Why Cultural Institutions are Part of the Global Climate Action Summit

When the World comes to San Francisco in September for the Global Climate Action Summit, the country’s cultural institutions will welcome everyone. Museums, aquariums, arts associations, heritage sites, and science centers will be hosting many of the 200+ events associated with the Summit, this global meeting of “actors” – national and subnational – working together to chart how scaling change can move from individual commitments to partnerships.

On the 12th of September, signatories for We Are Still In are gathering at the California Academy of Sciences for a full-day of work to share discoveries, learn about implementing change, and to create partnerships that will last beyond this few-days gathering and allow them to create change back at home. These partnerships will cross political and geographic boundaries, cultural and ideological ones as well.

It is fitting that a cultural institution hosts this event. These institutions offer resources and abilities that other sectors in the WASI coalition do not to the same degree. Museums, zoos, gardens, aquariums and historic sites offer engaging and welcoming spaces for gathering and discovery, they are leaders in informal education about culture and science that align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and they are trusted resources for their communities. That’s why, in April of this year, We Are Still In (WASI) adopted #MuseumsforParis as the Cultural Institutions sector in the WASI coalition.

During the WASI Forum, The Field Museum staff will be sharing its example in supporting city-wide partnerships. Other cultural representatives, including the New England Aquarium, Vizcaya, Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Francisco Zoo, and the American Association for State and Local History, will be part of cross-sector conversations as ambassadors for our field and as learners in this global movement.

I’ll be posting from the Forum and other Summit events, and reporting out in a field-wide call in the week after the event. Please follow updates at @greenmuseum, @wearestillin and #MuseumsforParis.

And if you’d like a piece of the action, please sign on to We Are Still In. We’ll be glad to include you in our partnerships, make sure you find resources and information to begin or expand your commitments to sustainability and resilience in your museum, and give you a platform for sharing your successes.

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