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The first day of MuseumNext is our conference fringe. This gives delegates the opportunity to register, get to know our host city, meet fellow delegates, participate in workshops and to enjoy fringe events.

Each delegate is offered a menu of fringe activities to participate in, with these allocated on a first come first served basis.

[Please note that because delegates are at venues across Edinburgh on this first day, no lunch is included]



Pick up your delegate bag and conference programme.

Registration will be open until 4pm allowing delegates to register throughout the day.



This year we’re offering delegates the opportunity to participate in free workshops on resilience, trust, making change happen, embracing change and attitude statements. Workshops will have limited capacities and will be offered to delegates on a first come, first served basis.


Digital Sessions sponsored by Microsoft

1:00 – Transforming the Museum Through Collecting Social Digital Photography

Kajsa Hartig,
Head of Collections and Cultural Environments,
Västernorrlands Museum

This presentation will show practical examples of how collecting of social digital photography can become a catalyst for transformation in museums, drawing from the international research project Collecting Social Photo, sharing steps that support breaking silos, strengthening digital skills and embracing experimentation and agile work practices.

1:30 – #NewSelfWales – What does the face of New South Wales, Australia, really look like?

Paula Bray,
DX Lab Leader,
State Library, New South Wales

In 2018 the State Library of NSW’s DX Lab asked audiences ‘what does the face of New South Wales look like?’.  The DX Lab was given this unique opportunity to develop and build an innovative exhibition and online experience to explore this idea.

After an extensive user-experience led research phase the DX Lab decided to use Instagram and in-gallery photo booths to ask visitors to contribute to the collection of portraits on display in a live data feed. The portraits were collected by the Library at the conclusion of the exhibition. This presentation will reveal the making of the DX Lab’s biggest experiment crossing multiple disciplines and domains, including physical, digital, design and engineering.

2:00 – New Approaches to Creating Audience Experiences

Sam King,
Senior Producer of Audience Labs,
Royal Opera House

Technology is changing how we interact with the world around us. It offers new opportunities to transform creative process and engagement with audiences. How can approaches to digital development – experimentation, iteration, prototyping – be applied to the creative process of making new art, experiences and exhibitions? How can we integrate R&D into the lifecycle of creative development? How can new kinds of artistic inventions travel beyond familiar cultural spaces into new and unexpected contexts and locations? This session will explore how Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House is shaping a new methodology for how institutions approach innovation in cultural production and engage with next generation technologies.

2:30 – Break

3:00 – How automation transforms our daily work

Anita Brunner-Irujo
Head of Digital Media
Universalmuseum Joanneum

At Universalmuseum Joanneum we implemented marketing automation to increase membership sales organically as well as for our Sales team. We had to streamline the entire manual process from purchasing membership to shipping the receipt and the membership card, event registration and renewals. We worked with several departments across the organization to evaluate each task along the way and identify opportunities to digitize and automate them, such as issuing receipts and membership renewal. We developed new modules within our CRM to host the membership card data to be able to personalize e-mail communication based on subscription levels and origin of purchase (front desk versus Sales). We developed personalized online forms to support a post sales strategy for extension packages and make it easy for loyal visitors to renew their membership. Going through the development process, we faced fear of change among our colleagues who are now very happy about the new way of handling the process around membership. We managed to reduce the time and manual labor needed to process a new membership from close to 1 hour to less than 8 minutes. We also eliminated manual tasks for our billing department, cut manual costs and can now use our resources more efficiently. At the same time, we created transparency for our members, significantly improved communications and made it easier for them to engage with us.

3:30 – TBC

4:00pm – Close


Opening Reception

Join delegates from around the world at the National Museum of Scotland for our opening reception. Drinks and Canapés will be served.


The second day of MuseumNext offer delegates one track of highly curated presentations from an international line up of speakers.

You’ll still have plenty of opportunities to network with lunch, breaks and an evening social event.


What really happens if you invite everyone into your museum?

