UN Live Museum reaches Rio de Janeiro

A diverse public ranging from public officials to representatives of the Deaf Association in Rio gathered at Museu do Amanhã, in the center of Rio de Janeiro, to discuss and bring forth ideas for the future UN Live Museum.

“The UN belongs to the people of the world”, once said former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. It is under this premise that the UN Live Museum initiative is willing to convey UN’s history and legacy: creating a UN museum that connects people all around the world through UN values and catalyze global efforts towards achieving the SDGs.

The UN Live concept has been developed through collaborate effort by leading global thinkers and is supported by UN Live Secretariat, based in the UN City in Copenhagen. The initial phase of the project has seen contributions from many people around the world, with encouragements and ideas from citizens on how a UN Museum should look like. This bottom-up process has reached Rio de Janeiro in a workshop funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the RIO+ Centre professed active participation in the latter.

Michael Edson is a co-founder of the UN Live Museum who has worked in some of the world’s largest museum and is the project manager in charge of the referred workshop, “Internet has increased diffusion of knowledge to a stage where citizens can take responsibility and ownership on knowledge creation and dissemination. We want a global museum built from the people to the people”, he said.

The Workshops are being held in order to gather feedbacks and ideas from a diverse public, from in and outside the UN-system. At Museu do Amanhã, this process was held in a dynamic and interactive manner, starting with an introduction of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs (the protagonist of the future UN Live Museum) and followed by free interaction between groups that were formed to pitch a quick solution to Michael’s ambitious question: How would a UN Live Museum look like if you had 1 year, 10 people as staff and 2 million USD to implement it?

The workshop was entirely translated from English to Portuguese and Brazilian Sign Language, making it accessible for members of the deaf association to interact freely, and for Michael to perceive local population’s inputs being given in their own language, including a homeless representative that exposed pressing complaints on inequality and intolerance, “I believe a UN Live Museum should open doors and welcome homeless people with no prejudice”, she demanded.

The RIO+ Centre shared experiences and know-how on bottom-up processes and practices on how to make sure local civil society’s voice are held accountable throughout this process and how to advance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in peripheral areas, based on the three piloted projects implemented by the RIO+ Centre. The upcoming “Creative Approaches to Leave No One Behind" Toolkit will provide a working methodology used in these projects and will be shared with UNDP offices and relevant organizations, including Michael Edson himself, for replication and contribution to triangular and south-south knowledge dissemination.