It was acknowledged that resilience was often pigeon-holed as a funding issue and it was key to see resilience in a broader context of global challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity and fiscal instability ? and to look at residence beyond the doors of the institution.   In that context, how can museums support individual, institutional, community and societal resilience ? what learning will be needed to weather the potential challenges ahead?

We began with a discussion of what resilience means to us ? recurring words and themes were sustainable, happy, shared, connected and empowered.

We then questioned what museums can bring to learning ? what makes them different?  What do they add?

  • Publicly owned ? shared social space
  • Often non-commercial space
  • Neutral – safe space
  • Space to be expansive and non-judgemental
  • Hold examples of the past ? what does ?history’ tell us?

We talked about how people learn best ? how can museums provide an enhanced learning environment?

  • Emancipate, engage and empower the individual
  • Listen ? value people’s input
  • Bring people together
  • Help them to learn for themselves and support others
  • Use stories and expressions ? ways of making sense of the world
  • Be more messy and filthy bring apocalypse as well as the beauty
  • Peer support is the key to engagement
  • Engage as widely as possible ? in a pyramid of learning the broader the base the taller the pyramid
  • Acknowledge the necessary transition of individuals from aversion to excitement into learning
  • Teach people to fish don’t just give them a fish

Museums have opportunity to embrace formal as well as informal learning ? as part of museum’s business plan ? core rather than fringe.  Example – 3000 students at Weald and Downland.  Being a true centre of learning ? enriches your role and activity

Some felt that sharing and learning ?within’ the sector isn’t good so ….how can we lead by example when we are so bad?

In interesting reference came around the need for museums to embrace something called Panarchy ? an adaptive cycle which lies at the heart of resilience and takes in the dual, and seemingly contradictory, characteristics of all complex systems ? stability and change ? Google it to find many references and explanations!

How do we make sure that we are achieving transformative resilience not reactive?  It takes 21 days of repetition to create a habit ? how do museums’ model behaviours ? showing by doing, being the change?

It is time to recover the notion of historic estates as sustainable entities

Preserve sharing at the core of buildings and collections

Getting cute with pester-power ? if the next generation are more savvy about what is change is needed tap into that.

Key question is can we be part of shifting the current over-consumption paradigm without losing museums’ focus on material ?stuff’?  More in Mission Models Money’s blog following the symposium.

Leave a Reply