…building capacity that fosters
a ‘culture of sustainability’
• enhancing quality of life, within the limits of Nature •
• non-profits • educational organizations
• businesses • governments
From the WV blog…
July 18, 2020
Heritage Planning for Sustainable Cultural Impacts
John Dichtl, the President and CEO of the American Association for State and Local History, wrote an inspiring post in early 2019, about climate change and its implications for the heritage sector. It was published on the AASLH blog site (click HERE). In his post, Dichtl paints a big picture related to the phenomenon of climate change, asserting a cause/effect relationship between human culture and our transforming climate. John invokes insights coming from history, science and social science – three central pillars of human knowledge creation – as being capable to helping to guide humanity forward through the treacherous waters we find ourselves in the early 21st century.
In his call to action, John suggests that the heritage sector can and should embrace climate change as a focus for our public engagement efforts. Similar to how our sector has focused on the vital topics of equity, diversity and justice in our society, climate change belongs on that list of essential issues of our time. His assertion that history and related disciplines provide a solid, evidence-based foundation that is driven by a pursuit of truth, is a strong argument for enhancing the roles of heritage organizations in grappling with the forces that are shaping contemporary culture. Certainly current trends in using false statements to manipulate citizens and governments are worrying. Not only are false statements dishonest, but they are divisive and promote violence. Humanity has more than enough to deal with at this point in time, without the chaos produced by normalizing fictional facts. If humanity has a chance of achieving a sustainable future, we must build and maintain a solid foundation of values and behaviours that are guided by a common understanding of the difference between truth and falseness.
Presentation to the 2018 Rotary International Conference on the UN SDGs
In June of 2018, Rotary International held its gigantic annual conference (this year held in Toronto, with 26, 000 delegates!). There, the board of RI made a big announcement! The organization has now embraced the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the framework for its local and global efforts.
As part of the program, Candace Matelic and I had the privilege of presenting a session at the conference, entitled “Community Well-being: The UN Sustainable Development Goals”. Candace is a long-time contributor to the museum field, especially in the area of community engagement and change management (as well as a member of this group). It was great timing that our session on the SDGs, which she and I workshopped last year at the joint conference of the Alberta Museums Association and the Western Museums Association, resonated so well with Rotary’s big announcement.
For those who are not familiar with the workings of Rotary, it is a global organization with over 1.2 million members in thousands of communities. Rotarians are committed to providing relevant service that helps meet community needs. This intersection of business, which constitutes the heart of humanity’s current economic model, and community, positions Rotary as a close potential ally with those museums that are committed to addressing community needs. The potential for a values-alignment between these two forces – Rotary and museums – seems rich.
Award for Museum of Edmonton Strategy
In October of 2016, the Alberta Professional Planners Institute gave an Award of Merit to WorldViews Consulting and its partner Intelligent Futures (a Calgary-based urban planning firm). The Award, in the category of ‘Special Study’, pertains to strategies developed for the Edmonton Heritage Council as it stewards the creation of a City of Edmonton Museum. What is most unique about this initiative is that this is a museum without walls. Instead of being a building that functions as a destination for visitors during their leisure-time, the museum engages citizens in processes of sharing stories, imagining futures, discussing issues and building connections that are important in day-to-day life. Read more about the project – Edmonton City Museum Strategy.
WorldViews Consulting is Part of ’17 Goals’
WorldViews Consulting is a partner in the ambitious initiative called “17 Goals”, which is a global response to the United Nations’ adoption of its long awaited Sustainable Development Goals – September 25th, 2015! Led by the AtKisson Group, organizations from around the world are lending support to help realize the UN’s ambitious program of fostering a culture of sustainability. Individuals and organizations are offering their skills, resources and energy (some at little to no cost) in a spirit of collaboration and commitment to tackling our global/local challenges and opportunities. Check it out…
WorldViews is Now a ‘First Explorer’
using the Flourishing Business Model Canvas
For the past several years, I have been a member of a fascinating group that has been creating a new organizational development tool – the Flourishing Business Model Canvas – designed to cultivate a culture of sustainability through business. Initially, I was attracted to the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Design Group, centred at the graduate program in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto. There, a friend and colleague, Bob Willard, along with initiator, Antony Upward, (and others) were creating this tool for designing organizations that could balance their goals of economic, social and environmental well-being. Although this work came out of the business world, I could see that such an approach to an integrated set of value propositions would serve non-profits as well as for-profits. Now, with the beta-version of the ‘canvas’ released, I have become a First Explorer and have been working with a number of non-profits, mostly museums, and have found the tool to be very useful in generating critical discussions about purpose, strategies and measures of success! By next year, the canvas will be revised again, a book will be published as a guide, and the basic materials will be available online under a Creative Commons licence for free. Stay tuned!! Until then, check out more at flourishingbusiness.org and ssbmg.com.
2014 Research Fellow (Museum Studies) at Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico
From November through December, 2014, I was honoured as the first Research Fellow in Museum Studies at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During my time at the museum, I brought my long-standing interest in visitor-based creativity and audience research, as well as my more recent work in how culture informs the direction and future of our society. In this context, museums have the potential to develop new tools and approaches that can engage communities on issues that are defining our world today. I conducted a number of workshops, both with staffs of the O’Keeffe museum and other local cultural organizations, as a way of generating new opportunities for these organizations to build creative and enduring relationships that can serve the wellbeing of the communities. Essentially, the work was designed to help the museum foster a culture of sustainability in Santa Fe. For a summary of my time a the O’Keeffe Museum, click here.
Pyramid Planning: an approach to building a ‘Culture of Sustainability’
“The experience of building a pyramid provided remarkable clarity and direction in a realm where these things are often lacking… recommended for anyone concerned about the state of the world.” says Glenn S.
Douglas Worts has consulted and worked with some of the most prominent cultural organizations in the world:
- The Getty Museum;
- Victoria & Albert Museum;
- Art Gallery of Ontario;
- Royal Ontario Museum;
- Virtual Museums of Canada;
- Canadian Museums Association;
- American Alliance of Museums;
- Oakland Museum;
- Indianapolis Museum of Art;
- Dallas Museum of Art;
- and many more
WorldViews Consulting draws on the expertise of Douglas Worts in a diverse range of specializations:
1) Museums and Art Galleries, including:
– strategic planning
– public program development
– fostering public creativity
– audience research
– exhibit development
– planning that fosters a ‘culture of sustainability’
2) Teaching at universities & colleges on topics of museums, culture & sustainability, including:
University of Toronto, York University, Trent University, Simon Fraser University, Thompson Rivers University, George Brown College, JFK University, Michigan State University, Washington University
3) Sustainability training, including:
Global Reporting Initiative
Leadership for Environment and Development
UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development
Working Group on Museums and Sustainable Communities
WorldViews Consulting Services, including:
- workshops on sustainability, adaptive renewal and the role of culture in our lives
- keynote addresses
- visioning sessions
- strategic planning
- sustainability assessments of existing operations
- development of sustainability indicators and other resource material development
Contact: Douglas Worts – douglas (dot) worts (at) worldviewsconsulting (dot) ca