need and what we have at the moment is just a situation where 1700 museums are all trying to take individual decisions about what to acquire and what to dispose of without any means actually of knowing what everybody else has got in a routine way, and that doesn’t really seem to be sensible, so I think as part of the rolling out of the recommendations in the Mendoza review we need this sort of strategic framework and partnership across the sector and I think one of the things that we should be thinking about is: okay, well how might that help us get from where we are now to where we perhaps want to be in decades to come? PHIL: Yes, I think it’s hugely challenging and one of the things to me particularly is about the culture of the profession and I’m just as guilty as anybody else. You know, I have worked in museums where you cannot even throw away that little tiny bit of wood that was once in the Victorian cabinet to screw it to the wall because it might be useful in the future, and how do we get from this culture where we are inherent collectors to a culture where we accept that we can’t go on endlessly collecting and how do we engage with people in that? I think an awful lot of our public probably aren’t aware that we are still collecting a lot of the time. Particularly not when you look at natural sciences stuff or things like that, so there’s a double-edged challenge that is quite hard. I don’t have any easy solutions TONY: I think if the HLS stop funding new museums it might mean we look more sustainably at what we’ve got. They take a seven-year holiday on funding new museums and investing in either social capital within our – that we create, or really addressing some of these collections issues, he says in the middle of a massive capital development. [Laughter] But I think it would probably channel our thoughts a little bit more and, to be fair, in the Mendoza review they do talk a little bit more about investing in the current infrastructure but we are in this – you know, we are just as guilty as the rest of society around growth You know, we are building new museums, we’ve built more museums over the last 20 years than we have done for the last 100 and as a profession we are locked in this cycle of growth and we need to look at ourselves as much as we look at the world ISABEL: I think we’ve got time for a couple more questions NEW SPEAKER: Hi, I’m Libby. I’m studying Service Design at the Royal College of Art. I have a question. So you mentioned the SDGs, the sustainable development goals, and I work very closely with many organisations trying to work towards them and I know that the 17th goal is partnerships for the goal, which is this giant metagoal of trying to get partnerships for all the other 16 goals, and through my work – I think it was with NASA – they’ve come out with this research that says that the best way to make successful discoveries and be successful in a team is to have these massive – not massive, it can be any size – but interdisciplinary teams where you have people from the extreme ends of the bell curve and I’m sorry if my lack of museum industry knowledge shows here, but I’m wondering: are there any projects currently at the moment which link museums to people or organisations who you wouldn’t necessarily think of when you think of climate change or museums, to kind of create this sort of space where you can engineer serendipity and create this positive change ? Yes, that’s the question HENRY: Yes, so last week there was a thing called the Science Centre World Summit in Tokyo Who would organise that to be at the same week as the MA Conference? It’s just bonkers So there they signed off on a thing called the Tokyo Protocol which is about science museums in support of the SDGs and so the conference was themed around the different goals and so we had one that was about partnerships for the goals, goal 17, that I was in, and the

thing that I was trying to say with that is that museums occupy – so I work in a university museum and at the same day I could be talking to someone from the United Nations or I could be talking to a member of the public, not to say that those are at opposite ends of a spectrum but it’s to say that those two people would never come across one another, so this is one of the strengths of museums and I’ve set up an initiative called Museum Partnerships for Future Earth that’s one of these – you know, it’s a knowledge platform for partnerships for the SDGs. It’s very flexible at the moment, nothing has worked out but I’m really interested in looking at how we bring together basically people and organisations that are interested in a forward-looking frame, how we can work stuff out together, so it would be great to talk to you KEVIN: So I think that museums have been working with artists for quite a long time but I think that there is huge scope to do more for museums to bring in a variety of artists in different – working in different media, so really explore issues in a way that actually you can’t really get to the heart of them through nicely written text and properly structured exhibitions. Actually, artists can sort of come in from left field, can really cut through to the emotional heart of a subject and I think there’s a lot more scope for doing that, not just in art galleries but in interventions and sort of artistic comments on existing museums and, you know, perhaps routinely involving artists in the creation of new galleries, for example PHIL: Yes, it’s interesting It’s combining several things that people were saying before, one of the things we were trying to do in Torquay was to link the museum to the green space within the town or city, use projects that were going on that were run by other people, so the sports sector and particularly things like the Kurdish community. There was a whole study done on how much they were scared of the natural environment in Britain and didn’t understand it, so it was working with sort of social services round that, and then using art as one of the key vehicles for engaging people in that, and the connectivity for the museum was the fact that we could host those explorative workshops and we could host the products that were produced by them and we could, if you like, demonstrate that community connectivity and get people to pay at the door to come in, which helped TONY: I suppose, yes – yes, is the answer, it’s a great thing we should do and I think Wellcome Collection offers – there’s plenty of really good examples of Wellcome, of what you’ve done. We were involved in a project called Stories of Change, now called Energetic, working with a the chairman of a big clock maker, so we work with clock makers, neuroscientists, with print makers, with a company that makes components for Formula One racing cars, all together in a couple of days talking about manufacturing for the future. One of the things that museums have in spades is this ability to contextualise current events in terms of the long term. You know, through our collections, we are able to explain why we have reached the place we are. It’s working in an interdisciplinary way which will look at where we are going next but I don’t think you can do it on your own, I think you are absolute right ISABEL: Time for one final question NEW SPEAKER: My name is Chris I’m from an organisation called Culture Unstained. I think I’m sort of forming a question which is around interdisciplinary and intersectionality as well, and I’m findful that we often talk about climate change as opposed to climate justice and climate change are not this other environmental and ecological on their own but are also human and will disproportionately impact people in the global south, people of colour, and operates along colonial lines and a lot of collections within our museums and our cultural institutions have originated along similar lines as well and

