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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 2019 edition took place on 13-15 November in Trondheim, Norway and was hosted by the Trondheim Science Centre in partnership with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. 65 participants gathered to discuss the theme "Future thinking - the Sustainable Development Goals as an opportunity for developing organisations". 

Browse through the pictures, check out the programme, get a glimpse of social media activity on Twitter and read our summary.

Save the date: the next edition will be taking place online on 29-30 October 2020. It will be hosted by Technopolis. Registration will be opening in September 2020.

Programme highlights

Two keynote speakers shared their thoughts on the theme. Biology professor Hans Stenøien from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology told the story of humans' biological and cultural relationships with their environments from deep history until today. 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 challenged 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. She addressed the ideas behind the Happy Museum Project and the mindset it provides for re-positioning our missions, brands & partnership networks.

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

Social highlights included an evening at the Trondheim science centre, an organ concert in the Nidaros Cathedral and a dinner at the Grand Hall of the  13th century Archbishop Palace. 

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?


  • #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.