What is the role of museums in helping societies transform towards a sustainable future? International Museum Day is an important occasion to reflect on this question and share big ideas on how museums, working together, can realize their full potential as a leading force in transforming our world. This is particularly relevant in the current “Decade of Action” to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030, without leaving anyone behind.  

Unlocking the potential of our collections

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We know that to arrive at a truly sustainable future, more must be done to change mindsets and behaviours. How can our museums best use their collections to support this effort, for the benefit of our society? How can they contribute meaningfully to the Sustainable Development Goals and measure this contribution?

Our Collections Matter is a global initiative, connecting the dots between collections and sustainable development. With Agenda 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals providing a valuable framework, we want to support collections-based organizations in turning their sustainability aspirations and commitments into action! 

At the heart of this initiative is the Our Collections Matter Toolkit: a resource library that can help you unlock the potential of collections to be powerful drivers in making positive change - enhancing social cohesion, promoting climate action, supporting creative industries, and contributing to personal and collective wellbeing.

The toolkit contains everything you need to set goals, plan and deliver actions, and monitor and evaluate activities, linking your work back to international efforts to create a more sustainable future. With around 280 tools already available, more are being added all the time! 

On 18 May 2022, the International Museum Day, tune in to our Instagram Stories for a peek at the Our Collections Matter Toolkit, as we spotlight five diverse tools linked to the themes of People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership. We hope you'll see working with collections in a whole new light - part of the global sustainable development agenda - and be inspired to join our growing network dedicated to showing why collections matter!