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  • May 30, 2023 12:23 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from AAM

    Recently, we hosted a webinar with museum leaders on values-based communications for diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI). While all attendees were eager to commit fully to DEAI, many acknowledged the risks of doing so in polarized times, when divisive rhetoric about DEAI initiatives means the potential for backlash is high. In some cases, this backlash could mean more than a public relations crisis. What if something they do leads to a reduction in funding or patronage?

    Their concerns are not uncommon. In our DEAI consulting work with other cultural institutions, like public media organizations, we’ve seen similar moral quagmires where people want to be brave, but not if it’s going to undermine their organizations. This fear is only heightened for non-profits and government entities, which are legally required to be non-partisan, and want to avoid the perception that they aren’t. While organizations can certainly take a stand on DEAI without telling people who to vote for, they are still likely to face criticism for doing so.

    So how do you maintain the courage to keep going with your efforts, while feeling secure that they’re appropriate for a non-partisan organization? We suggest a framework inspired by Doctors Without Borders, which takes a values-based approach to analyzing why and when to speak out about atrocities. Before seeking to engage the public about social issues, we advise cultural organizations like public media and museums to be clear about their values and boundaries. And to define those values and boundaries, we recommend following what we call the 4 Ds of non-partisan DEAI:

    1. Invite Difference
    2. Reject Dehumanization
    3. Combat Disinformation
    4. Defend Democracy

    Let’s explore what we mean by each one.

    #1. Invite Difference

    The D in DEAI stands for diversity. To commit to DEAI means you are committing to inviting people with different ideas and lived experiences into your organization. Your job, as a leader or a colleague, is to help build bridges across this difference. This may mean starting with what you have in common, but it will also require being able to see worth in what makes someone different from you.

    When it comes to communicating about DEAI, embracing these differences in perspective can be a useful lesson. Inexperienced practitioners often make the mistake of thinking the work is about getting everyone to have the same mindset or prioritize the same values. That is not realistic, nor is it wise. Sometimes making progress can mean helping people see how their values intersect with yours, like convincing your CFO of the financial benefits of investing in inclusion and equity.

    #2. Reject Dehumanization

    Dehumanization is the process by which certain individuals or groups are portrayed as less-human “others.” It’s easy to see this on large, violent scales like genocide, but it actually starts much earlier, in more commonplace ways that we often miss.

    Dehumanization happens when employers treat workers like robots rather than people, by refusing to provide safe working conditions or allow breaks. It happens when we refer to people experiencing addiction or mental illness with judgmental terms like “junkie” or “crazy,” instead of showing empathy for them. It even happens in the museum sector, when institutions sensationalize or make light of traumatic history, like violent imprisonment.

    Sometimes dehumanization can come from good intentions, like when we share videos of people with disabilities getting married or running a race to celebrate how they’ve “overcome the odds,” even though they’re just engaging in the same human activities as everyone else. As Emily Ladau explains in her book Demystifying Disability, “inspiration porn” like this can be insidiously dehumanizing, because it reduces people to one-dimensional characters who are only valued for how they overcome obstacles, with an undercurrent of pity or schadenfreude.

    Working to stop this cycle of dehumanization in our society should be at the core of your commitment to DEAI, and a guiding value of what you prioritize in engaging the public. It is not something that will happen overnight, and it will often lead to the need to adopt new language, which is where you will likely experience pushback. To handle that scenario, leaders should be able to articulate how old language is dehumanizing and inaccurate while new language is more humanizing and accurate. They should also pick their battles on this front; if people feel they are being shamed for not using the perfect word, they will shut down and reject any progress on DEAI. As Minal often says, intellectual snobbery is the Achilles heel of DEAI.

    Rejecting dehumanization may also involve making tough decisions that align with your values more than your pocketbook, like limiting whose support you will accept. We know one public media leader, for instance, who has a gift acceptance policy that mandates their station return money from any donor who expresses racist views. The station then enforced the policy by returning a one-hundred-dollar donation from a listener who called to express that she didn’t like how “Black” the station was starting to sound. Returning the money did not affect the station’s budget, and the incident was never made public, but it sent a clear and galvanizing signal to staff that leadership was willing to take action to live up to the organization’s values.

    #3. Combat Disinformation

    When Minal first came up with this framework for her book Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives, she only listed three Ds for non-partisan DEAI. We’ve since added this principle on disinformation in response to our work with public media organizations, many of which aim to solve the crisis we face in journalism today, where well-researched news is paywalled and disinformation is free.

    However, combating disinformation is also the purview of museums. Research has shown that nonprofits are often seen as significantly more trustworthy sources of information than media outlets. With this power comes the responsibility to tell the truth, even at the risk of upsetting some people. As the name of La Tanya S. Autry and Mike Murawski’s movement goes, museums are not neutral.

    But if you’re not neutral, how do you remain non-partisan? How do you convey to your audience that your DEAI initiative is about telling the truth, not advancing a political cause? Here are a few strategies.

    First, make sure there is shared language and understanding across the museum (including staff, board, and community) about the difference between non-partisanship and neutrality. Non-partisanship means you will not declare allegiance to one political party or candidate. Neutrality means not taking sides or a stance in a conflict, including moral and social ones. Our world is in dire need of moral courage, people and organizations who can stand up and say clearly that things like dehumanization and environmental abuse are wrong, and conversely, take action to humanize all humans and steward this world we share. Presenting different perspectives, highlighting artists from marginalized groups, working against climate change—these are moral and social issues for which museums can lend their voices without endorsing any political party or candidate.

    But to do this most effectively, museums should draw the line from the social advocacy they’re engaging in to their work as a museum. Minal wrote about this after George Floyd was murdered and organizations were tripping over themselves to put out statements that were more virtue signaling than tangible commitments. As a good example of a relevant and substantial statement, she included a screenshot of a Facebook post by a PBS show about personal finance called Two Cents, which listed statistics on racial bias in personal finance and highlighted voices of color in the space. In the museum field, this can look like a zoo speaking out about climate change because of its mission to protect wildlife, or a Holocaust museum speaking out about Black Lives Matter because of its mission to educate about the threats of racism and bigotry. Showing the connection between the issue at hand and your focus as an organization can make your statements feel more credible, since you are trusted as experts in that topic.

    Thirdly, focus on fulfilling your mission to educate your community. Your purpose is to educate, not win a debate, so keep the emphasis on learning opportunities for all. One way to do this is to be intentional about the venues where you address social issues. Programming can be a more beneficial way to address polarizing topics than exhibitions, for instance, as Victoria Barnett, one of the world’s preeminent scholars of religion and the Holocaust, explained to us. Programming allows you to ensure the privacy of the event—something that is fundamental in hosting difficult conversations across difference. People need privacy to work out controversial ideas and challenge their own thinking.

    In addition to countering disinformation with truth, you should also have a strategy for not engaging in it as an organization. If your museum uses social media, you should have clear guidelines for the people who manage it on how to avoid spreading disinformation. And you should also have guidance for all staff on what news sources will be considered reliable when discussing current events that affect the museum. There are numerous resources online, but make sure to vet them, too. DEAI practitioner Deanna Troust recommends Truth in Common and the News Literacy Project.

    #4. Defend Democracy

    The one thing that Americans of any political persuasion should be able to agree on is the defense of the basic structures of democracy.

    Though it may not always feel like it, we would counsel you to think of Americans of all parties as valuing democracy equally. American values allow us to vote any which way we want, but if you want to take away the right to vote, then we have a problem. Defending this foundational belief can be a powerful way to reinforce your DEAI efforts, as the values of inclusion and equity are at the core of democratic process.

    Museums can and should be unequivocal that they believe in and support democracy and democratically elected government. You might consider stating this clearly in external-facing documents so that no visitor, philanthropic donor, or board member is surprised you would take that stand, or that there may be consequences for contesting it.

    As far as what those consequences are, it’s a good idea to start a conversation with your board now, so you can find consensus on when to take action and what accountability should look like.

