Several museums from São Paulo and, especially the eighteen museums managed by the Secretariat of Culture and Creative Economy of São Paulo (SCEC), in partnership with the Social Organizations of Culture, cultivate and practise actions of sustainability as a result of responsible managements which are committed to the international paradigms expressed in the social, cultural, economic and environmental dimensions of the sustainable development. However, the levels of maturity and accuracy on the about five hundred museological institutions from the territory of São Paulo are different, what leads us (positively) to side with the directives of the Efficient Ibermuseums Program of Sustainability. We have assessed as convenient the proposal of a sectorial policy of SCEC, expressed and sustained by data of reality, which systematizes and guides the museums’ practices for the sustainable development.
Purposes and principles
Restate the strategic position of the museums as spaces for the dialogue, the debate and the democratic interaction of the citizens that guide and optimize the sustainable development in their local and regional territory, harmoniously with the wide web of players of cultural, social and environmental public policies. These are essential principles for the museums:
- The appreciation of human dignity;
- The promotion of citizenship;
- The accomplishment of the social function;
- The appreciation and preservation of the cultural and environmental heritage;
- The universality of access, respect and appreciation to the cultural diversity;
- The institutional exchange.
(2nd Article of the n. 11,904 Article, from January 14, 2009, which institutes the Statute of Museums).
Common Conceptual Sustainability Framework
The Common Conceptual Sustainability Framework (MCCS in Portuguese initials) materializes a part of the areas of work of the Ibermuseums Program concerning the Sustainability. Its development considers and appreciates the international previous documents about the institutions’ sustainability and museums procedures; the first researches on the theme at the Iberoamerican context; the arrangement of the institutional environment (laws, norms, institutions and public policies) interfaced with the theme, according to each country of the region. These are consistent premises, consensually made to guide the definition of policies and strategies as well as to construct indicators. The proposals of the Ibermuseums still bring some light to the current experiences guided by concepts and values related to de sustainable development in the institutions and in some museums processes in the Iberoamerican. The MCCS distinguishes four dimensions for the sustainable approach: social, cultural, economic and environmental. The diversity of the Iberoamerican context show, with its potentialities, some important challenges so that a great effectiveness may be reached, such as: to construct a common conceptual interpretation with basic directives for the institutional management of the cultural and natural heritage; to improve the means and conditions for the short, medium and long-term planning; to prioritize and apply resources efficiently for this purpose; to invest into training and improvement of qualified human resources; to be even more opened to the participative management, among others.
Starting Points of the SCEC
During the initial seminars – which had technicians from SCEC, representatives of national and international museological institutions, members of Social Organizations of Culture from the State of São Paulo, academic researchers and professional of museums participating – we could reflect together on the current severity of the socioenvironmental conditions and at the same time, share real experiences about preservation and resignification of the cultural heritage based on the sustainability and, be able to see a new perspective of open potentialities with effective Iberoamerican mobilization of museums for the sustainable development. Both seminars were held at the headquarters of SCEC.
Seminar I: “SUSTAINABILITY IN MUSEUMS: FROM CONCEPT TO PRATICE” (November 22, 2019): The seminar was focused on the Line of Action of Sustainability of Museological Institutions and Processes developed by Ibermuseums, aiming to raise awareness and mobilize the professionals from the museum field to mind the subject, which is seen as a priority for SCEC. Panel: Antonio Lessa, coordinator of UPPM; Patrícia Albernaz, IBRAM representative; Roberta Saraiva, ICOM-Brasil Director and Davidson Kaseker, director of the Technical Group of Coordination of SISEM-SP. The program is available in the “Activities Developed” area.
Seminar II: “COMMON CONCEPTUAL SUSTAINABILITY FRAMEWORK IN MUSEUMS” (January 24, 2020): In the seminar, it was mainly discussed the importance of the attendees to be in groups of work organised from the social, cultural, economic and environmental dimensions of the sustainable development. Panel: Davidson Kaseker, director of the Technical Group of Coordination of SISEM-SP; Renata Motta, president of ICOM Brasil; Luiz Palma (UPPM). After the presentations, the attendees were gathered in four different groups after having read the Common Framework, and they spent some time discussing strategic points and proposing solutions for the subjects of each group. At the end, rapporteurs presented the proposals, promoting debates and asking for comments. The program is available in the “Developed Activities” area.
