Museums have no borders,
they have a network

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June 5, 2019

Plenary | Curating Sustainable Futures

Museums constitute an existing and wide network in all regions of the world. As they constitute a wide network in all regions of the world, museums are ideally situated to play a central role in helping achieve the ‘UN’s Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.

Through their engagement in initiatives directed to long-term environmental protection, to social justice and to equitable economic issues and exchanges, they can form a critical mass of actors that have the potential to support multiple co-benefits for societies, the environment and the economy.

Increasingly, contemporary museums of all genres are working both individually and in collaboration to help create better futures on a local, national and global scale. To achieve a more sustainable planet, museums are drawing on their unique collections and working with local and global communities and other partners, to foster community engagement and education that explores, imagines, frames and proactively generates sustainable futures. Within the new UN 2030 Agenda museums are, and have the potential to act as, information resources, communicators, educators, facilitators, activists and advocates, and as users of natural resources to achieve these aims.

Considering the various local and global aspects of sustainability, this session will explore the different paths and innovative strategies museums are following -and can follow- to support society in this period of unprecedented challenges. So much has been achieved, and so much more can be achieved, as museums are at the nexus between tradition, innovation and communities to nurture sustainable futures. All museums have a part to play and can maximise our collective impact and benefit. This panel will encourage all participants to reflect on how they can get involved in creating this shared story of positive transformation.


Between the 1st and the 7th of September 2019, Kyoto (Japan) will host the biggest and most important conference of museums in the world. More than 3.000 museum professionals and experts from all international backgrounds will participate in this triannual event, the 25th General Conference of ICOM.  After 24 successful editions, ICOM’s flagship conference has become a worldwide reputed hub for exchange about the topical issues museums tackle today, as well as the most innovative solutions. Early bird registrations will be available until the 30th of April. To find more information on the conference and to register, check the ICOM Kyoto 2019 website.

ICOM Kyoto 2019 website


Morien REES
Museum Development Advisor, Varanger Museum, Chair ICOM WGS


Bonita Alison BENNETT
Director, District Six Museum

Professor, School of Fine Arts, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Member ICOM WGS

Cecilia LAM
Director at the Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Founder, Curating Tomorrow, Member ICOM WGS

Mamoru MOHRI
Chief Executive Director, Miraikan – National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Japan

Principal, Sustainable Museums / Executive Committee Member, We Are Still In, United States


Main image: Humanity Wall Gant by Matteo Paganelli