Cultivating Sustainability in Museums’ Digital Renaissance

Institutions dedicated to the preservation and safeguarding of our cultural heritage, such as museums, serve as invaluable assets for the enhancement of mental health, overall well-being, social cohesion, and cultural enlightenment within our society. The intrinsic value of culture for the betterment of our communities has never been more evident than in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. During this global crisis, those fortunate enough to have access to the internet have increasingly turned to online cultural offerings provided by both public and private museums.

Remarkably, museums worldwide have demonstrated enduring resilience in the face of the pandemic-related challenges by embracing digital transformation initiatives. Among the numerous strategic measures implemented, the utilization of digital platforms, including virtual tours and active engagement on social media, have emerged as the most popular strategies employed by museums in maintaining their connection with audiences and generating essential financial resources.

As underscored by UNESCO 2020 report on museums’ activities, fostering a more balanced digital policy necessitates a comprehensive reflection, encompassing the digitization of collections, the maintenance of up-to-date inventory systems, the establishment of a robust IT infrastructure, dependable internet connectivity, and equipping staff with the necessary digital competencies.

However, Institutions embarking on or considering digitization projects must have a well-defined understanding of how such initiatives align with their overarching goals and mission. Unfortunately, in the rapidly evolving landscape of museum policy reforms, many institutional documents, including strategic plans, missions, and digitalization protocols, have not undergone the necessary review and alignment with a future-proof, sustainable approach.

To address the critical challenge of aligning numerous institutional documents and strategic plans of museums with a holistic Sustainable Development approach, Eduix Ltd., in collaboration with HeadAI, has pioneered an innovative artificial intelligence (AI) tool to assess the extent to which these documents incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their vision and strategic programs.

The AI-powered SDG evaluation tool offers museum experts a quantitative and qualitative analysis, accompanied by intuitive visual representations of how their institutional programs align with sustainability objectives. Museums provide the relevant documents for analysis, and the AI system processes this data, comparing it to the official SDG descriptions established by the United Nations in 2015. The ensuing results inform discussions on reinforcing existing SDGs within the museum’s programs and enhancing emphasis on those areas where SDG integration may be lacking. Ultimately, the primary objective is to steer museum policy reforms towards actively promoting the SDGs.

This groundbreaking analysis tool stands as a globally unique resource, applicable to institutional planning, project evaluation, and decision-making processes related to the alignment of museum policies with the Sustainable Development Goals.