    C.S. Lewis wrote that “courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” Maya Angelou seemed to agree when she said, “I am convinced that courage is the most important of all the virtues. Because without courage, you cannot practice any other virtue consistently.”

    We are not suggesting that embodying the 4 Ds is simple or easy. Far from it. And museum leaders are in a precarious position, having to rethink how to balance the expectations of staff, visitors, donors, and community partners. There is no underestimating the high level of political astuteness and situational awareness that acting on moral conviction requires.

    However, this is a time in our country’s history when bold, decisive, courageous leaders are needed, and in this polarized world, we believe museums are uniquely positioned to use their power to connect, repair, and heal the communities they serve.

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  • May 30, 2023 12:20 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Security Management Magazine

    Are you satisfied with your job? Do you think pay is the main thing that matters to employees? Suspect that those around you are falling into quiet quitting trends and general apathy? Well, surprise! According to a new Washington Post-Ipsos poll of workers, eight in 10 are satisfied with their jobs, even though six in 10 say work is stressful. And despite many trend pieces that argue the contrary, most of the 1,148 workers the poll surveyed try to excel at work.

    Let’s break it down: You’ve probably heard a plethora of news about the Great Resignation of 2021, quiet quitting, demands for flexible work and better pay, calls for mentorship and career advancement opportunities, and challenges to longstanding corporate office-based culture. But this poll found that nearly 80 percent of workers say they are satisfied with their jobs, 82 percent said their primary job was enjoyable, and 62 percent say they have a good work–life balance.

    Stress levels vary by demographic. Gen Z workers (those younger than 26 years of age) were the least likely to say their jobs are stressful (42 percent) compared to 61 percent of those 27 to 34 years old, 67 percent of those 35 to 49 years old, and 66 percent of those 50 to 64 years old.

    Managers are more likely to say their work is stressful than non-managers (74 percent vs. 56 percent). Women say their jobs are more stressful than men (65 percent vs. 58 percent).

    What makes work less stressful? First of all, movement. Workers vastly preferred jobs where they are actively moving over stationary, desk-bound jobs. About six in 10 workers prefer jobs where it is clear how to accomplish day-to-day tasks over one where they must be creative to achieve results, the poll found.

    No matter how they need to reach results, nearly two-thirds of poll respondents say they work “enough to excel at their jobs and advance” in their careers; 33 percent report that they are “working enough to do my job well, but not doing more than I am paid for,” and 4 percent are “working just enough to keep my job.”

    This dedication hasn’t completely undercut the turnover challenges many workplaces have faced in the past three years. The Post-Ipsos poll found that many factors color a worker’s feelings about a job, including health insurance, vacation time, co-worker friendliness, opportunities for advancement, and the social impact of the work. But pay is still the top factor, with 45 percent of workers ranking it as the most important. One in three workers polled said they had changed jobs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44 percent of those workers changed roles for better pay.

    Having a good boss or manager comes in second, though, with 14 percent of workers ranking it as the most important and more than 80 percent deeming it extremely or very important.

    Meanwhile, remote work hasn’t completely eroded social ties in the workplace. More than half of workers said they have “close friendships” at work. Working remotely may lead to looser ties, though—there was about a 10 percent difference in close friendships between hybrid and fully onsite workers vs. fully remote workers.

    But the reduction in at-work friendships doesn’t seem to be deterring remote workers. The poll found that around 40 percent of those surveyed say their jobs can be done from home, and among those, 40 percent are fully remote, 38 percent are hybrid, and 22 percent work fully from an office or other workplace. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Postreported, 60 percent of these employees worked on-site fulltime. Of those working fully remotely, 70 percent expect to keep it up during the next decade. Of in-office workers, 61 percent said they expect to be hybrid workers in 10 years.

    Among remote-capable employees, about 7 in 10 said they would choose to work from home all or most of the time. Only 6 percent would opt to work remotely “rarely or never.”

    What’s driving the push for more and sustained remote work? Skipping the commute tops the list, followed by easier childcare and easier focus. Most remote workers said the arrangement has made it easier to balance work and personal time. Even though remote work is valued, 65 percent of remote-capable workers said they would prefer a job that pays more but requires regular time in the office to a remote job that pays less.

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  • May 30, 2023 12:17 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The New York Times

    Seldom in the history of art have so many masterpieces been vandalized in so little time. In October, major paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and Vermeer were targeted by environmentalist activists as part of a concerted push to raise awareness of the climate emergency and to stop new fossil-fuel projects.

    Cans of tomato soup were splattered over Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” at London’s National Gallery by a pair of activists from the Just Stop Oil movement (while a third captured the act on video). “What is worth more, art or life?” shouted one protester, Phoebe Plummer, 21, as visitors gasped and called for security. “Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people?”

    Later that month, a painting in Monet’s “Grainstacks” series was smeared with mashed potatoes at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, Germany. And at a museum in The Hague, a man glued his head to Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring” while another man, his hand glued to the wall, poured a thick red liquid over him. None of the paintings involved were damaged.

    The acts of eco-vandalism seemed aimed at pressuring world leaders to take radical action at the United Nations climate summit the following month. Videos of the attacks were seen by millions of people around the world, including, no doubt, the leaders. Yet the attacks also upset many members of the public concerned about art damage, and led the directors of top world museums to issue a stern statement, raising the question of whether art actually is an effective vehicle for protest.

    The topic of art and protest was discussed by a panel at last week’s Art for Tomorrow conference in Florence, Italy, created by the Democracy & Culture Foundation in concert with New York Times journalists.

    One of the speakers at the conference was Clare Farrell, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, a U.K.-based international protest group that brought parts of central London to a standstill in 2019. She defended the acts of vandalism against artworks, including Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” saying the art was not harmed and the protests drew public attention in a way that was necessary, given the seriousness of the issue.

    “It’s not going in a good direction, folks,” she said during the panel that also included Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum. “Some soup on some glass on the front of a painting is the very least that people could be doing to draw attention, to bring alarm.”

    Vandalism against art is nothing new. In March 1914, a militant suffragist named Mary Richardson, furious at the arrest of a fellow activist, walked into the National Gallery in London with a meat cleaver and slashed Velázquez’s “Rokeby Venus” (1647-51), leaving a half-dozen cuts in the canvas.

    In the decades that followed, there were intermittent attacks on other major works, including Michelangelo’s “Pieta’” (1499) at St Peter’s Basilica, which received several hammer blows in 1972 from a man claiming to be the resurrected Christ, and Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa, which suffered several attacks, including having acid and a rock thrown at it before it was permanently shielded by bulletproof glass.

    The masterminds of those attacks were mainly seeking to draw attention to themselves, whereas their present-day counterparts seek to draw attention to the climate emergency.

    To environmentalists, the cause is worthy of being loudly and clearly heard.

    In a telephone interview before the Florence conference, Ms. Farrell said that for a long time, there was little public awareness of the sheer urgency of the climate crisis. So it was normal to sound the alarm in a big way.

    “When people are about to get hit by a train and they don’t realize it, you don’t invite them in for a meeting,” Ms. Farrell said.

    Referring to the recent spate of art attacks, she said throwing soup at one of the world’s most famous paintings “makes everybody pay attention,” and noted that no damage had been done to the works. The art attacks were “extremely useful,” she added, because once the initial shock dissipated, people actually gave the climate crisis some thought. And previous Just Stop Oil actions — such as occupying gas and oil terminals, and smashing gas station pumps — had received almost no media coverage.

    Museum managers were not amused. The leaders of 92 major cultural institutions — including the Louvre, the British Museum, the Guggenheim and the Mauritshuis (the small museum in The Hague)— said in a statement in November that they were “deeply shaken” by the actions of the eco-activists, who “severely underestimate the fragility of these irreplaceable objects, which must be preserved as part of our world cultural heritage.”

