Step 2: Institutional policy

Systemic solutions
Creating systemic solutions on which the work of the institution will be based is worth doing for practical and unifying purposes. Operational documents, procedures or checklists with ecological behaviour indicators developed by the whole team will make work easier. In this process, it is good to maintain the bottom-up approach, i.e. to collect the solutions used in individual activities and by teams, and to collect the needs that employees notice. It is worth discussing proposals for implementing new practices and allocating time to check how they work and how to improve them. The strength of grassroot activities lies in the fact that we get to know, understand and implement certain behaviours through our own practices. We understand them and we see the need to introduce systemic solutions. This is important, especially when you are introducing new practices. Take a holistic view i.e. pay attention to the fact that the work of individual departments and teams affects each other. Treat the institution as an organism dependent on the outside world. In the texts from individual areas, we present a number of possible solutions whose prime function is to be useful. Treat them as a useful map, adjusting to your own specificity and needs.

Mutual support in finding solutions for climate
It is worth sharing knowledge, experiences, and the challenges we face. Applying the optics of the commons policy, including noticing natural and biological degradation and agreeing to react, frees us from logic focused on scarcity or exclusion! Sharing the knowledge we acquire or the solutions we implement does not weaken their impact, this knowledge grows through the exchange of thoughts, ideas and possibilities. That is why it is important to create exchange and discussion networks and support one another in reaching solutions adapted to various institutional requirements. Initiate regular, e.g. monthly mornings/ breakfasts/ afternoons for the climate – meetings for a wide group of representatives of institutions, organisations and individuals. Such networks in other areas function successfully and facilitate cooperation, e.g. the ADESTE network around the topic of audience development or ‘Breakfasts and Talks’ organised by NGO Stocznia. Make sure that the team representation is rotational and consists of several people. Rotation and equal access to meetings for all departments prevents knowledge from being ‘locked’ within one specialisation, e.g. educators. Knowledge, as well as motivation and commitment will ‘spread’ throughout the team, irrespective of the type of work performed. Be meticulous in this regard. Different competences and professional experiences mean different perspectives and sensitivities.

Narrating change
In the climate movement, one of the roles that cultural institutions can take on is talking about changes in practices and daily habits in order to make them universally acceptable and bearable, so that they become the new norm. This could take the form of including information about the practices we implement in press releases. If, when organising a specific event, the institution purchased less materials because it uses an exchange system, include this information in the promotion. If you change your communication and promotion strategy to minimise the use of platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, because you develop other forms of promotion, clearly communicate it. Information about changes in practices with a short justification will popularise them (see: COMMUNICATION AND PROMOTION). 

An equally important form of building a narrative about the necessary changes is taking up this topic in the programme activities, e.g. exhibition, educational programme, performance. Search for words and build stories to promote new values. It is better to incorporate individual practices into the programme, rather than creating dedicated projects for them. The point is not to follow the fashion on specific topics, but to include them in the way you think about the content of your programme and to convey the values behind them. Speak directly about the sense of responsibility we face as humanity and which we assume as an institution. (see: PROGRAMMING)

The method and type of fundraising used by the institution should responsibly follow the direction of the challenges faced. Climate protection and taking care to radically reduce the rate of extinction of yet more species of animals, plants and fungi, as well as the depletion and pollution of natural resources, requires bold actions from us. This means the need to revise and discontinue sources of financing if there is evidence of environmental abuse. Pay special attention to financing from large or mega corporations. It is worth investigating the sources of income generated by these companies. Keep in mind the legacy of environmental movements calling for fossil-free arts and culture such as Liberate Tate, Fossil Free Culture, BP or not BP. We describe this topic extensively in a separate text. (see: FINANCES)

This may also interest you