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insights: science centres

One Planet Museon’s latest exhibition reaches out to the whole family. It’s end goal? A healthy and sustainable future for our planet. Maarten Okkersen takes us behind the scenes


s a leading museum for science and culture in the Netherlands, Museon has accumulated a large and diverse collection. Although laying a sound foundation for many varied opportunities in programming and education, this comprehensive scope has also contributed towards a rather fuzzy public image. Added to this, developments within society have forced us to readdress our role in the community and the sustainability of our concepts. So we began asking ourselves, and our stakeholders at Museon, how we could become more socially relevant without abandoning our longstanding traditions. How could we continue to showcase the beauty and diversity of our planet while addressing major contemporary issues like climate change, nationalism, isolationism, war and conflict. We came to the conclusion that to stay relevant, we should present our established collections in more interactive ways, combined with a growing focus on temporary blockbuster 72

exhibitions. This brought about a mindshift in modus operandi to remodel our educational facility into a popular and relevant modern day science attraction.

On Topic Adopting this new approach meant that we needed to find a way to exemplify our contemporary core displays in an appealing way while incorporating relevant physical and social geography in an exhibition aimed at a family audience. The solution became apparent when the United Nations launched its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. Over the next 15 years, the SDGs aim to address 17 global social and economic development issues: poverty, hunger, health, education, global warming, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanisation, environment and social justice. Using this as a framework, we weaved together 17 content concepts and exhibits to produce a comprehensive, consistent and topical narrative that


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