    The Musée d’Orsay in Paris — whose president was among the signatories — almost became the target of yet another act of vandalism in October when a woman attempted to throw a liquid at a 19th-century painting. She was stopped, said Pierre Emmanuel Lecerf, the museum’s general administrator.

    “We were prepared for the possibility of an intervention, because of the escalation of such interventions at the time, so we had tighter security measures put in place,” he said in an interview.

    The museum was not so lucky in 2007 when someone believed to be among a group of drunken intruders punched and damaged the Monet painting “Le Pont d’Argenteuil” (1874). The painting has since been restored.

    These days, said Mr. Lecerf, the vast majority of the Musée d’Orsay’s paintings are covered with glass, using technologies that make the protective sheet glare-free and nearly invisible to the visitor.

    Nonetheless, “there is no such thing as zero risk,” he cautioned. “You can throw something at a glass-protected painting, and damage the historic frame, or the painting itself, if the liquid seeps through.”

    Looking back on the repeated acts of vandalism that took place last year, Mr. Lecerf said he and his colleagues were “staggered to see art become the target of attack.”

    “When you’re an environmental activist, you seek to preserve the natural environment. And when you’re a museum, your duty is to preserve the cultural heritage of humanity,” he said. “Our missions are, in reality, quite similar.”

    How did art historians react to the recent wave of eco-vandalism?

    “I wasn’t as horrified as people might expect me to be,” said Sally Hickson, an art historian at the University of Guelph in Canada, who was interviewed by phone.

    She described the activists’ campaign as effective, “because it certainly captured a lot of media attention.” But she also pointed out that, “all of the damage was reversible,” since the activists picked “works that they knew were covered by glass.”

    Yet there was no obvious link between the environmentalist cause and the paintings, she said. The activists “had to provide the dialogue and the narrative” to connect their actions to climate change, “because one thing has nothing to do with the other,” she said.

    Ms. Hickson said that the worrying aspect of the recent art attacks was that museums entrusted with the care and preservation of some of the greatest masterpieces of art history had been breached and violated — and were probably going to seriously question the degree of access they would grant the general public going forward.

    “How many people do you let in? How close do you let them get to things?” she said. “It must be costing museums a ton in terms of increased security.” Institutions could decide to “make things less accessible to people,” she added.

    See Original Post

  • May 30, 2023 12:13 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Security Management Magazine

    The built world is heavily reliant on the stability and predictability of the climate. From agriculture to infrastructure planning, understanding factors such as where it will rain, how much it will rain, and when it will rain is critical to the functioning of our societies. But climate change is now increasingly disrupting such norms. 

    According to a 2020 study conducted by McKinsey, “the economic cost of climate-induced hazards is expected to rise dramatically over the next several decades. The research indicates that the value at stake could increase from roughly 2 percent of global GDP to more than 4 percent by 2050.”

    The insurance industry has long been a barometer of risk and is now being forced to re-evaluate its business models and respond to the new normal. In the face of rising costs, some insurers are passing on the burden to policyholders while others are abandoning specific geographic areas that have become too risky to insure. This shift in the insurance landscape is a strong indicator that the impacts of climate change are not merely a future threat—it’s a current danger and needs to be fully factored into the business resilience equation.

    While catastrophic natural disasters have direct and overt impacts, such events often trigger a cascade of second or third order impacts which manifest in ways that are hard to predict. For example, extreme weather events—including hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and prolonged droughts—have the potential to disrupt food and water supplies and other critical supply chains. In turn, these impacts could exacerbate the conditions for civil instability or lead to cross-border conflict over vital resources.

    As a security risk professional, you may still doubt the relevance of climate change to your role, but it’s important to understand that climate threats are not limited to the natural world and can propagate consequences for security stability at multiple levels—from geopolitics and national security down to security at operational levels. With climate change, everything is connected.


    Developments in the Arctic are a clear and early demonstration of how climate change can shape geopolitical relations. Arctic warming is having a diminishing effect upon sea ice which has begun to open access to new resources and shipping routes, leading to a scramble among nations and industry players to secure a foothold in the area. This race for control has sparked tensions among the Arctic states, including Russia, Canada, and the United States, as well as non-Arctic nations like China, which are looking to exert their influence in the region. With the competition intensifying, the risk of military escalation in the Arctic is also rising.

    National Security

    The implications of climate change on national security are multifaceted and far-reaching. One of the primary concerns is the resilience of defense installations and infrastructure in the face of increasingly severe weather events. A notable example of this occurred in 2018, when Hurricane Michael hit Florida and caused more than $1 billion in damage to F-22 Raptor stealth fighters at Tyndall Air Force Base. Similarly, the United States Navy at Naval Station Norfolk, a strategic military facility in Virginia, is actively working to address the impact of sea level rise, including tidal flooding, increased storm surge, and land loss.

    Governments worldwide are also increasingly calling upon military support to deal with civil emergencies arising from the impacts of climate change. Such commitments over the longer term could disrupt overseas force rotations and divert militaries from achieving their principal deterrent and warfighting objectives.

    It has been shown that climate has the potential to exacerbate conditions that lead to civil instability or armed conflict. This has been seen in recent history, such as in the case of the Egyptian revolution of 2011, where a drought-induced wheat shortage contributed to significant economic and social unrest, ultimately leading to a major civil uprising. Additionally, in Syria, a prolonged period of drought that resulted in the collapse of the agriculture sector, economic failure, and displacement of population has been documented as a key factor in the onset of the civil war in 2011. Extreme climatic events can act as a catalyst for conflict.


    Recent studies have established a correlation between climate change and terrorism. One such study conducted at the University of Maryland examined the potential indirect effects of climate change on terrorism. The research found that climate change serves as a destabilizing factor, providing an ideal environment for extremist organizations to thrive. Additionally, the study determined that climate change can exacerbate the underlying conditions that contribute to the development of terrorism, such as the "root causes" of terrorism.

    Root causes of terrorism have historically included economic conditions such as poverty, unemployment, and economic inequality. But climate change-triggered factors can create or worsen conditions that are conducive for both radicalization and exploitation.  For example, the terrorist organization Islamic State exploited water shortages in Iraq and took control of dams and other water infrastructure to impose its will on communities. Furthermore, climate change can multiply the drivers of radicalization that facilitate the emergence of terrorism, including push, pull, and personal factors. Lastly, the study found that climate change can exacerbate the number of enabling factors that can lead to an increase in political violence—including acts of terrorism—such as political instability.

    A similar study by major European thinktank Adelphi in collaboration with the German Foreign Office found numerous examples where climate change had contributed to conditions for terrorism, namely Boko Haram in the Lake Chad basin, Islamic State in Syria, and organized crime groups in Guatemala.

    In climate change, there are always vicious cycles. For instance, in the Arctic, the melting of sea ice has a compounding effect—the exposed water absorbs more heat, leading to further melting.  Guatemala is seeing a similar vicious cycle. Criminal groups are profiting from illegal mining and the deforestation of rainforests. These activities release large amounts of greenhouse gases and destroy natural carbon sinks that help regulate the climate. Guatemala is already vulnerable to natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, and hurricanes, but the criminal groups’ actions make it worse. Additionally, their activities fuel violence, human rights violations, and insecurity, which displace vulnerable populations. The very conditions that enable these criminal enterprises to thrive are being perpetuated by their own actions, in a perverse and self-defeating cycle that proves disastrous for people and cultures in Guatemala and nearby countries. 


    As average temperatures continue to break records, research has shown a correlation between rising temperatures and increased crime rates. Studies have demonstrated that violent crimes such as homicides, sex offenses, and assaults are more likely to occur during periods of high temperatures.

    One study conducted in seven American cities found that for every 5-degree Celsius (9-degree Fahrenheit) increase in daily mean temperature between 2007 and 2017, there was a 4.5 percent increase in reported sex offenses within the subsequent eight days. Moreover, increased heat levels don’t just affect physical crime rates—according to a study by researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, online hate speech on Twitter was 22 percent higher on extremely hot days than on milder weather days, which saw the lowest levels of online hate speech.

