New Horizons: Happy Museum International

Since 2011 Happy Museum has supported the development of museum people and practice, placing wellbeing within an environmental and future-facing frame, and rethinking the role that museums can play in creating more resilient people, places and planet. Our work has been guided by a recognition that the wellbeing of people, place and planet are interconnected, and that museums have an important cultural role to play in shaping a sustainable future.

Over this time we’ve directly worked with 70 museums through creative commissions, action research, training and peer exchange. Their responses have been as diverse as each of their distinct identities and collections – a panoply of possibilities, all pointing towards happier people, communities and a thriving natural environment.

As this community of practice has grown, we’ve received more and more interest from museum colleagues abroad seeking to explore future-facing themes in their programming and identity. We’ve seen how increasing public awareness about climate change, migration and our globalised economy has provoked museums to rethink their role in addressing 21st century challenges. It’s posed the question: how much more impactful would our collective efforts be if we were able to connect and share practice, learning and expertise not only within the UK, but with colleagues working in different cultures and environments, facing different challenges and creating new opportunities?

So we’re attempting to map this ever-growing international movement, and we’d like your help! Let us know what you’re doing, or what museums you know are doing, to contribute to social and environmental wellbeing by contributing to our scoping survey HERE.

By understanding emerging practice around the world, we also hope to identify how best we might respond to the growing demand for an international community of practice – a network or affiliate scheme – that can connect those leading the way in museum transition.

To complete the survey please follow this link: https://goo.gl/forms/PiEO0V6fV3Q8Q2b63