Festival of Change panel discussion with GEM and Engage:
How museum and gallery learning can contribute to saving the planet


GEM, the voice of heritage learning and Engage, the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education, have partnered up for this year’s Festival of Change programme at Museums Association Conference to produce a panel session on how museum and gallery learning can contribute to saving the planet together with leaders in environmental sustainability.

This session will take place on Thursday 3 October 11:00-11:45 in the Exhibition Hall meeting space.

We are delighted to welcome the following panellists:

  • Tony Butler, Executive Director Derby Museums & Founder of The Happy Museum (Panel Chair)
  • Bridget Mackenzie, Culture Declares Emergency & Curator of the Festival of Change
  • Dr Liz Hide, Director Sedgwick Museum
  • Dr Jeff Price, Senior Research Fellow at Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UEA and member of the IPCC
  • Kathryn Moore, Deputy Chair, GEM

Panel chair Tony Butler founded The Happy Museum project in 2011 to create a community of practice to explore how museums could contribute to a society in which well-being and environmental sustainability are at the forefront. This knowledge and experience will help to inform the direction of the conversation which will be focussed on the capacity of museum learning to promote understanding and discussion on the topics of sustainability and preserving our earth. In particular, we will be thinking about museum collections and how they can be utilised to bring awareness and consciousness to the public of the current climate crisis we are facing. We’ll also explore what the scope is for museum learning to contribute either through its content or its delivery model to this important topic.

GEM represents 1,500 museum and heritage educators who in turn, engage with hundreds of thousands of children, young people and adults through a diverse range of provisions. Could all of these interactions be used to promote sustainability? Also, how can we as a sector contribute to education for sustainable development (ESD)?

Many participatory projects and collaborations are being held worldwide in response to the youth led demonstrations on climate change taking place around the world. We will explore the opportunity that museums and galleries have to be a part of that important conversation and the civic duty that inherently falls to museum educators to speak about pressing topics.




For more information, email devon@gem.org.uk