    Given the correlation between high temperatures and crime, it is likely that this trend will continue and potentially worsen in the future because of climate change.

    Climate Activism

    Unlike any instance of social activism in the past, climate change has the demonstrated power to mobilise and unite people across demographics and global geography.

    To date, most contemporary climate action groups profess a commitment to non-violent civil disobedience; however, the possibility of changing tactics and threat escalation exists, particularly as climate activism becomes exacerbated by a perceived slow or disingenuous response by corporations and governments. Moreover, the sheer number of activists involved in climate action is unprecedented (when compared to other protest issues over the last four decades). The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace maintains a Climate Protest Tracker that identifies episodes of mass activism related to climate policy around the world. The tracker shows that there were dozens of major climate protests in 150 countries in 2022. On a probabilistic basis, this raises the likelihood of either unstable individuals or extremist groups using violence under the guise of climate activism.

    A recent example of an escalation in activist tactics is that of the Guacamaya hacking group who conducted a string of cyberattacks against mining and oil companies with operations in Latin America in 2022. These attacks disrupted operations, exposed sensitive data, and damaged reputations. For many, this campaign flew under the radar, but it serves as an indicator of the threat that activists may pose should they resort to more sophisticated and hostile forms of activism in the future—beyond the attention-grabbing stunts of today.

    Energy Transition Risks to the Extractive Industries

    Initiatives by the international community to reach carbon reduction targets create unique risks in themselves. For example, the energy transition will require a vast amount of critical minerals such as copper, which is essential for low-carbon technologies like solar photovoltaic plants, wind farms, and electric vehicles.

    Mining companies that are at the downstream end of energy transition face several risks associated with extracting copper and other energy transition metals. These include establishing new operations in remote, unfamiliar, and potentially high-risk settings; environmental risks such as land disturbance, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions; social risks such as conflicts with local communities, human rights violations, and cultural heritage impacts; and governance risks such as regulatory uncertainty, corruption, and geopolitical instability.

    Mining companies will need to manage all these risks in concert with a massive uptick in operations and changing global footprint, all the while maintaining compliance with strict environment and social governance requirements. Undoubtedly, there will be knock-on impacts to contractors and industries that support the extractive industries.

    Business Resilience

    As the international community tackles the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the parallel strategy is climate adaptation. For organizations, this entails embedding resilience to ensure continuity of operations despite escalated climate events.

    The core climate change risks are principally extreme temperature variations and sea level rise, which cause second and third-order impacts such as wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, heatwaves, and periods of cold (e.g., polar vortexes).

    The following are some factors to consider when planning to harden an organization against climate change:

    Risk assessment. In conducting a climate change risk assessment, a good place to start is to analyze an organization's spatial footprint of physical assets in light of present and anticipated climate conditions. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the potential risks, a top-down approach can be adopted by using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Interactive Atlas Tool to map predicted temperature increments in distinct regions against a catalog of geolocated company assets.

    For a more detailed examination, flood mapping software can be employed to evaluate the suitability of current or planned asset locations. This approach will provide a granular view of the assets and their vulnerability to flooding caused by rising sea levels or increased precipitation, allowing organizations to make informed decisions and implement appropriate mitigation measures.

    Utilities. Some power grids have layers of redundancy including the ability to source emergency power across borders, whereas other grids are running close to capacity on a normal day and are therefore more susceptible to failing due to demand spikes brought about by temperature variations. A recent example of this is the Texas power grid failure in February 2021 due to an extreme winter storm which resulted in a loss of power for more than 4.5 million homes. For some organizations, grid reliability may be a factor selecting a new office or facility site. It may also drive investment in a backup power solution.

    Business continuity planning. Business continuity plans (BCP) are a must-have for medium and large organizations. These plans should include contingencies for location-specific climate risks and be flexible enough to handle unforeseen events. It’s important to remember that just because something hasn’t happened before, doesn’t mean it can’t happen. To ensure effectiveness, BCPs need to be regularly tested through team training, war gaming scenarios, and exercising.

    The pandemic forced many office-based businesses to transition to work from home (WFH), and this has made organizations more resilient through the creation of a distributed workforce. With access to the office no longer being a single point of failure, it’s important that an organization’s WFH capability be considered as an important business continuity strategy and be maintained accordingly.

    Preparing for the Future: Ensuring Business Resilience in the Face of Climate Change

    As climate change continues to intensify, organizations must anticipate a rise in the frequency and severity of natural disasters such as storms, floods, and wildfires. In turn, this places increased demands on business resilience resources, such as crisis management, business continuity, and security teams. To proactively manage these demands, organizations should conduct annual reviews of their resources rather than waiting for negative lessons to be learned.

    By conducting regular reviews, organizations can ensure that they have the necessary resources and protocols in place to respond quickly and effectively to any potential crises. This forward planning approach can help to mitigate the impact of any future disasters, safeguard business operations, and protect the safety of employees and customers.

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  • May 30, 2023 12:11 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from AAM

    Compared to other areas of museum work, guest services (or visitor services, as it’s sometimes known) often gets overlooked for the impact it has on community-building. This may be because, rather than any one big initiative, the work of guest services staff is incremental, building relationships over time. The start of an enduring relationship can look as simple as greeting a member by their name when they come in or finding a moment of connection in a conversation with a guest.

    As a guest services manager at a small art and history museum, I work with my team to ensure our interactions are not transactional in nature, but are used as an opportunity for connection. Did something in particular bring a guest in? Are they visiting for the first time? Taking the extra step of asking questions like these can accomplish a lot. This human-centered approach can forge deep relationships that reverberate in the larger community, making the museum a place people want to return to, knowing they will be welcomed and remembered.

    But how do you make this shift from transactional to relational interactions? Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way.

    1. Practice Deep Listening

    When engaging in conversation with guests, slow down and really listen to what they are saying. Ask intentional questions on both ends of the visitor journey—those that go beyond simple yes/no responses. Instead of “Are you here to visit?” for instance, ask “What brought you in?” And before launching into a rundown of exhibitions and events to see, try asking, “Is there a particular exhibit that you are here to see?”

    This way, instead of making guests feel they are one of a million people passing through, you show them they are being seen and heard. The act of listening is one of the most hospitable things one can do for another person. As well, deep listening can help guests orient themselves and shape the visitor journey by aligning their interests to enhance their experience. It can be a way to provide information, and for smaller organizations, it can become a starting point for relationship-building.

    2. Use Gender-Inclusive Language

    Instead of gendered language, like calling someone “sir” or a group of people “ladies,” greet guests with neutral terms, such as “hello there” or “welcome folks.” When trying to identify someone to another person, refer to them by what they are wearing, such as “that person in the blue sweater,” instead of their presumed gender. This helps avoid inadvertently misgendering guests, which can make them feel disrespected and unwelcome.

    It is also important to mind your language around children visiting with adults. You should not assume that the adults are always their parents, so phrase questions like “Are you with an adult?”

    3. Solicit Guest Feedback

    Chances are that guests will have opinions on their visit, which you may be able to use to elevate the experience for future guests. Maybe there needs to be more lighting in a particular part of the gallery, or the text display is too small in one of the exhibits, for example. Making a habit of asking for these reactions, and creating a mechanism for sharing them with the relevant staff to consider, can be a helpful way to identify changes that would make your museum more human-centered. For example, at our institution one of the repeat questions recently has been when the hands-on component we took out during COVID is coming back, so in response we have added some low-stakes activities in our atrium and first-floor gallery.

    Even if you can’t always act on the feedback you get, the act of asking can help the guest feel appreciated and may encourage them to dive deeper into the space through coming back for an event, volunteering, or becoming a member. Not everyone will feel comfortable to (or want to) share their experience, so it’s important to respect that and try to read guest’s wishes as they exit. Even if they do not seem to want to engage in formal conversation about their experience, a simple “thanks for visiting” can still be a powerful way of making them feel seen.

