The UN takes on the world’s most difficult challenges. Peace building, humanitarian emergencies, and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals together comprise a profound global effort that affects everyone on Earth.
This work needs all of us in order to succeed. But the issues often seem so large, complex, and overwhelming that ordinary people—and even many businesses, governments and civil society organizations—can find it difficult to imagine how they fit in and what they can do to help.
If we are to create a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world we must find new ways to help everyone, especially youth, relate to the work and values of the United Nations and inspire people to come together to take positive action in their own lives and communities.
Our mission is to connect people everywhere to the work and values of the United Nations and catalyze global effort towards achieving its goals.
UN Live is born from our deep commitment to the work and values of the UN and from our conviction that the fundamental human desire for culture, education, and empathy— brought together and amplified with a visionary global museum—can help reach and inspire a new generation of global citizens.
As a modern museum on three platforms, UN Live can bring together an almost limitless variety of content and experiences. We imagine UN Live as a center of learning and civic life—a multi-faceted global destination that attracts, educates, and inspires millions of people a year in every corner of the world by,
In this way, we hope to create a vibrant and enduring institution, foster a new world of connected global citizens, and strengthen the bond between the UN and the people it was founded to serve.
UN Live Online will be the museum’s global platform — a vibrant marketplace of ideas and inspiration that will foster engagement through dialogue, collaboration, and play. Innovation competitions, social media, and curated content will be woven together with real-world activities, games, and meet-ups to encourage people everywhere to work together on global challenges.
The UN Live Network will be a worldwide consortium of local and global institutions including museums, cultural venues, educational institutions, government, civil society, and UN agencies.
Network partners will collaborate across the UN Live network to produce and disseminate content, create programs and exhibitions, and connect with people in their homes and communities.
The UN Live building will house the world-class museum and administrative headquarters for UN Live, but it will also be an unconventional creative space, gathering place, laboratory, and a civic classroom that invites the public to learn with their minds and their senses — not just as spectators, but as full participants in the life of the museum and the work of the UN.
Video: UN Live Content and Design Committee workshop at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, March 2015
“I deeply believe we must find new and creative ways of engaging citizens in the United Nations mission, promoting the core values of human dignity, respect for human rights and international solidarity. At a time when there are more than 60 million refugees, asylumseekers and internally displaced persons worldwide as a result of conflict and persecution, tolerance, respect for diversity and solidarity with those in need are the strongest tools we have to face the challenges ahead. The UN Live Museum is an important step forward in our efforts to educate and engage.”
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
Quote provided as High Commissioner for Refugees
“I am pleased to authorize the museum to use the name and acronym of the United Nations in the form, ‘Museum for the United Nations – UN Live’. I am confident that the museum, which you unveiled to the public on United Nations Day, will engage audiences worldwide about our Organization and what we are trying to do each day to build a better world for all.
The United Nations welcomes the support that your museum will provide to our communications efforts and looks forward to working closely with the museum to that end.”
Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations
“The United Nations belongs to the people of the world. It is our collective tool for peace and progress for all, and it is our shared responsibility to put it to the best possible use. UN Live has the potential to offer a platform for all of us, particularly our youth, to connect with the United Nations and engage on the issues that matter to us. With UN Live, we can all engage and be part of the change we want to see.”
Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations
“Let me just say it loud and clear: UN Live may be the most uniquely well thought through and well organized museum project I have ever encountered in my life as an international Museum Director. Doing things in the right order, building the project from inside out is essential – and UN Live is doing exactly this! So important! And so impressive!”
Lars Nittve, Former Managing Director of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark and Moderna Museet in Sweden, and Founding Managing Director of Tate Modern in UK and M+ in Hong Kong.
“The UN Live Museum will provide a space for the whole world to engage with the ideals of the United Nations – this space is global and networked, physical and digital, embodying the cutting-edge of innovation, design and inclusion. I believe this is especially important for young women and men, for them to be inspired by and engage with the values and goals of the UN – this is why UNESCO looks forward to supporting this initiative.”
