One Smithsonian

Addressing complicated issues and global problems such as zoonotic diseases, climate change, and the rapid loss of natural resources resulting from human activities and population pressures requires work that spans disciplines and organizational boundaries. The Smithsonian’s potential to tackle complex challenges, as well as to innovate in design, technology, and other pursuits, is greatest when our museums, galleries, Zoo, research centers, education centers, and mission-support offices work together as One Smithsonian.

This section of the Dashboard highlights forward-thinking, interdisciplinary, and cross-Smithsonian activities that tackle pressing issues and chart new paths that the Smithsonian is particularly well suited to address due to its unique combination of science, history, art, and culture experts and global partnerships. Learn more at Torch, Smithsonian Global, Smithsonian Insider, and Smithsonian.com

Stock image of a modern windmill. Courtesy Pixabay.

Life on a Sustainable Planet

At the November 2022 Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) international summit in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, the Smithsonian announced the launch of its pan-Institutional Life on a Sustainable Planet initiative. This initiative will harness Smithsonian collections, research expertise, and educational resources to promote five goals: conserving forests and grasslands; recognizing the interdependency of human and environmental health; safeguarding oceans; promoting environmental justice; and improving the sustainability of the Smithsonian’s own facilities. The Smithsonian is also a partner in the COP Resilience Hub, an initiative focusing on promoting local resilience and adaptation in the face of climate change.

Hip Hop Block Party Marketing Flyer

Hip-Hop and Rap Celebration

In 2021, in partnership with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the National Museum of African American History and Culture released the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap, a collection of music chronicling hip-hop’s journey from the parks of the Bronx to national and international popularity. To celebrate the first anniversary of its release, the Museum hosted an all-day Hip-Hop Block Party in August, 2022. The event featured daytime and evening performances by local and national talent; workshops, panel discussions, and presentations on hip-hop’s cultural influence; and a special hip-hop-inspired menu at the Museum’s Sweet Home Cafe.

Coastal image by Claudio Contreras-Koob, International League of Conservation Photographers

Benefits of Smithsonian Science

The Smithsonian is globally renowned for its role in studying and cataloging the natural world. Less known is its support for on-the-ground efforts to conserve, protect, and enhance biodiversity and ecosystems. Since 2017, it has managed the Working Land and Seascapes (WLS) initiative to advance community-focused conservation efforts, which now supports projects in 13 countries. More recently, conservation leaders from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, Environmental Research Center, Tropical Research Institute, and National Museum of Natural History have collaborated to quantify the benefits of these WLS projects. Their research was published in the journal Conservation Science and Practice.

Smithsonian Organization and Audience Research/OCIO