    4. Strive for Welcoming Hospitality

    In the customer service industry, welcoming hospitality is the formal term used to describe the warm glow you feel when you know you are being taken care of by someone willing to go above and beyond. This quality is not always associated with cultural institutions as much as other fields, but what if it were the norm? Think of the rave reviews that could come in. “Front-line staff was amazing, we enjoyed our visit, and look forward to returning.” While we typically look for positive feedback on exhibitions and programs, this quality of service can be just as important in creating a satisfying visit and encouraging repeat visits. Sometimes it is the simplest gestures that can have a positive impact on creating a welcoming environment for all guests.

    Here are some immediate ways your guest services staff can start using welcoming hospitality principles:

    • Greet every visitor who comes through the doors. (This can be as simple as a “hello.”)
    • Start a language program for staff to be able to assist guests in their primary languages.
    • Learn repeat-visiting member’s names, and welcome them by name when checking them in.
    • Walk people to their destination when coming in for an event, especially those who haven’t been in before. (If this is not feasible at your museum, you can offer clear verbal instructions and/or keep a laminated map at the front desk showing the route.)
    • Thank visitors on their way out. (This can be as simple as a “goodbye.”)


    Guest services teams are often the eyes and ears of the cultural space where they work. They relay to other teams if something is unclear in an exhibit, or if something needs to be fixed before opening. In this sense, they have the ability to help design and develop spaces that are human-centered. They know which audiences visit, what brings them back, and what they would like to see more of.

    This human-centered approach can also create a ripple effect throughout the organization, becoming a powerful model for other departments. Think about how some of the same principles might benefit team meetings and work with outside collaborators, for instance. As cultural institutions are hoping to attract new audiences, it is important not to underestimate the potential a simple welcome can have. It can make your museum a place people want to return to, because they feel they belong every time they walk through the doors.

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  • April 26, 2023 7:08 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Independent

    Two climate change protesters have clashed with museum security guards after they jumped the barrier to a dinosaur display.

    Footage shows Just Stop Oil (JSO) members, who the group has named as Daniel Knorr, 21, and Victoria Lindsell, 67, entering the Dippy the Diplodocus exhibit at Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry before being arrested.

    A video posted by JSO follows the pair climb over a low metal barrier before being tackled to the ground by staff in high-vis jackets, and later being led away in handcuffs by West Midlands Police (WMP) officers.

    One staff member is shown seizing Mr Knorr’s rucksack, while another tackles Ms Lindsell and shouts: “Stop it, stop it now. Do you understand?”

    The demonstrators both remove jumpers to reveal white “Just Stop Oil” t-shirts before they are removed.

    WMP confirmed that two people were arrested in the museum at around 10am on Monday on suspicion of conspiracy to cause criminal damage.

    The force added that “two large bags of dry paint were also seized by officers” and that “protest liaison officers” are still at the scene to “keep people safe and limit disruption to a minimum”.

    Ms Lindsell, an English language teacher from Leamington, Warwickshire, said she felt “forced” to take part in the “civil resistance” action because “nothing else has moved our genocidal Government to act for the welfare of all”.

    In a statement issued by JSO, she said: “Day after day, we are alerted to the impact of rising carbon emissions, but this dinosaur government crashes on with incentivising yet more fossil fuel extraction, whilst pocketing millions from the industries leading us to extinction.”

    Knorr, a student from Oxford, also said he felt he had “no choice” but to take part in the stunt because “we’re barrelling towards suffering, mass death and the annihilation of our species”.

    In a statement, he said: “I cannot and will not commit myself to a future of powerlessly watching these horrors unfold. The dinosaurs had no choice – we do.

    “Humanity is at risk, as is everything we know and love- our historical artefacts, our art, our heritage.

    “Cultural institutions have failed to admit the truth and failed to address the urgency of action.

    “It is immoral for institutions to stand by and watch whilst our society faces inevitable collapse.

    “We call on everyone involved in arts, heritage and culture to join us in civil resistance.”

    See Original Post

  • April 26, 2023 7:05 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Security Management Magazine

    Diverse teams are stronger teams. This has been proven by scientific research as well as in-the-field practices—bringing in different viewpoints helps to uncover new angles, potential solutions, and pitfalls that a homogeneous group might have missed. The security industry has been making intentional progress when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in recent years, but efforts can meet with apathy, nervousness, or fervent opposition in some quarters, especially when they are not adequately supported.

    To help security leaders make well-informed decisions about DE&I initiatives and choices, the ASIS Foundation funded an in-depth study, Empowering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Corporate Security, which was released 18 January 2023. The full report is available for free to ASIS members.

    So, why is DE&I so essential for security professionals?

    “The security environment that security practitioners find themselves in day in, day out isn’t getting any easier to manage,” says one of the researchers behind the report, Rachel Briggs, OBE, from the Clarity Factory. “We really do need a team of all the talents around the table if we’re going to stand half a chance of being successful against our adversaries.”

    But in most cases security has work to do to achieve diverse teams, Briggs tells Security Management. “You don’t really need a study to tell you that the industry isn’t as diverse as it could be. You’ve just got to look around most of the rooms that you find yourself in.” Briggs notes that she has been conscious of this gap for the 20 years she has been working in and around the security industry, which is why she wanted to pursue research into the topic—to provide real, actionable data that can fuel conversations in the industry about “the need for diversity, the benefits of equity, and why inclusive workspaces make for better and more productive places of work.”

    Briggs and her research partner Paul Sizemore conducted an extensive literature review, interviewed security leaders across the industry, hosted an anonymous survey of 474 security professionals, analyzed 5 years’ worth of job searches from a security recruitment firm, and conducted structured interviews with 16 chief security officers. They looked specifically at five key dimensions: sex, gender identity, race and ethnicity, disability, and neurodiversity. While age is a significant factor in diversity, the number of varied responses on this topic was limited, so it was excluded in most of the findings, but Briggs says she plans on addressing it in depth in future research.

    “One of the great things that the survey showed is that people of many and diverse identities are feeling that they are integrated into the industry,” she adds. “I think that’s one of the positive messages that we can bring out of this, but individuals experience the industry in different ways depending on who they are. I think all of those different identity groups had certain and different ways of perhaps feeling more or less welcome, feeling more or less like they belonged, feeling more or less like they were getting equal access to opportunities and progression opportunities and so on.”

    Two of those areas that stood out to Briggs were gender and sexual orientation. “There were some consistently divergent views between men and women answering questions,” she says.

    Out of the survey participants, 38 percent were women, and 11 percent identified as LGBTQIA+. When asked the extent to which they agreed with the statement “I work in a diverse team,” 74 percent of all survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed. Among women, however, this dropped off to 56 percent. Among LGBTQIA+ participants, it hit 58 percent. Who strongly disagreed with the statement? 26 percent of women, 30 percent LGBTQIA+, 21 percent with a disability, and only 8 percent of men.

    There are unmistakable benefits to investing time, effort, and resources in DE&I—both for employees and for the organization. Briggs cites four key arguments:

    Avoiding blind spots. “A homogenous team will result in blind spots,” Briggs says. “If they and their team all look the same, all sound the same, have all got the same background, and so on and so forth, they are not going to understand the world and the threats that it poses in sufficient levels of nuance to be able to really do their job properly for the organization they’re there to protect... That’s weakness in a security program.”

    Matching the organization. Security leaders have long advocated having teams that are capable of serving the whole organization and understand the needs of the company. “As DE&I has quite rightly risen up the corporate agenda, the extent to which corporate security departments stand out as being incredibly un-diverse hampers their ability to serve the whole company and be business aligned,” Briggs adds.