How do you turn an almost bankrupt city museum into a bubbling place that is cherished by its communities, while attracting growing numbers of visitors from across the country? The Stedelijk Museum Schiedam is a midsized museum with a collection of contemporary art and local history. Over the last three years it managed to change from a little loved institution to being crowned the most visitor friendly Museum of the Year 2019 in the Netherlands. In this presentation director Deirdre Carasso will share what she learned, the challenges she faced and also some success stories.


Stabilizing against Displacement with Radical Leadership

What happens when museums become activists? How might they transform how they partner with communities to defend against social challenges in a rapidly-changing socio-cultural landscape? During this presentation, Harvard Loeb Fellow and designer-activist, De Nichols, will share creative strategies and approaches that museums can leverage to build community-driven coalitions in the address of spatial injustices, residential displacement, and cultural shifts. Strategies will review a range of case studies as it focuses on how these approaches are helping The Griot Museum of Black History in St. Louis, MO, transform its practices, leadership, and pedagogy to respond to rapid private development that has displaced much of its surrounding neighbourhood.


How to Be an Museum Entrepreneur

Change is possible, even in the most established museums, and you don’t have to be a director to make it happen. Institutional entrepreneurs work within organizations to build new programs, projects, and ways of working. What does it take to turn a new idea into reality in a stagnant institution? How can you harness the power you hold to lead transformation in your museum, whether you’ve been there for a month or a decade? Can you help build a culture of innovation, no matter where you land on the organizational chart? Old museums *can* learn new tricks.




Panel: How to Build a Museum that Embraces Change

A panel discussion led by Laura Crossley and exploring why people fear change, empathetic leadership and better communication.




Sponsor Presentation : MuseumMate

With SmartGuide, the museum has a powerful tool to manage visitors and can learn much more about their habits and even their profiles.

The museum can manage visitor flows inside the galleries and avoid crowding and saturation of them without visitors even perceiving it during their visit.

Behind SmartGuide™ is months of technological research and years working side-by-side with museums. Our vision and the ingenuity of the techniques and designers enabled us to develop a new audio guide concept, based on unique technological innovations.


Reimagining Leadership

What does ‘leadership’ mean to you? Does striving for more diverse leadership in the cultural sector simply mean getting more diverse people into senior management roles? Or could it actually mean reimagining what leadership actually is, and how it can be most effective? This session examines alternative approaches to leadership; including the ‘soft skills’ essential for effective leadership; and ways in which we embody and role model values and behaviours in our everyday working lives, at all organisational levels, while bringing our whole selves to work. Designed for current and emerging leaders who aspire to lead and build inclusive organisations.


Empowering Staff to Drive Brand-led Change from the Bottom Up

Hear how an empowered cross-departmental group of non-managers at a major art museum pushed through a robust program for staff-wide engagement without breaking the bank. Their track record in a year? A revived Staff Art Show tradition plus a Staff Artist Panel Talk that explored what drives creativity outside of work; a series of staff-only talks and film screenings hosted by curators, filmmakers, and other outside speakers; and finally, a Staff Day-of-Service program where quarterly volunteer events are held on the clock, during work hours, and off-site in support of other non-for-profits. The result? A more creative and collaborative staff-body.


Transforming Audiences, Challenging Perceptions

What happens if our viewers don’t actually know what they want? What happens if they don’t realize how far they can go? Discover how to transform your work by opening your audiences to things they didn’t even know they could ask for. Learn how two organizations challenged their audiences to do more, and how those audiences, in turn, challenged the organizations to grow. Discover the steps we took to step out of our comfort zones with our participants to build something truly unexpected together.




Tea, cake and a smile

A look, with tea and cake, at types of community engagement and participation that can help put communities at the centre of your work.

Sometimes people don’t know how to get started with involving groups, how to reach out and find people to work with, or what to do with them when they’ve found interested people!

This session will provide an overview of different ways of working from first contact through to celebrations and opening.

A great starting point for people looking to involve communities in their work, both inside and outside the museum.


We need radical trust

We should trust each other more.

