The IKEA Foundation and the Museum for the United Nations – UN Live invite people to lift their voices to address climate change

The world’s biggest conversation on the climate crisis launches simultaneously in New York City, Mexico City and Kigali

NEW YORK. 21st Sept 2022. The Museum for the United Nations – UN Live, supported by the IKEA Foundation, has launched its first permanent public engagement program – “Global We”, to activate the world’s largest and most inclusive conversation on climate change.

Unveiled at New York Climate Week, the “Global We” program features immersive, technologically ground-breaking “conversation portals” (portable studios), three of which launched today in New York City, Mexico City and Kigali. The remaining 25 will activate globally in the lead up to COP27 in November.

The portals will invite participants from all walks of life into conversations with one another, to share experiences and solutions that may help unlock some of the world’s most complex challenges around climate change.

The unique immersive technology will enable people from around the world to connect through face-to-face conversations across locations as diverse as Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, Nakivale in Uganda, and Erbil in Iraq. It will give people whose voices are often unheard an opportunity to speak to one another and connect with climate leaders, formal decision makers, and politicians in an intimate and inclusive setting.

“Global We” aims to galvanize “the many voices” – including those most affected by climate change as well as those rarely engaged. A group of partner institutions from the target 25 countries, together with climate activists and leaders, will help inspire people to get involved and use the portals. Many of the conversation that takes place around the word will be recorded, and multiple perspectives will be captured and brought to ‘formal leaders’ of the world – both at COP27 and beyond. Thereby, the perspectives of many more people can influence the crucial negotiations that usually happen behind closed doors. Additionally, a portal will run throughout negotiations at COP27, enabling people from around the world to continue to engage – even directly with negotiators – throughout the decisive meeting.

“Global We” is rooted in the notion that the most important thing we can do to tackle the climate crisis – or any issue – is to connect people and create mutual understanding which is the basis for collective action and solidarity. It aims to nurture global conversations across divides, build empathy and renew a sense of belonging so we can come together with energized solidarity in building a better future for people and the planet.

Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation said, “When it comes to climate change, most people aren’t involved in the conversations and decisions that impact their lives – especially people from communities directly affected – while decision makers rarely have the chance to hear their stories and experiences. Through the “Global We” portals, we will bring the ideas and experiences of the many people into the crucial leadership conversations at Climate Week, COP27 and beyond. This network of global conversation hubs will grow over time, allowing greater and greater numbers of people to connect and engage in action.

Our hope is that the “Global We” will help millions of citizens all over the world feel connected, empowered, confident and on track to building a more equitable, fair and just future.”

Molly Fannon from UN Live said, “The world is facing multiple, complex crises which will increasingly pose a threat to our daily lives. Every single voice – from a child in Mali to a grandmother in Mexico City – is equally important in the face of these global issues. Yet world-changing conversations are kept behind closed doors, limited to a select group of leaders despite the potential for global citizens to help unlock solutions and create meaningful action.

At the same time, despite the explosion of opportunities to connect online over the past decade, the gaps between people are increasing more quickly than ever, and empathy is at an all-time low.

Unlike an ordinary museum with one fixed address, “Global We” will travel directly to the communities whose voices are critical in a bid to recognize the power already inherent in people around the world, and to help us all learn to talk constructively about the issues that matter. In doing so we will hope to build a more connected, empowered society that looks out for others, holds its leaders to account in the service of our collective future, and works together to build solutions.”


Notes to editors

About the IKEA Foundation: The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropy that focuses its grant making efforts on tackling the two biggest threats to children’s futures: poverty and climate change. It currently grants more than €200 million per year to help improve family incomes and quality of life while protecting the planet from climate change. Since 2009, the IKEA Foundation has granted more than €1.5 billion to create a better future for children and their families. In 2021 the Board of the IKEA Foundation decided to make an additional €1 billion available over the next five years to accelerate the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions.

About UN Live: Museum for the United Nations is a museum for the people and for the world. We are live across the globe to connect people everywhere to the values and work of the United Nations – towards a more sustainable, just and equal future. To do this, we must ultimately build a new sense of global belonging – a ‘Global We’ – that unites us in taking positive action. We are seeking new ways to engage people everywhere and at scale. Backed by science, we know that culture is a powerful – yet still untapped – way to meet people in their everyday lives, through the things they are already passionate about, to drive behaviour change. Therefore, we work through culture –film, art, faith, sports, games, comedy, or beyond – since culture has the power to unite us, make us relate to new issues and see the world – and our role in it – in a new light. All of our programmes seek to inspire each of us to make small changes, the key to making a global impact, together.

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