    This extends beyond internal stakeholders to external perceptions and needs as well. One security intelligence manager who was interviewed for the research report noted that “In a global company where your clients are diverse, if you don’t have a diverse team that can empathize with and understand their clients, think about what this means in terms of how they design their solutions and policies… if you don’t have those people who can see things in a different light and speak to that, you will fall further behind as a function. They’re not going to be cutting edge, they’re not going to be competitive.”

    Recruitment. Speaking of competition, the battle to recruit the best talent is taking a turn from money to culture. Younger workers—especially those who belong to Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012)—value diversity as much as they value salaries when considering job offers, Briggs says. “Chief security officers, as well as heads of HR, are well aware that companies need to be diverse to be able to attract the best talent in the future,” she notes.

    Complex and volatile risks. “If you’re going to find a period in time to be a great innovator in the security world, it’s today,” Briggs says. Given the broad global upheaval after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption caused by multiple cross-border conflicts and wars, the environment where security operates is volatile, and it’s only going to get more complicated.

    “The next five to 10 years are going to be marked by and characterized by disruptive innovation with in the security industry,” she says. “It will be the security departments that can disruptively innovate that will really win the corporate security game…. If you don’t have a diverse team, you don’t stand a chance of being able to think as differently as you need to think to come up with a new set of solutions that can cope with what is arguably one of the most difficult security environments that we’ve seen in my lifetime and arguably for many generations.”

    So, what is holding people back? The research report includes comments from DE&I detractors and critics, as well as supporters, to give a more accurate picture of the issue in the industry today. Briggs finds that people who are less enthusiastic about DE&I generally fall into three broad categories:

    Anti-DE&I. On the furthest end of the spectrum, a small minority of survey respondents expressed anger and disdain about DE&I efforts—inside organizations, from industry associations, and in culture more broadly.

    Nervous. There was a contingent of security professionals who recognize the value of diversity but are worried about saying or doing the wrong thing.

    Concerned about balance. Some security professionals surveyed said that DE&I is valuable but the pendulum has swung too far, and efforts are a bit out of focus.

    “For those who are nervous, and for those who are just not quite sure what the right balance is, I think there's lots of us who can be allies to them,” Briggs says. “That is about helping people in a very straightforward, no-nonsense way, understanding what’s the business case for diversity? Why is it that you’re being asked to do this? What does good look like? What does bad look like?”

    “It’s not just about doing the right thing. It’s about being the right kind of people, and building an industry that’s composed of all of the talent rather than just some of it, and then not being nervous about reaching out,” she adds. “This is where I think security membership organizations in particular have a really important role to play. Because they are the organizations who host our events, and who help us to understand what normal looks like and what good looks like, and what behavior is acceptable and not acceptable.”

    How can organizations measure their DE&I efforts? Because, after all, what gets measured gets managed. 

    First of all, Briggs says that the industry needs much more data about who is part of security—demographics, the diverse communities represented (or not represented), and how those numbers have changed over time. Beyond demographics, the industry needs more data on progression and equity. Some CSOs surveyed by Briggs for the report are looking critically at promotions and pay raises through a diversity lens, checking that if men and women were scoring equally on management skills, then why were only men being promoted?

    Briggs recommends “just being relentless in applying that lens to make sure that any unconscious bias, any inequalities don’t creep in as people are progressing through the department.”

    In addition, many organizations collect belonging and inclusion indicators through staff satisfaction surveys. Those surveys can help security department leaders understand the sentiment among staff about DE&I, including “do I belong,” “does this place feel fair,” or “does my department tolerate jokes about gender and race?”

    Briggs offers a few notes of caution about these metrics, however. The more homogenous your department, the more likely people are to say they feel included and that they belong—because they are surrounded by people just like them. “Just looking at inclusion and belonging indexes in the absence of absolute data on diversity can be confusing, actually, rather than clarifying,” she says.

    In addition, when you start to dig into DE&I work, it raises the profile of the need for DE&I and changes employees’ expectations for their organization. This can lead belonging and inclusion scores to briefly decline as employees expect to see results from their leaders.

    All of these efforts are well and good, but there’s still the elephant in the room when it comes to diversity in security: the talent pool. Many survey participants claimed that they wanted to improve diversity, but recruiters and HR professionals consistently looked to one pipeline for new security employees: the public sector, pulling from pools of former military, former law enforcement, or former intelligence teams.

    “There are those who say, ‘Well, we would love more diversity, but the fact that we recruit from those un-diverse talent pools is holding us back. There’s not much we can do about it until the military diversifies or law enforcement diversifies,’” Briggs explains. “Actually, what was really interesting in the interviews with chief security officers that I did was I asked them very, very detailed questions about how valuable that professional background was. While they all valued what that could bring—and many of them came from it—they said it’s not critical. That background doesn’t add much to your ability to do this job.”

    She notes that the findings don’t recommend turning away military and law enforcement recruits, “but rather that we can, with confidence, look from a wider talent pool to diversify our industry. That in doing so, we make it stronger and not weaker. This isn’t about compromising for the sake of diversity. It’s about getting a brilliant, brilliant group of talented people with different talents around the corporate security table to make our security efforts bigger, better, sharper, and more nuanced for the security challenges of today and tomorrow.”

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  • April 26, 2023 7:01 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Art Newspaper

    After two years of lockdowns and uncertainty, personal loss and public turmoil, 2022 was the year when most people could once again go and visit their favourite art or travel somewhere new, with, in most cases, relatively few restrictions. The result was that 141 million visits were paid to the top 100 art museums in our survey.

    Are things back to normal? Not quite yet. That 141 million is double the number we recorded last year, and nearly three times that of 2020. But there is still some way to go before we regain the high watermark of 230 million visits in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic.

    And, as our analysis reveals, the recovery is uneven. China’s zero-Covid strategy has meant that its museum-goers had to negotiate regular lockdowns and draconian rules. Russian museums have had to contend with their country becoming an international pariah following its invasion of Ukraine, and tourism to and from many places becoming restricted. Visitor numbers in both countries have been similar to 2021, at best.

    Elsewhere, some major museums have bounced back strongly—the Musée du Louvre in Paris is planning to restrict visitor numbers due to overcrowding but still managed to top our poll with an extraordinary 7.7 million visitors in 2022, beating the second-placed Vatican Museums by more than two and half million. London’s British Museum and Tate Modern regain their places in our top five, but their recoveries have been more sluggish than some of their international rivals, reflecting a slow bounceback by UK museums as a whole.

    Taken together, the top ten accounted for almost 40 million visits. Now that the pandemic is largely over, people seem to going back to much the same cities as they did before: Paris and London, Rome and New York. For all the efforts to get domestic audiences to visit more, either virtually or physically, it seems that people couldn’t wait to travel to see the Mona Lisa, the Parthenon marbles and the Laocoön. These icons still draw the crowds.

    UK not so OK

    Elsewhere in this supplement we report on the relatively slow recovery of London’s major museums. Sadly, this is reflected across the rest of the UK. The National Gallery in London has the dubious distinction of having lost more visitors than any other museum we surveyed, with nearly 3.3 million fewer visitors in 2022 than in 2019, the last year before Covid-19 hit. In percentage terms, however, three other UK institutions did worse: Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge was down 57% on its 2019 visitors, while V&A Dundee and the Wellcome Collection in London were both down 55%.

    None of these museums was impacted by Covid-related closures in 2022, though Kettle’s Yard, located in a former residential building, still had restricted capacity. The UK had one of the earliest and fastest roll-outs of Covid vaccines in the world and prided itself on getting back to normal as soon as possible—face masks are now a rare sight. So the reason for the slow recovery of its museum visitor numbers is hard to pinpoint, especially for those smaller museums that were less reliant on international tourists. It is true, however, that most UK museums saw strong year-on-year growth in 2022, many tripling their attendance over the lockdown-affected 2021, so perhaps next year will see a return to form.

