Possible Culture workshops

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About the Possible Culture workshops

This website shares activities used in workshops to help organisations and groups tackle the Climate & Ecological Emergency and sustain our future world. The activities are delivered through the Possible Culture training programme of Climate Museum UK.

The Museum aims:

  • To support cultural & civic workers to address the challenges of engaging audiences with climate change and other threats to the biosphere
  • To educate and empower audiences in the ways they might learn, create and take positive action.

We deliver training workshops for staff teams and groups, bringing some of the Museum collection and a selection of these activities.

As well as half-day or full-day workshops using these tools, we can also offer short talks or longer, more bespoke commissions.

Following an initial talk or workshop, we could run a second session to involve you in installing the pop-up Climate Museum. This creates a tangible way to learn through devising an appropriate experience for your audiences. You can open this up to public for a short time to gain audience feedback: what do they want you to do about this Emergency? What kind of experiences do they find meaningful and useful?

This is unique training, and valuable because of the complex nature of the Emergency, and the way it challenges everything we take for granted.

Contact climatemuseumuk@gmail.com to discuss what we offer in more detail.

The activities shared freely

A good number of the tools and exercises are made freely available here, to help you prepare for a workshop and to disseminate the ideas. We also share them so as to hear your feedback, to enable us to improve them. We recommend that if you decide to use these independently you bring in an expert trainer with strong grasp of the ideas and tools.

Find them in the full list to the right, or in these three sections:

  1. Grasping the situation – tools to learn and think about the Emergency
  2. Cultural response – developing programmes and creative work to respond to the Emergency
  3. Changing organisations – rethinking organisational mission and values, and adapting your ways of working to be more resilient

Also find Other resources – inspiring initiatives or ideas.

Why are the workshops called ‘Possible Culture’? 

This refers to the idea that cultural organisations may continue to exist despite the Emergency by looking squarely at those challenges, imagining the future, and being relevant to their communities. They might:

  • Take a ‘Possitopian‘ approach, not being stuck in either wishful Utopian or despairing Dystopian positions about the future.
  • Work with communities to shift towards more regenerative economies.
  • Explore ethical forms of revenue generation.
  • Provide safe, inclusive spaces for envisaging possible futures, and for helping communities take action for eco-social justice.

The continued existence of Arts & Culture organisations depends on the possibility of a habitable biosphere. This possibility is looking threatened well within this century. A training workshop using the Museum collections and these tools might go some way to encouraging teams to work together towards the possibility of sustaining a habitable biosphere, and to consider what will need to change.

What’s the background?

I’m Bridget McKenzie, founder of Climate Museum UK, still in development with a small group of volunteers since 2018.

In 2006, I founded Flow Associates – consultants working to help cultural organisations thrive, with strong interests in future-proofing, place-making, science engagement and creative capacities of young people. Before this I managed learning programmes, for example, at Tate and the British Library.

I support Culture Declares Emergency (the sector declaring a Climate & Ecological Emergency), Culture Unstained (seeking to end oil sponsorship of culture) and ONCA. I’ve been writing, speaking and training about the role of culture in tackling climate change since 2008, and am a Julie’s Bicycle Creative Climate Leader.

The workshops are delivered by two or more facilitators, myself with trusted associates.

 

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