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Directors Forum 2019: Future thinking & SDGs

13 November 2019 - 15 November 2019

Every autumn, the senior managers of Ecsite's Full Member institutions meet for a two-day seminar to exchange views, make trends and discuss key developments in science engagement: this is the Directors Forum, a carefully orchestrated mix of strategic talks, peer learning, networking and local highlights.

The next edition will be taking place on 13-15 November 2019 in Trondheim, Norway, for 2.5 days of high level contents and networking on the theme "Future thinking - the Sustainable Development Goals as an opportunity for developing organisations". Registration is now closed.

Check out the detailed programme and and follow #EcsiteDF2019 happenings on Twitter.

The event is hosted by the Trondheim Science Centre in partnership with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and is open to Senior Managers of Full Ecsite members. 

The Conference venue will be the Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel - but we will of course get a chance to discover the Trondheim science centre on our first evening.

Programme highlights

Two keynote speakers will be sharing their thoughts on the theme. Biology professor Hans Stenøien from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology will tell the story of humans' biological and cultural relationships with their environments from deep history until today, attempting to build an optimistic framework for addressing the sustainable development goals and exploring storytelling as a method for organisational change. Head of Learning and Public Programmes at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and Board member of the Happy museum project, Nathalie Ireland will challenge us to rethink the mission of science engagement, sharing her experience of developing methods for the museum sector to respond to the challenge of a changing world. Natalie Ireland will address the ideas behind the Happy Museum Project, how her museum embarked on this process and the mindset it provides for re-positioning our missions, brands & partnership networks.

The programme also entails parallel workshops on the SDGs and sponsors, storytelling and wellbeing respectively; and an opportunity to exchange with the Ecsite Board.

Social highlights include a "daring act of improvisational vocal music, improvised sound design and space images" at the Trondheim science centre's planetarium, an organ concert in the Nidaros Cathedral and a dinner at the Grand Hall of the  13th century Archbishop Palace. Our hosts promised that Norway in November could be cosy!

More about the theme

Raising awareness of sustainable development is part of many science engagement organisations' public engagement activities. Yet beyond this obvious public offer component, the sustainable development agenda opens up other opportunities to develop our organisations. As a leader, are you fully leveraging this potential?
Two years on from the Tokyo Protocol that saw science centre networks around the world commit to help deliver the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2019 Ecsite Directors Forum will offer Senior Managers of European science engagement organisations a collective moment to concentrate on the organisational and strategic level of SDG implementation.
Together we will examine both internal and external opportunities offered by embracing the SDGs. Internally, how can our organisations adapt the way they function? How can we as leaders equip and support our teams with empowering visions and structures? Externally, how can we use the SDGs as a way to rethink our positioning or brand? Can the SDGs change the way public and private stakeholders perceive us and allow us to build new partnerships and access new sources of funding?

More about Trondheim

Trondheim is an international city with a charming historical city centre, great nature scenery, a vibrant art scene and a booming gastronomical community. Branding itself as the technological capital of Norway, the city has a long tradition for education and science. 

Starting with the cathedral school in the 11th century, the establishment of the first scientific institution in Norway, the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters in 1760, the legacy continues through the country’s largest university, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), with around 40,000 students and 7,000 employees. Trondheim is home to a vibrant start-up community, as well as several global high-tech companies. With a population of 200,000 inhabitants, the city is known for being a great place for networking, community building and sharing ideas, and a place were great ideas can come alive.


  • #EcsiteDF2019
  • #SDGs
  • sustainable development
  • partnerships
  • organisational change



Vitensenteret i Trondheim

Trondheim Science Centre disseminates the love for science and technology to children and the general audience. At the centre you can explore about 150 interactive installations, use our maker space and visit the only 3D-planetarium in Norway. We work closely with the municiplaitiy, the NTNU University and local businesses. We provide courses for teachers in experimentation, technology and design, and we offer both education and different kind of science shows and activities for borh formal and informal learning.

NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet

The NTNU University Museum originates from the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters founded in 1760. The museum aims to develop and share knowledge about nature, culture and science as the basis for sustainable development. The museum safeguards and manages its scientific collections and capitalizes on them through research, public outreach and education. The Museum is located in a classic museum building from the 1860s in the centre of Trondheim. The museum has strong research departments and large collections in natural history and archaeology.