    Where were the brightest spots in the UK? Mostly north of the border. The Burrell Collection in Glasgow reopened in March 2022 to much higher visitor figures than previously, welcoming an impressive 483,000 visitors. (Perhaps people skipped a visit to the city’s Kelvingrove museum, which got half of its 2019 figure.) Edinburgh museums did well, too, with the National Museum of Scotland receiving nearly two million visitors and the Scottish National Gallery 1.3 million, both similar to pre-pandemic times.

    The UK’s most successful paid-for exhibition of 2022 was not a blockbuster solo artist show, but Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), followed by shows at Tate Modern (Surrealism Beyond Borders on 158,843) and the Royal Academy of Arts (Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, 146,694). Meanwhile, David Hockney brought 221,950 free visitors to the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge for Hockney’s Eye: The Art and Technology of Depiction—a notable success for the medium-sized university gallery.

    America still dreaming

    Of New York’s major museums, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum had the biggest percentage drop in visitors, at 42% (with 750,000 in 2022 compared to 1.3 million in 2019), while the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue saw the biggest fall in actual numbers, with 1.7 million fewer visitors than in 2019 (a 34% drop). It should be noted that the Met has changed its counting methodology, introducing “a new, digital programme that we believe is more accurate”, says a spokesperson, meaning a 20% decrease to its previously reported figure in 2019. 

    New York was not alone in its slow recovery, with institutions across the country still considerably down compared to 2019, from the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC (down by 45%) to Denver Art Museum (34%) and the Getty Center in Los Angeles (31%).

    The most visited museum in the US was the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, with almost 3.3 million visitors in 2022.

    Despite there being no widespread lockdowns in the US in 2022, the pandemic’s aftershocks still affected many museums. A spokesperson for the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in Washington, DC (which shares a building with the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and therefore has the same figures), says that it only returned to its full opening schedule of seven days a week at the end of May, having been open for four days a week for the first quarter of the year. Despite nearly tripling its 2021 figure, with 954,000 visitors last year, the NPG and SAAM were still down 44% on pre-pandemic levels.

    Similarly, the Frist Art Museum in Nashville used to be open seven days a week before the pandemic, which helped it achieve its all-time record attendance of 359,000 in 2019. But since reopening in July 2020, its change to five days a week has contributed to a 60% fall.

    However, a handful of institutions reported figures that surpassed their pre-pandemic levels. Two of these, the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles (up by 26%) and the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids (up 3%), offered outdoor experiences as part of the museum visit. (The Museum of Modern Art in New York was also up 10%, but in 2019 it was closed for four months during renovations.)

    Euro millions?

    Around Europe the picture was mixed. While some big museums had sluggish recoveries, such as the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels (down 40% compared to 2019), the Neues Museum in Berlin (down 36%), the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (down 35%) and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples (down 34%), on the whole, visitors appear to be returning to museums.

    The fall in foreign tourism has been a factor in many cities—Vienna’s Albertina identified the drop by a quarter in the number of tourists to the Austrian capital as a major factor in its visitor numbers being down 26% compared to 2019. However, other tourist honeypots were almost back to normal—for example, Musée d’Orsay in Paris, was within 10% of its 2019 figure, while the Petit Palais was up 14%.

    Indeed, there were some significant jumps in attendance. In Paris, the Fondation Louis Vuitton saw its figures rise by a third, from just over a million in 2019 to almost 1.4 million last year, helped by its blockbuster exhibition of the Morozov Collection, which had a staggering 1.2 million visitors. An exhibition about Matisse’s The Red Studio painting helped the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen achieve its highest ever attendance, as it welcomed more than 492,000 visitors, while the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest saw an increase of 47% on 2019, helped by a Hieronymus Bosch blockbuster, the second most popular exhibition in the museum’s history.

    Another way of boosting attendance is to create more space. The Kunsthaus Zürich opened a new extension in October 2021, helping it double its 2019 tally of visitors to more than 555,000. The Munchmuseet in Oslo, which moved to a new building in autumn 2021, welcomed almost 852,000 people last year, getting “significantly higher visitor numbers than the old museum”, according to a spokesperson.

    Several museums, such as the Centro Botín in Santander and Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence—home to Michelangelo’s David— have reported numbers in the final months of 2022 picking up and surpassing pre-pandemic levels, pointing further towards a healthy recovery.

    Zero to here we go

    China’s zero-Covid strategy heavily impacted on its museum visitor numbers in 2022. And while Taiwan dropped its zero-Covid policy in March 2022, a continuted lack of Chinese tourists meant that visitor numbers to the National Palace Museum in Taipei remained low. The total of 553,000 was just 33% up on the previous year, and 86% down on the 2019 total of almost four million.

    One Chinese museum that defied the trend was M+. The Hong Kong museum opened in November 2021, before having to shut again from 5 January until 21 April 2022 due to Covid restrictions. Despite this, it managed to attract more than two million visitors in the remainder of the year, launching itself into our top 20.

    Australia and New Zealand had some of the strictest Covid-19 rules, which delayed their reopening compared to other parts of the world. In Australia, rules were complex and varied by state; the country did not reopen to international travellers until 21 February 2022. Despite this, visitor numbers continued to recover steadily, with many venues regaining around two-thirds of their previous numbers. The Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide actually did better than pre-pandemic, with 539,000 visitors. In Sydney, the Art Gallery of New South Wales saw a boost to numbers as people flocked to see its new expanded building.

    A stand-out in Asia was South Korea. A Frieze art fair was held in its capital Seoul for the first time, boosting visitor numbers at the city’s museums. The National Museum of Korea cemented its high position in our list: its 3.4 million visitors earned it fifth place. This is around the same number of people who visited before Covid. The four outposts of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art also did well, with its Seoul branch receiving 1.8 million visits—400,000 more than in 2019.

    With most lockdowns hopefully behind us, we expect 2023 visitor figures to be buoyant. But while some museums are settling back into their old groove, for others it seems like the damage caused by the pandemic and the political responses to the crisis might be long lasting.

    The Art Newspaper’s Visitor Figures survey is conducted annually, and is the foremost authority on the attendance of art museums worldwide. Read the full 2022 report here

    See Original Post 

  • April 26, 2023 6:59 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Security Management Magazine

    It’s often said that fortune favors the brave. But what does it mean to be brave? Most would say to be brave is to face risks, usually on a level few care to accept.

    Security professionals often view risk only in negative terms, and they are taught there are four commonly accepted options for treating risk: accept it, avoid it, manage it, or share it. However, there is a fifth option that is often overlooked but can be very positive to those who understand it: exploit it. This became clear to me very early in my career as a special agent with the Diplomatic Security Service while assigned to northern Iraq with the U.S. Department of State.

    In September 2004, immediately after completing eight months of basic agent training, I was assigned to a small compound in Kirkuk, Iraq, where I shared security responsibilities with a classmate and fellow agent. It was trial by fire—quite literally—working in an area where insurgent guerillas sabotaged oil wells, blew up pipelines, and conducted brazen midday attacks against police stations and government buildings.

    In Kirkuk, it was all about the oil—raw crude bubbled to the surface, and approximately 1 million barrels were produced every day from the surrounding fields. When the Iraq War began in March 2003, oil fields were among the most precious assets to protect. For decades, oil companies had flourished in the area, but as the environment became more kinetic and their tolerance for risk waned, many ceased operations and, in some cases, abandoned millions of dollars-worth of equipment and product.

    When I arrived in Kirkuk, the environment was stable enough to allow State Department protective security details to travel throughout northern Iraq. The abandoned oil sites were still there, and other companies had purchased much of what was left of the assets for a fraction of their value, realizing immediate gains. Unlike the previous companies, these organizations had extensive security teams and robust countermeasures in place to operate and thrive in a non-permissive environment. They placed robust barriers, security cameras, armed guards, and intrusion detection countermeasures around key sites and maintained quick reaction forces to engage would-be saboteurs. They developed intelligence networks and maintained close liaisons with local law enforcement and nearby residents, and they regularly won the hearts and minds of their neighbors. It was as if they had built their program from a special operations counterinsurgency manual. Through resilience and determination, they conducted business despite harrowing odds.

