About these tools

‘Will Be’, Tim Etchells, 2010

Tools for arts practitioners and cultural organisations for facing and sustaining our future world.

Possible Culture underpins the emerging Climate Museum for the UK, being set up:

  • To support cultural & community workers to address the complex and challenging area of engaging audiences with climate change
  • To educate and empower audiences in the ways they might take action on climate change and other threats to the biosphere

Click on the Menu to the right, to find the Possible Culture tools, or find them in these three sections:

AND also Other resources – additional tools, initiatives or ideas

More about Possible Culture

It refers to the idea of a cultural organisation that will continue to exist despite environmental challenges by doing anticipatory work in order to maintain its relevance:

  • They will take a ‘Possitopian’ approach, not being stuck in either wishful Utopian or despairing Dystopian positions about the future, but looking imaginatively and openly at the widest cone of possibility
  • By looking honestly at what is happening in the world, and imagining the future, these organisations will see that the path of relevance is an ethical one.
  • They will proactively work with communities to shift towards more regenerative and circular economies.
  • They will explore ethical and participatory forms of entrepreneurship in order to sustain themselves when or where public funding dries up.
  • They will provide safe, inclusive spaces for envisaging possible futures, for learning from past and indigenous cultures and from the capacities of nature, and for helping communities take action for eco-social justice.

The continued existence of culture in general, and of cultural organisations, is dependent on the possibility of a habitable biosphere. This possibility is looking threatened within this century. So, cultural organisations have to contribute to the possibility of our, and their, continued existence. These tools, or exercises might go some way to encouraging teams to work together to face this possibility, and to consider the necessary changes.

What’s the background?

I’ve devised these as potential ideas, or have tried and tested them, in my paid or voluntary work with cultural organisations.

I’m director of Flow Associates – consultants working to help cultural organisations thrive. Our clients include the Happy Museum Project and Invisible Dust. I also support organisations Culture Unstained which seeks to end oil sponsorship of culture, and ONCA Gallery which provides a space for artists to engage with social and environmental challenges. I’ve been active and vocal about the role of culture in tackling climate change since the 1990s and am a Julie’s Bicycle Creative Climate Leader

Contact me, Bridget McKenzie, on bridget.mckenzie@flowassociates.com if you would like to discuss training, facilitation, research or speaking on any of the themes covered in this resource.

“The time has come for museums to become active participants and problem solvers in the current Age of Disruption. The problems and uncertainties are unprecedented, yet the possibilities and opportunities for change and renewal have never been greater.”

Robert Janes, Museums in a Dangerous Time