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.
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.
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.
“Our democracy model is under threat, because we have moved into a post-factual society, where evidence is given the same weight as lies that are amplified on social media. Citizens are dependent on transparency, facts and reliable resources for our democracy to work. UN Live strives to be a science and fact-based convener in this new paradigm and to foster conversations that can lead to positive change.”
Jimmy Maymann, Chair of UN Live Online, Former CEO of Huffington Post
“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, Former Executive Director of UNICEF
Ban Ki-moon served as the Secretary-General of the United Nations from 2007 to 2016. He is the Museum for the United Nations – UN Live’s Founding Patron.
Former UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon served as the Secretary-General of the United Nations from 2007 to 2016. He is the Founding Patron of the Museum for the United Nations – UN Live. Throughout Ban Ki-moon’s two-term tenure in the UN’s top post, he achieved major advancements in world cooperation, such as in the areas of gender equality (including the creation of a major UN agency, UN Women) and climate change (including the Paris Climate Agreement). Among the many accomplishments of the UN under his leadership was the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals, to end poverty and protect our planet. Ban Ki-moon remains an active advocate for the SDGs, and youth engagement in societal change. During his time at the UN, his extensive travel itinerary involved countless visits to museums and cultural institutions around the world. Recognizing the unique advantage of an institution solely focused on preserving UN history, promoting awareness of UN values and engaging citizens in the SDGs, Ban Ki-moon has thrown his support behind UN Live.
Ahmad Alhendawi is a world-class community builder who currently leads the World Organisation of the Scout Movement.
Asia and the Pacific
World Organization of Scout Movement
Ahmad Alhendawi is a world-class community builder who currently leads the World Organisation of the Scout Movement. With over 40 million Scouts in over 200 countries and territories, Alhendawi inspires young people all over the world, from difference backgrounds and with different life experiences, to become active participants in their communities and in greater society.
Before stepping into his current role, Alhendawi was the UN Envoy on Youth, engaged to bring youth perspectives into the UN system. Appointed at the age of 28, he became the youngest ever senior official in the history of the United Nations.
Alhendawi’s experience aligns uniquely with the mission of the Museum for the United Nations – UN Live. His demonstrated ability to compel historic institutions sit up and listen to the voice of youth will be an important contribution to the Global Leadership Council, as UN Live works to empower young people to create a better world.
Darren Walker is one of the philanthropy world’s most visionary thinkers. Since 2013, Walker has been President of Ford Foundation.
Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, an international social justice philanthropy with a $13 billion endowment and $600 million in annual grant making. For two decades, he has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Darren led the philanthropy committee that helped bring a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy, and chairs the US Alliance on Impact Investing. He co-chairs New York City’s Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, and serves on the Commission on the Future of Riker’s Island Correctional Institution and the UN International Labor Organization Commission on the Future of Work. He also serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, the High Line and the Committee to Protect Journalists, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Ellen Chilemba is a social entrepreneur with extraordinary vision for gender imbalances.
Ellen Chilemba is a social entrepreneur with extraordinary vision. At 9-years-old, she began seeing the signs of gender imbalance in her community. Girls leaving school for dowry benefits was common and when she saw a friend married at just 16, Chilemba decided that she couldn’t wait for change – she would have to make change herself. When 150 people women attended the first meeting of Tiwale, she knew she was on to something. Tiwale began as a social enterprise based on providing microloans for women to start their own businesses and has since grown to include an education centre and vocational skills training. Tiwale is Chichewa for “let us shine”, and it is this philosophy of providing women the opportunity to raise themselves up that underpins Chilemba’s work. She has been recognised by a number of global platforms for her leadership in youth social engagement: she was named on Forbes’ Africa’s 30 Under 30 list, won an Ashoka Future Forward Award and spoke at Davos on the Wonder Women Panel in 2018 (to name just a few). Chilemba’s expertise in community involvement, as well as her experience with social entrepreneurship will be vital contributions to the Global Leadership Council.
Ilwad Elman is a leading expert in peacebuilding, who has pioneered a gender-focus in the field in Somalia.
Director of Programs & Development,
Elman Peace HRC
Ilwad Elman is a leading expert in peace building, who has pioneered a gender-focus in the field. The drive to fight injustice runs strongly through her veins. Elman’s father was a well-known Somalia peace activist, and after his assassination in Mogadishu in 1996; she fled with her mother and sisters to Canada. When her mother returned to Mogadishu over a decade later, she dedicated herself to continuing her husband’s work. Inspired by her parents’ resilience and courage, Elman too picked up the torch of peace activism. She co-founded the first rape crisis center for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Somalia, developed nationwide programs for the disarmament of child soldiers and adults defecting from armed groups for their socio-economic empowerment, rehabilitation and reintegration; as well as designed interventions aimed at security sector reform to create an inclusive space for women in peace building. Now, Elman herself has become an inspiration not only to the people of Somalia, but people around the world. In her roles as UN Advisor on Youth, Peace and Security, as UNICEF Global Board Member for Generation Unlimited, and as an advocate for Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together initiative, she leads by example. The Global Leadership Council is honoured to name Elman among its members, and will gain much from her experience and knowledge of peace activism.