    In 2011, I was posted to Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, to an even smaller off-site compound located along the famous Ring Road and miles from the nearest military base. Conditions were stable enough in Regional Command North to allow us to produce many long-range protective security missions.

    During one such trip to Badakhshan Province, we took our senior civilian representative to dinner with members of the Aga Khan Foundation, an international development agency that ran a wide spectrum of programs in some of the world’s most challenging environments.

    Many of the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Afghanistan seemed wasteful and careless, launching short-sighted, half-baked programs that nearly always ran over budget and failed. But the Aga Khan team was different. They took on long-term challenges, lived among their communities, developed relationships with government officials, and created capacity with the support of highly experienced but low-profile security teams.

    The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development owned Serena Hotels, a hospitality company that operated the Kabul Serena Hotel—a comfortable sanctuary that had repeatedly been targeted for terrorist attacks yet continued to operate profitably thanks in large part to its robust security program.

    Their resilience in this space paid off. If one needed an armored vehicle and driver for a trip across town, it wasn’t a problem. The Serena Hotel would arrange it for $500 per hour. If a group of journalists needed a meeting room to host an event for visiting corporate leadership, the Serena could produce it with class akin to a four-star Western resort. As a result, the hotel cornered the market, charging high rates and serving a unique niche which the world’s leading hospitality giants simply avoided, driven in part by their inability and disinterest in managing the risk of operating in such a volatile environment.

    The risk management community, as reflected in the ISO 31000and Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) standards for risk management, views risk as the uncertainty in achieving an organization’s objectives. Risk is a neutral concept that can have negative outcomes as well as positive outcomes. Too often, particularly in security management, the focus is on negative outcomes, but in today’s complex risk landscape, organizations need a holistic risk management approach to pursue opportunities as well as manage undesirable events.

    Organizations exist to create value in terms of goods and services. To promote competitiveness, viability, and sustainability, it is essential to understand the purpose, values, culture, and objectives of the organization to provide the information needed to support decision making for the achievement of tactical, operational, strategic, and reputational objectives. Unless the trade-offs between upside and downside risk are clearly articulated and understood, it is not possible for the governance body to determine the risk appetite it is comfortable with to achieve its objectives. The risk management mind-set has transformed from reactive to proactive—where rather than just hunkering down, effective risk management weighs offense as the best defense.

    Consider this: You’re an expert blackjack player who has invested—and probably lost—thousands of dollars in pursuit of understanding the game. You know your odds as a result of hundreds of hours of study and play, and you understand the risks because you’ve lost in the past. In the latest game. you receive your first two cards and are so confident in your abilities, you decide to double down on your bet because you are keenly aware of the potential upside of winning. You are now exploiting risk for financial gain. By understanding and managing your risk through experience and study, you stand a better chance of profiting.

    Resilience is the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens. We often say security risk management programs exist to enable business to operate, and we use terms like resilience and capacity building when describing our programs. But are we thinking too small?

    What if we set the bar higher to say that our programming not only allows a business to operate, but thrive by facing, managing, and exploiting risk? This is what author, statistician, and risk analyst Nassim Taleb would call antifragility—a property of systems in which they increase in capability to thrive as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, or failures.

    In security’s case, we’re not only managing stressors (risk), but improving as a direct result of exploiting it. Taleb’s concepts seem to be enjoying a resurgence of late, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed just how fragile many of our systems have become. (For a full dose of these concepts, start with Taleb’s 2012 book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.)

    Michelangelo once said, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” Effective security risk management systems should be designed with antifragility as the higher goal, built upon the capacity to not only accept, avoid, share, and manage risk—a worthy goal of a resilient program—but also exploit risk, thereby reaching a higher standard.

    However, one must always remember this is an advanced concept. Just as one would not be prudent to double down at the blackjack table unless an expert at the game, one should fully understand risk at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels before attempting to exploit it. This isn’t recommended for an immature security program. Don’t try it out on the battlefield without first proving it during peacetime.

    Is there a market your organization has wanted to explore but shied away from because of security concerns? Is there a product your company always wanted to make, but didn’t feel it had enough security controls in place to protect the proprietary information associated with the manufacturing process? This is where a next-level security program can create value by developing an antifragile program and enabling organizations to thrive within challenging environments.

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  • April 26, 2023 6:54 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Artnet News

    A drunken night at the Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute won’t end with decades behind bars for museum visitor Michael Rohana, who has accepted a plea deal for stealing a finger from one of China’s famed Terracotta Warrior sculptures during an ugly Christmas sweater party.

    Rohana is scheduled to plead guilty to charges of interstate trafficking in Philadelphia federal court on April 17, reports Philadelphia’s Kyw Newsradio. The maximum sentence will be two years in jail and a fine of $20,000. That’s down from the 30-year prison sentence he previously faced on charges of theft and concealment of an object of cultural heritage from a museum. The first trial in the case ended in a mistrial when the jury couldn’t agree on the verdict, and the second was delayed due to COVID.

    The Franklin Institute exhibition, “Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor,” organized with Seattle’s Pacific Science Center, featured 10 life-size warrior statues from the Terracotta Army buried in the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Rural farmers discovered tomb, filled with some 8,000 soldiers from 210 to 209 B.C.E., in northwest China in the 1970s.

    Rohana was just 24 years old when he attended an after-hours party at the Franklin Institute on December 21, 2017. During the event, he wandered into the museum galleries, which were unlocked, and slipped past stanchion rope blocking the entrance to enter the darkened exhibition.

    Video surveillance captured Rohana—wearing a Phillies baseball cap and a bright green sweater—posing for a selfie with an arm wrapped around a 2,000-year-old sculpture known as The Cavalryman, which was insured at $4.5 million. As he walked away, Rohana seemed to break something off the figure’s left hand and place it in his pocket.

    It wasn’t until January 8 that the Franklin Institute noticed that the statue’s thumb was missing. A review of security footage, combined with credit card records from guests who purchased tickets to the event, allowed an FBI investigation to finger Rohana—pun intended—as the culprit.

    Friends with whom he attended the party later testified that he had spoken during the car ride home about taking the statue’s finger, and even shared an image of the terracotta thumb on Snapchat.

    When FBI special agent Jacob B. Archer turned up at Rohana’s Delaware residence in February 2018, the suspect immediately confessed to his crime. He then returned the stolen digit, which he he kept stored in his bedroom desk drawer.

    China was furious, with Wu Haiyun, director of the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center, which loaned the sculptures to the traveling exhibition, demanding that “the U.S. severely punish the perpetrator,” according to the BBC. (Philadelphia passed an official resolution apologizing for the incident.)

    Three months later, a federal grand jury indicted Rohana under the federal art theft statute. When the matter went before a jury, the case resulted in a mistrial in April 2019, with the jury unable to render a verdict. What made the case unique for an art theft proceeding was the lack of financial motive.

    And the statute only applied to artworks with a value of over $5,000. Separated from the figure, how much was the thumb worth on its own, really? Two expert witnesses offered wildly different appraisals. Testifying on behalf of the prosecution, Michael Cohn claimed it was worth five percent of the sculpture’s total value, or $150,000; called by the defense, Lark E. Mason named a figure of just $1,000.

    When Rohana took the stand, he admitted he didn’t know why he had stolen the thumb.

    “Every time I see this video now, I’m trying to figure out: ‘What was going through your mind? What were you thinking?’ I don’t know how I could have been so stupid,” he said.

    The jury had to ask itself: Did an incident of impulsive, alcohol-fueled vandalism really merit the same punishment as a premeditated art heist? Rohana’s lawyer argued that it did not.

    “These charges were made for art thieves—think like Ocean’s Eleven or Mission: Impossible,” Catherine C. Henry told jurors. “[Rohana] wasn’t in ninja clothing sneaking around the museum. He was a drunk kid in a bright green ugly Christmas sweater.”

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