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Sustainability and science centres: capacity building

The ultimate goal of involving our communities in shaping the kind of future we want to live in is highly sought-after. Using the UN sustainable development goals as a framework, this highly interactive workshop focuses on creating and strengthening sustainability initiatives at science centres. With a mix of presentations, small group activities and discussion, participants will first work together to strategise ways that science centres can address major challenges such as climate action, gender equality, and responsible consumption and production. Through collaborative planning sessions and peer feedback, participants will then draft a sustainability plan or project for their organisation. The workshop is appropriate for professionals in a variety of roles at their science organisation and for those with a range of experience related to sustainability.

A more detailed programme can be checked here.


Session speakers

Director of Sustainability
California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco
United States
Bagley will provide an overview of sustainability science and education for sustainability in science centers. She will also share examples of the ways sustainable thinking can be integrated across an organization--including professional development, public engagement, and scientific research--based on the work at the California Academy of Sciences. Bagley will also work with participants individually and in small groups.
Rae Ostman
Associate Research Professor
United States
Ostman will serve as the overall moderator for the workshop and will facilitate its interactive elements. She will also share best practices and project examples from science center projects around the world based on her work with a sustainability professional development fellowship at Arizona State University.
Image of Chris Dunford
Sustainability Engagement Manager
At-Bristol Science Centre
Dunford will provide a case study from an organization that is deeply committed to sustainability, with a focus on museum operations, community partnerships, and organizational change. In 2019, We the Curious became the first science centre in the world to declare a climate emergency, with a pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030. Dunford will share how and why the organization decided to make this move and what impacts it has had. He will also work with participants on their own plans.
Education and Exhibitions / Deputy Director
Den Haag
Visser will provide a second in-depth case study from a European organization, with a focus on public engagement (families/school groups). Late 2016, Museon opened One Planet, an exhibition focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The museum also has a traveling exhibition available as open-source content for other museums. Visser will discuss the development process, evaluation findings, and impact of this work. He will also work with participants on their own plans.