Jesper Nygård is a forward-thinking philanthropic leader and the current CEO of Realdania.
Jesper Nygård is a forward-thinking philanthropic leader and the current CEO of Realdania. As a leading philanthropic association, Realdania’s mission is to increase life quality through the built environment. Acting on a project basis, Realdania is a flexible and ambitious philanthropic investor, able to form partnerships large and small, as and when opportunities arise. As one of the first financial supporters of the Museum for the United Nations – UN Live, Mr. Nygård has demonstrated both his personal faith in the initiative, as well as the long-term commitment of Realdania to creating social change. Mr. Nygård serves on the board of The Danish Architecture Centre and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, among others. His expertise in identifying synergetic partnerships will be critical on the Global Leadership Council, as it grows into its global ambitions.
Ricardo Piquet is a visionary museum director who consistently pushes the boundaries of what cultural institutions can be.
Museum of Tomorrow
Ricardo Piquet is a visionary cultural entrepreneur who consistently pushes the boundaries of what museums can be. Throughout his career, he has worked with public, private, and non-governmental organisations to develop and grow the cultural sector in Brazil. Piquet founded the Institute for Development and Management (IDG) in 2013 to support the creating and development of new cultural projects around the values of joy, collaboration, creativity, and respect. Piquet is the founding director of The Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro. The Museum stands as a prime example of Piquet’s ability to execute beyond what was previously thought possible. A museum sitting at the intersection between science, art and technology, the Museum of Tomorrow has enjoyed widespread critical and popular success since opening in late 2015. Based on the twin principles of sustainability and conviviality, the museum has found a way to impress upon its 1 million annual visitors the urgency of climate change through both virtual and traditional exhibitions. Piquet’s experience in developing, building and opening a forward-thinking institution on this scale will be of great value as the Museum for the United Nations works towards opening its own doors.
Trisha Shetty is a social activist and lawyer, known for her electric speeches and fearless advocacy for gender equality.
Trisha Shetty is a social activist and lawyer, known for her electric speeches and fearless advocacy for gender equality. She is founder of SheSays, a youth-led NGO that promotes civil society engagement among young people and that successfully lobbied for the elimination of taxes on menstrual hygiene products in India. She aims to prove that when young people stand up for the policies they believe in, they can achieve structural change for good. In addition to leading SheSays, she has been recognised as a rousing civic leader by President Emmanuel Macron, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and Forbes’ Asia’s 30 Under 30. Currently, Shetty is an Obama Foundation Scholar at Columbia University, is serving as Chair, Solutions Committee and Vice President, Steering Committee of the Paris Peace Forum and a UN Young Leader for the SDGs, chosen from among 18,000 nominations to engage young people in the realisation of the 17 goals. She says; “In order to address and mitigate the societal challenges we face globally, we need mechanisms in place for young people to be included in all stages and aspects of the solutions we propose; as well as account for gender-sensitive budgeting and policy. This has been the fundamental guiding principle for all my work thus far.” The Global Leadership Council will be enriched by her fierce approach to youth engagement and feminist methods to solving the world’s greatest problems.
To date, the UN Live concept has been developed through a collaborative effort by hundreds of people and organizations from around the world. The group of contributors represents diverse fields spanning from digital to art to social science to civil society organizations to UN agencies.
We are grateful for all the care, curiosity and excitement that people share and bring to the project. The group of content contributors include, but are not restricted to, the following:
Online Committee (2017-)
Stakeholder and Legal Committee (2016-)
Design and Content Committee (2014-2015)
Building Committee (2017-)
The development of the UN Live initiative is made possible through the generous financial support and pro-bono work from the below foundations, companies and individual sponsors. UN Live is deeply thankful for their catalytical contributions.
Companies and Organizations
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 museum’s platform are being created under the aegis of steering committees of highly experienced members that inspire and guide their development. The committee chairs are,
Lars Nittve, chair of UN Live Building
Jimmy Maymann, chair of UN Live Online
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
Caroline Søeborg Ahlefeldt
Anne Kirstine Rønn
For further information please contact,
Emil Rostgaard Schelde, Project Manager
+45 3144 4878
Association for a UN Live Museum, UN City Copenhagen
Marmorvej 51. 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark