Plants2010
The Global Partnership for Plant Conservation website

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Top ten tips for engaging your audience
Sue Minter, Eden Project, Cornwall


  1. Stop talking to ourselves and broaden our audiences by active outreach to many social classes and ethnicities. Invite them in!

  2. Be unstuffy in our approach to interpretation and use humour to engage people

  3. Use economic botany, our daily reliance on plants, to connect with people

  4. Use interdisciplinary teams to work up interpretation and involve artists at the brief stage-they will help you ‘think out of the box’

  5. Set your focus firmly on the future and empower people to contribute to it. Involve them in the ‘good news stories’

  6. Be theatrical with your horticulture, don’t be afraid of ‘set dressing’

  7. Practise what you preach in the sustainability of your operations-lead the way.

  8. Actively embrace controversies-performance helps the public engage with ethical dilemmas (historically that has been the role of theatre…)

  9. Food is our common focus and agriculture has a massive effect on ‘the wild’ and wild plants. Work with the international genebanks to showcase their work on sustainable agriculture via your gardens-they need a public stage (and botanic gardens have a worldwide network of ‘stages’)

  10. Trade and consumption are not dirty words. Use your shops, catering and supply chains to demonstrate how the consumer can contribute to sustainable trade in plant-based products and ameliorate impacts on the wild. The point is not to understand the world but change it…