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
“The United Nations is the greatest peace and development project of the past seventy years, and the world has undergone tremendous positive human development since its inauguration in 1945. The greatest threats to peace and prosperity relate to the challenges of economic, social, and political exclusion, in growing economic inequality, ongoing poverty, climate change, marginalisation, and lack of voice. A UN Live Museum can provide a place to strengthen global dialogue which seeks to create common ground on peace and security, human and sustainable development, and progress for current and future generations.”
Helen Clark, Administrator of United Nations Development Programme
“UN Live will engage a new generation of young people and encourage them not only to learn more about the vision and goals of the United Nations, but to see the UN’s mission of building a better world as their own – and inspire them to participate.”
Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF
The UN Live concept has been developed through a collaborative effort by leading global thinkers within digital development, museums and the art world, social science, and from within the UN.
The initial phases of the UN Live project have been led by three committees: Content and Design, Building and Finance, and Stakeholder and Legal. The committees are supported by the UN Live Secretariat, based in the UN City in Copenhagen.
UN Live has benefited greatly from the advice and encouragement of many people from around the world. They include but are not restricted to the following:
Stakeholder and Legal Committee
Jan Mattsson (Chair), UN Live Museum Initiative
Afsane Bassir-Pour, UNRIC
Camilla Brückner, UNDP Nordic
Bonian Golmohammadi, WFUNA
Martin Hermann, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
Ravi Karkara, UN Advisor on Youth and Partnerships
Olav Kjørven, UNICEF
Cyril Ritchie, Conference of NGOs
Design and Content Committee
Olafur Eliasson (Chair), Artist
Eric Falt, UNESCO
Solange Farkas, Associação Cultural Videobrasil
Berhanu Ashagrie Deribew, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design, Addis Ababa
Yuko Hasegawa, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Frédérique Jamolli, The Olympic Museum
Thomas Madsen-Mygdal, 23, Podio
Michael Møller, UN Office, Geneva
Elvira Dyangani Ose, Goldsmiths, University of London
Pireeni Sundaralingam, California Institute of Integral Studies
Poul Erik Tøjner, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Elke U. Weber, Columbia University
Building and Finance Committee
Steen Andersen, UNICEF Denmark
Betina Hagerup, Danish Business Authority
Lars Hørmann, UN City
Sabin Azua, B+I Strategy
David Camp, D&J International Consulting
Simon Downing, Core Five
Karol Marcinkowski, NIRAS
Stephen Pickersgill, Core Five
Carsten Skjøt, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
UN Live Workshop participants
Katharina Birkenbach, Facebook
Evan Bissell, Independent
Christian Cherene, BeAnotherLab
Michael Edson, Smithsonian Institution
Robert Kirkpatrick, UN Global Pulse
Sarah Lumbard, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Thomas Madsen-Mygdal, 23, Podio
Daanish Masood, UNAOC
George Oates, Good, Form and Spectacle
Thomas Petersen, Square
Doc Searls, Digital Philosopher
Josh Treuhaft, ARUP
David Weinberger, Harvard Berkman Center
The Association for a UN Live Museum has been established in Denmark to create the UN Live Museum.
The Board of the Association consists of,
Jakob Simonsen (Chair), Former UNDP
Steen Andersen, UNICEF Denmark
Charlotte Flindt Pedersen, Danish Foreign Policy Society
The Association for a UN Live Museum is serviced by the UN Live Museum Secretariat. The Secretariat consists of,
Jan Mattsson (Executive Director)
Emil Rostgaard Schelde
Ana Carolina Villaça
The work of developing UN Live is made possible through the generous support of Bikubenfonden, Det Obelske Familiefond, Nordeafonden, Realdania, NREP, Rambøll Foundation, Danida, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In addition to financial contributions, Horten, PwC, Dalberg, and Nordic Development Corporation have provided pro-bono hours for the project.