there’s possibly an opportunity to have a slightly more critical engagement with those collections. And also maybe problemmatising this traditional idea of the museum as a neutral [sound problem] question what is the value of that space to communities or marginalised communities where that relates to their history and their heritage and then are seeing the effects of climate change play out along similar colonial lines and is there some kind of richer narrative we can build in that space which maybe draws upon indigenous people’s knowledge or the knowledge of BAME communities and really bringing that to the fore more? HENRY: Absolutely, so one of the projects we are involved in is called Troubled Waters which is about had he thereage in terms of accelerate d climate change and it’s working with groups in Britain but also Kiri Kiribas, your standard coconut armour with the puffer fish, and it’s a research project, looking at what that community would need from us and what story would they like us to tell so that it’s not a story of, you know, a passive underprivileged people who – because these people will have to be – they will have to move either voluntarily or they will be forced to move so they say – if they move they might have to dig up all their ancestors and take them with them and it’s very painful and complex and that puts a big responsibility on museums such as our own, so I was saying what would you want us to do with this? He said: well, just look after it. And find ways to tell this story But as we are moving – as things will change increasingly rapidly, our museums are going to become more and more out of date. They are not going to – this idea that collections reflect society, they just don’t. But they are just going to become fossils of a time past , so I totally agree with you KEVIN: You mentioned earlier that one of the kind of things that people say when talking about climate change is: oh well, the climate has changed in the past and nothing disastrous happened, and I think one of the things that we can use collections for is actually showing the huge impacts that pass climate change which are much more limited and this is the point that actually a very small change in the past has led to huge migrations and changes in environment and actually those changes are reflected in our collections the point being that actually the changes to come are far greater than anything that has been seen already, so actually by looking at the widespread changes on human societies that past changes have caused, you actually get some idea of the scale of the likely future impact PHIL: Yes, and I think that it’s quite right, the big challenge particularly in having been in a smaller museum is you don’t have the knowledge within the staff of what the collections can tell you, so how do you glean those changes and then how do you portray things on a really big scale, so Torquay had the home of the earliest Homo sapien fossil in Europe, and two miles away that had all been a huge plain and is now the sea. How do you tell it’s going to change and how do you get over the politics, for example we had a big collection displayed in the traditional way with a lovely story about the people who went out and collected it in a very colonial way with only a tiny little apology, but we’ve started talking to the local authority about changing things – they were our 30% funder, and I have to say they were a Conservative authority – and they were not happy with the idea of us doing something radically different so there’s some interesting politics sometimes in this, and being brave about – I don’t think a museum can ever take an impartial view. I think we always interpret something, we interpret social history for each generation, but we have to

attempt to reflect – particularly in the science agenda the consensus of science We don’t want to get into that situation that we saw on the BBC of one climate change deny ier equally given the same prominence as one climate change scientist so I think it’s something equally important – NEW SPEAKER: [comment off mic] PHIL: Not so much. Nigel Lawson TONY: The only thing I can add is yes, museums are complicity in colonialism and privilege because we are these repositories of assorted acquisition, theft or however you want to describe it, but we are where we are and most town museums in our country have got material from around the world and we need to tell the story of how we acquired them and be very honest about how we acquire them and how we label them, how they are documented, and we are just going through a programme in Derby called “Your Place in the World”, and we have a collection of about 1400 objects from around the world and we are basically taking these objects for walks around the city and visiting all the communities in our city where we know there is low participation in our activities and we are having conversations with diverse communities about what these objects mean to them even if they are not connected with the places where they live, so that there is this feeling of a connection with the wide are world out there than just your locality and I think this goes right back to the sorts of things we talked about earlier on about placing global challenges in a local context so that we can all feel as though there is something that’s relevant to us ISABEL: Thank you. That’s time up, so thank you for great questions and to thank our panel for their excellent provocations, thanks very much [Applause] CLAIRE: Thanks to our panellists and to Isabel. We’ve already heard so many important points being raised this morning. This afternoon, we are going to get much more into what individual organisations are doing and how they are dealing with these kind of issues and what practical responses are happening. So we will come back at 2.00. We’ve got lunch now. Lunch will be served outside. Take the time to talk to everybody, talk to Good Energy and check out the exhibitions. And sign up for your discussion groups and we will see you back here at 2.00pm. Thank you