New free guide: Understanding the SDGs: a guide for galleries, libraries, archives and museums

I am very happy to announce a new guide, that you can download for free at the link below.

This guide has been written to help demystify what the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030 are, and what they try to achieve. It explains the 17 SDGs and their targets in detail, sets out key concepts and definitions, and relates them to the human rights and international agreements that they aim to support. It also provides suggested activities (based on the Seven Key Activities from ‘Museums and the Sustainable Development Goals’) for museums and other cultural institutions, such as galleries, libraries and archives to maximize their contributions towards the Agenda and SDGs, and to help reduce and eliminate any negative impacts they make.


It accompanies two closely related guides:
•‘Museums and the Sustainable Development Goals: a how-to guide for museums, galleries, cultural institutions and their partners’ (2019) is an introductory guide to Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, how museums and similar institutions are relevant to the SDGs and how they can benefit from working to achieve them. The guide sets out a framework of Seven Key Activities, that represent museums’ and cultural institutions’ main opportunities to contribute to Agenda 2030 and the SDGs.
•‘Mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums: a results framework’ (2021) expands on the Seven Key Activities, to show how they can be used to set high-level commitments to sustainable development, and to use the most relevant SDG targets to set goals, make plans, manage, evaluate and communicate activity for sustainable development.

These three guides are complementary: you can use ‘Museums and the Sustainable Development Goals’ as an introduction to the SDGs, and use the six-step plan and Seven Key Activities to decide what you want to do. You can use ‘Mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals’ to make concrete plans and commitments, and monitor activity towards them. You can use this guide to understand the SDGs and targets thoroughly, in the context of Agenda 2030 and the human rights and international agreements they aim to promote and achieve.

There are seven and a half years left for the SDGs. Let’s get to work!

Published by Henry McGhie

I have set up Curating Tomorrow as a new business. I know that lots of people, organisations and networks care about the communities they are based in, broader social issues and the natural environment. Curating Tomorrow takes museum-based skills of curating, and applies them to the wider world. It is about helping people and organisations move farther, faster, together to build a better world.

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