A collaboration between the POLIN Museum, the Muzeum Śląskie and We Are Museums.

“Museums! Take Action on Environmental Change Today”

Responding to the challenges posed by climate change, the Muzeum Śląskie cooperating with a curator from the POLIN Museum and with the support of the We Are Museums community, started to initiate in May 2019 a long-term action addressed at the local community of Katowice and the Silesian Region.

During the conference We Are Museums 2019, guest speakers were invited to share their own experiences and debate on the role of museums in the green revolution through plenary sessions, panels and workshops. The Climate Collective outlined on stage the planned model for the project, connecting the resources and experiences of museum professionals, artists and activists in common action with the local community. The presentation concluded with a proposal of manifesto “Museums for climate” developed by both the Climate Collective and representatives of Polish museums.

Schedule and Actions

On 10 May 2019 the Climate Collective – an interdisciplinary team consisting of museum specialists, scientists, artists and activists – worked on a model which could be implemented in cooperation with the local community of Katowice/Silesia in response to climate challenges.

The discussion was attended by Patryk Białas (activist), Katarzyna Bizacka (activist/Muzeum Śląskie), Ewa Chomicka (POLIN Museum), Michał Łuczak (artist), Diana Lelonek (artist), Aleksandra Matuszczyk (City Museum of Tychy), Katarzyna Podyma (Municipal Museum in Żory) and Piotr Skubała (University of Silesia). The Climate Collective investigated how museums could become the agents of pro-environmental activities in their local communities and what barriers are encountered by those who want to initiate work for the environment. The group also put forward some suggestions for the ‘Museums for climate’ manifesto.

On 27 and 28 May 2019, international guests were invited to run keynotes and panels were presented to the international community of museum experts at We Are Museums 2019 at the Museum Slaskie in Poland.

Therefore, the conference kick-off with a series of inspiration vision of today’s museum’s issues including the participation of Robert R. Janes, Founder and Co-Chair of the Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice (Canada) in video and Michael Peter Edson, Co-founder of the Museum for the United Nations (United States) in videoconference.

The plenary session “Museums as green revolution leaders” gathered guests speakers including Dr Kristin Alford, Director of the MOD Museum (Australia), Morien Rees, Museum Development Advisor at the Varanger Museum and Chair of the ICOM Working Group on Sustainability (Norway), Bridget McKenzie, Founder of the Climate Museum UK at Flow Associates (United Kingdom) and Ewa Chomicka representing the Climate Collective set up by the POLIN Museum and the Silesian Museum (Poland).

Among the workshops, participants were able to attend the session “Be the Captain Planet of your institution” by Artur Povodor, sales strategist at Cultware Sp. Zoo. (Poland).


On 29 May 2019, the representant of the Climate Collective gathered at We Are Museums with a small group of museum experts already working on the climate issues or willing to. During this day, the group worked on ways museums could activate their green potential but also how to engage with the local communities.


“Turn local communities into climate champions”