Dip in! – click the links for recordings and reports

What if Museums could become engine rooms of the imagination?

With Rob Hopkins, activist and writer; Hannah Fox, Derby Museums and Lucy Neal, Theatre maker and activist

Creative Civic Connections for Climate Emergency

With Debbie Bourne, Transition Kentish Town, Farhana Yamin, Environmental Lawyer and Climate Activist and Sue Sheehan, Transition Camden, Bridget McKenzie, Climate Museum UK and Anna Bunney, Manchester Museum

From Footfall to Footprint

How we might re-think cultural value with Liz Zeidler, Thriving Places, Tony Butler, Derby Museums, Peter Lefort, Carbon Neutral Cornwall and Mandy Barnett, Culture Cubed.

Good Work: How might we re-think our work and our working relationships for good?

How do we find our purpose – and how do we pursue our purpose in a changed world? With Thanh Sinden, Jo Hunter, 64 Milliion Artists and Hannah Lee-Chalk, Manchester Museum.

Breaking the Mould – fresh ideas for the climate emergency

How might we work with greater imagination and creativity, agility and impact to address the multiple emergencies we’re facing? With Sally Shaw Director of FirstSite, Colchester and Dr Bettina Wittneben, University of Oxford.

The role of museums and culture in a time of self-reflection

With Tom Crompton and Ruth Taylor, Common Cause Foundation

How can Museums Tell a New Story of Place?

With Isabel Carlisle, BioRegional Learning Centre; Clare Cooper, Cateran Ecomuseum and Alice Briggs, Ceredigion Museum

Museum as Host

How can museums open up difficult conversations, work with contested narratives and connect with community around the climate emergency? With Ruth Ben-Tovim, socially and ecologically engaged artist, facilitator and activist and Sarah Woods, playwright, activist and performer.

Background to the conversation programme

In 2021 Happy Museum contributed to the Season for Change, a UK-wide cultural programme inspiring urgent and inclusive action on climate change. Responding to that moment of uncertainty and potential we invited museum practitioners to consider the part they and their organisation might play in making lasting change. With the following provocation we opened up conversation and discussion, challenged existing norms and connected with a range of thinkers from within and beyond the museum sector.

‘As you emerge from lockdown, what will you do, and what will you stand for, to contribute positively to society and the environment? Museums, galleries and heritage sites are much more than visitor attractions. For decades people working in and with the sector have been unhappy that their main measures of success, and often their main sources of income, have been how many people come through the doors. Pre-Covid ‘normal’ was wrecking the planet and stressing-out organisations and their staff. Much of society’s Pre-Covid ‘normal’ papered over profound issues of inequality and social justice. How might you enact changes which increase the benefit you bring to people, to communities, to the local area and to the planet?

Alongside this programme of conversations, No Going Back bought together thirteen museum teams from across England and Wales in a Peer Learning Programme building on the particular power of museums to draw on past stories of rapid transition and transformation; and inspiring museums and their communities to shape new stories and actions to address the climate and ecological emergency. 

Commissioned by Season for Change, led by Artsadmin and Julie’s Bicycle, and supported by Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

www.seasonforchange.org.uk #SeasonforChange @jointheseason_