I’ve been campaigning and raising awareness about flexible working for 8 years. How, why and when we work matters more than I realised in this volatile, uncertain, ambiguous and complex world which we are operating in, and links to our creativity, our mental health and our effectiveness. It speaks to equality and inclusion, and to getting the best talent into our workforce.

I’ll share my journey building a movement which campaigns for radical trust in each other.


Sessions Close


Evening Social




Practice what you preach

Through the last 16 years I’ve been running 3 museums. Every time I start in a new position, I ask my new staff why we’re doing what we’re doing. I tend to ask collogues, directors, curators, around the world the same question. When the discussion goes beyond the general topics of the art scene and moves towards the idea of social impact and audience, a popular and common feedback is that it’s about challenging the mindset of the spectator and expose the person for creative processes. But how come so many art museums look and think the same? How can we as leaders challenge staff  so we can develop new museums, and why should we?


Where start-ups and century-old institution meet

In the digital age, how can a century-old cultural institution keep the pace of a fast-changing environment? The Centre des monuments nationaux, a leading cultural institution in France, managing 100 monuments and welcoming 10 million visitors a year, addressed that issue by creating an incubator in June 2018. The CMN provides access to its 100 monuments as a playground for newly created companies to test their concept. This new way of working with start-ups to innovate might be the solution for cultural institutions to reinvent themselves.




Open Stage

Fast paced lightening talks with speakers from around the globe. Each has five minutes to share a story or insight on change in museums.




A journey into Podcasting

The hype around podcasting isn’t dying down. In fact, audiences are set to grow even further. But with so much content out there, what does it take to create a really effective museum-based podcast? Ben Murray, Art Fund’s Head of Content, outlines the thinking behind ‘Meet Me at the Museum’, Art Fund’s popular podcast series, which was nominated for a British Podcast Award after its first season. Ben will summarise the approach taken by the Art Fund team around creative development, production and distribution and share some hints and tips for those thinking about starting their own journey into podcasting.


How youth proof is your museum?

Have you ever thought about how youth proof your museum or organisation is? Why not ask the youngsters themselves? ‘Nothing about them, without them’ is what AmuseeVous from Belgium stand for. They have 15 years of experience in participation and communication with youngsters and would like to share this with the rest of the world.

Ilka Tillekaerts
Cultural Entrepreneurship


Mining collections for new narratives

Helen Welford and Olivia Heron will share MIMA’s ongoing project of mining and auditing the Middlesbrough Collection for new narratives and perspectives. Like many UK public collections, certain voices and experiences remain underrepresented in the collection; with artists of colour, working class, disabled and LGBTQIA+ still in a minority. MIMA is leaning into these histories and redressing imbalances by excavating the collection for ignored, hidden or overlooked stories and developing new priorities for collecting. This workshop highlights two examples of practice and shows how MIMA uses research to shape exhibitions and acquisitions.




Museums as Community Learning Hubs

This presentation will share the National Heritage Board of Singapore’s Silver Hubs Framework which seeks to reposition and transform its three heritage institutions into “community learning hubs” for seniors. Under the framework, NHB will offer a suite of age-friendly initiatives that leverage on museum/heritage resources and modern assistive technologies to facilitate lifelong learning, encourage contribution and promote the psychosocial and emotional well-being of seniors.

This presentation will outline the framework and its various age-friendly initiatives that promote lifelong learning amongst seniors. It will also offer insights into the challenges of developing museum policies and programmes for seniors, as well as the learning points gleamed from developing the framework and implementing its initiatives.


Rapid prototyping for museums

A step-by-step toolkit for changing the core makeup of your museum. Let’s look at how to pinpoint issues of pressing concern for your community that your museum isn’t talking about. It’s precisely those problems we should use to rapidly prototype new institutions and genuine alternatives. A handful of low-cost, low-tech and actionable measures empower you to start remaking your museum with confidence and care.

For museum directors and other leadership positions in particular. Alternatively, a boost for your next job application.

Subjects: How to be a museum radical without being fired – How to lead from the trenches – Making radical change happen.


Conference Closes