To proceed with the mobilization and formation of technical groups to advance with the definitions and directives of the Sectorial Policy of Museums Management and Sustainability, and to start the next phases, we present the first produced items discussed in the groups below:
Group I – ENVIRONMENTAL DIMENSION
- Multiplier role of the museums as spaces which promote reflections on the change of patterns in favour of the environment;
- Challenge to convert into examples, which may promote their commitments with the environment and the communities;
- Reduction of the consumption of non-renewable energetic resources;
- Mitigation of the environmental impact on the modus operandi;
- Recycling of materials when putting up exhibitions;
- Reduction in the consumption of electrical energy/water;
- Reduction in the production of solid residues;
- Integration of environmental aspects on the themes of communication.
Group II – ECONOMICAL DIMENSION
- Management based on the ethical principles, through aware choices which ensure the growth and longevity;
- Management based on the efficiency and efficacy, with systems of monitoring which aim the economic sustainability;
- Optimize the financial resources for accomplishing their mission;
- Seek the financial independence through the offer of services;
- Improve themselves as products and as experience for the tourism and recreation.
Group III – SOCIAL DIMENSION
- To hear to bring near;
- To map to get to know;
- To consolidate partnerships;
- To Integrate the community with the museum;
- To enhance the relation;
- To break the isolation;
- To know and to develop integrated projects for a combined and participative action;
- To mind the factors which characterize the community;
- To include the players in the responsibility of sustaining, stablishing, preserving. Through programs, projects, where everyone’s participation may bring contribution, with their potentialities and interest in a collective work, in other words, a product of study and final development;
- To enhance the educational actions, because they are essential strategies for seeking positive outcomes;
- Make visible the consequences, as changes need to be observed and seen so that it may be possible to assess the contents and knowledge achieved;
- To expose results, as only when there is transformation, when the result is finally showed, that the success, the trust, the credibility is achieved.
Group IV – CULTURAL DIMENSION
- The culture as a factor of transversality of processes, from people, identities, interpretation of the world, so that their needs may be satisfied and their need of expression and interaction may be solved;
- To optimize the best use of human talent;
- To intensify their forming and preventive nature;
- To appreciate the diversity as a vector of social transformation;
- To reflect to practices and actions, to debate, to inquire, to mobilize and, especially, to take part in the social creation of a culture to construct a more sustainable world.
NOTE: As predicted, at the end of the Seminar II, the coordination of the works received 23 new participants with large representability in the museological field, interested in integrating the Committee of Policy and Directives for the Sustainable Management in Museums.
Organization and Assignments
Committee of Policy and Directives for the Sustainable Management in Museums
Assignments: Definition of Policy and Directives for the Sustainable Management of Museums lined to the national and international parameters. It will be formed by representatives and decision-makers from the Public Administration, professional of museums from São Paulo (public and private), members of Social Organizations of Culture, and members of councils and organs of the museological field, researchers and experts.
Group of Work for the Sustainable Management in Museums
Assignments: Organization and Coordination of the process of constructing and development of the Strategic Planning for the Sustainable Management in Museums aiming the achievement of objectives in determined and defined moments. It will be formed by representatives of UPPM/SCEC with scheduled participation of members of the Committee of Policy and Directives for the Sustainable Management in Museums.
Planning is a process of reflection and decision on one or more issues from the reality that is aimed to be changed with technical-political actions. The planning defines the way that must be followed so that the intended objectives may be reached and it involves a set of initiatives, such as the development of plans and projects that must be reanalysed during all the process, even during the introduction of it, as it works as way of circularity of the method.
The method chosen for the process is the SSP – Situation Strategic Planning, by Carlos Matus . The SSP has showed important results when used by the public sector, where the presence of complex problems among the sectors and bad structure prevails. It is a strong methodological process and it motivates collective commitment, whose efficacy is guaranteed by the participation of all levels of decision in the activities of the “Social Game”, as it is called the construction process. It is a different method and opportune to the reformulation, introduction and assessment of the Strategic Planning for the Sustainable Management in Museums.
In the links below, you can download and learn more about the initiative:
 See “Support texts”.