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5th October 2020


In week one, we’ll look at living with disruption and the tools and techniques that can help us to be more resilient.

We’ll talk about self-care, being kind to ourselves and dig into the values that drive us as individuals and organisations.


In Conversation: Scott Stulen and Jeff Martin

Jeff Martin sits down with the Director of Philbrook Museum of Art to talk about how the museum responded to Covid-19, how the pandemic has changed the institution and the lessons that he’ll be taking away from 2020.


Panel Discussion

Monica O. Montgomery, Gretchen Wilson-Prangley and Tony Butler us for this panel discussion looking at the impact of Covid-19 on museums, how has it disrupted plans and forced innovations.

We’ll also talk about resilience and how our panel have kept moving forward in these uncertain times.


Talk: Intentional Civility

The meaning of civility is culturally dependent—as are the rules associated with the term.

If museums and their staff want to welcome all peoples, then the rules of civil behaviour have to change to reflect that intention. Yet museums have mostly lived with the traditional, class-dependent notion of etiquette. The area that the concept of civility should be concerned with covers our interactions in spheres generally considered separable: public behaviour; staff behaviour; content behaviour; community relations.

Museums would do well to examine those behavioural elements that have been assumed to be self-evident: like not talking in the library (whereas there are now talking-based rooms). Normative behaviour is always changing, but interestingly, as it changes, it generally remains mostly in the service of peaceful outcomes.

I am suggesting that direct interrogation of our unexamined rules about interactions with each other in every context—and adjusting them to reflect a changed society—might be more significant than previously assumed.


Building Your Resilience

We live in challenging times, with huge expectations placed upon us, within an ever-changing working environment. The museum sector has been particularly hard-hit by the global pandemic and arts professionals everywhere are experiencing increasing precarity. It’s important for us to ‘stitch our parachutes’ so that we have the resources to be able to cope with these, and future, tough times.

In this webinar, Carmel will introduce her framework of 5 pillars of resilience, and give you examples and exercises to help you develop a practical and actionable strategy to enable you to adapt and thrive. You will be encouraged to develop a clear understanding of your own individual strengths and stress triggers, and guided to adapt the framework for your own particular circumstances.

Building our resilience is about encouraging learning, growth, and flexibility. This webinar incorporates key elements of post-traumatic growth and positive psychology to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to help them overcome personal and professional challenges.

Why is it necessary/important now?

Now more than ever we have had our resilience tested and can observe how we have responded to the pandemic, both personally and professionally. This is an opportune moment for us to reflect on this, to uncover the trends in our responses and to create our own resilience strategies, enabling us to recover from the current pandemic, and any future challenges life throws at us. As we experience this collective trauma, we should be mindful about emerging from it with growth and development rather than falling into post-traumatic stress. These simple tools and everyday exercises can shore up our resilience and help us weather future storms.


Talk: Self-care for Museum Professionals

Self-care for Museum Professionals with Seema Rao, Deputy Director and Chief Experience Officer, Akron Art Museum, and author of “Objective Lessons: Self Care for Museum Workers”

Museum work can be exhausting–especially in these challenging times. Are we doing enough to care for ourselves? What can we do to exercise self-care and support others in their restorative practices? In this talk, Seema Rao discusses how museum workers can practice self-care as well as foster a healthier, more productive, and more creative work environment.

12th October 2020

Challenging Convention

In week two, we’ll discuss how we can challenge convention and create positive disruption within our organisations with new ideas and innovative technologies.

We’ll hear from people leading these changes, and our cameras will visit museums to see this in practice.


In Conversation: Deirdre Carasso and Meta Knol

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 film director Deirdre Carasso will talk with Meta Knol about what she learned, the challenges she faced and what a community centred museum looks like in a post Covid world.


We Need Radical Trust

Liz Johnson talks about flexible working, something that has been forced upon museums by the Covid-19 crisis.

How, why and when we work matters in this volatile, uncertain, ambiguous and complex world and links to
our creativity, mental health and

Liz will share her campaign for radical trust in each other, and make a case for sticking with our new found flexibility.

Liz Johnson is the Director of Museums and Collections Development at Arts Council England.


Interview : Chris Michaels

Filmed at the National Gallery in London, we catch up with Chris Michaels, Director of Digital, Communications and Technology to discuss how the museum has adapted to the Covid-19 crisis and the innovations introduced because of this disruption.


WORKSHOP: “Making Change Happen”

Do you see yourself as a passionate changemaker, yet feel frustrated by the lack of change happening within your organization? You are not alone. During this online workshop, we’ll explore our own internal barriers to change, challenge assumptions about organizational structure and hierarchy, and develop strategies we can enact to become agents of change within our own institutions. As part of this workshop, participants will receive a downloadable workbook with exercises and strategies designed to support your practice as you work to make change happen.


Transforming the Way We Learn

Transforming the Way We Learn
Carissa Dougherty,
Head of Knowledge Management,
The Morton Arboretum

Have you ever been given a solution to enact… that seemed like it was solving the wrong problem?

“Just turn that in-person class into a Zoom webinar.”

“Let’s find more BIPOC to include in the exhibition.”

“We need a process for reviewing content.”

Sometimes that webinar, that invite list, that process isn’t really the problem. But how would you know? And how can you create a space for eliciting the real problem without completely pissing people off?

This presentation will take a humorous look at situations where assumptions have subverted any real problem solving and give you strategies to flip those situations into productive, collaborative conversations.

19 October 2020

Making Change Happen

In our third week, we’ll talk about the practical side of making change happen. How do you turn your idea’s into action? How can you better communicate what you want to achieve?

Learn from those who are successfully doing this in their organisations.


Disrupt! Process and Mediation for The Emergent Museum

The world is changing before our eyes. What is the impact on these shifts on our communities and subsequently our museums? Dr. Porchia Moore advocates for disruption of museum praxis as we know. This talk is a critical mediation on how The New Museum can emerge in the midst of what Coates calls, “The Great Fire”. Moore outlines strategies, critical assertions, and viewpoints on the power of disruption and how it can serve as fuel for growth and vision in museums.

Dr. Porchia Moore is the Department Head and Assistant Professor of Museum Studies, University of Florida and the Critical Race Futurist for The Incluseum.


Museums and their role in a Greener World

Many cities across the globe have seen a dramatic decline in air pollution in recent months due to lockdown, with many questions raised about the potential for a more sustainable world post Covid-19, and how each sector can play its part.

Nick Merriman talks about the manifesto adopted by the Horniman Museum that pledges to put the environment at the heart of the institution’s mission as reflected in its research, collections, education, programming & exhibitions.

Nick Merriman is the Director of the Horniman Museum


PANEL: “Collaborative Leadership That Works!”

The ongoing global pandemic, related economic crisis, and growing demands for racial justice and workers’ rights has led to wide-ranging challenges to the traditional structures of museum institutions, including leadership. In many ways, the top-down, hierarchical, solo leadership model adopted by nearly all museums seems incapable of addressing the urgent need to reimagine and reinvent these institutions. Is there another way? Well, yes, there sure is! This panel brings together a group of forward-thinking leaders from museums and non-profits who are boldly making a more collaborative, collective approach to leadership work within their own organizations. Join us as we talk about these models, why museums should consider taking the leap into more non-traditional collaborative leadership models, and how these models can effectively work in practice, not just in theory.


How to build an organisation that embraces change

Laura Crossley explores the reasons why people fear change and how these fears can be allayed through practices such as empathetic leadership, better communication and improved change processes.

How can we build organisations that better embrace change?


Stabilising 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 & 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.

26 October 2020

What’s Next?

Our final week is all about what’s next? How will the world change over the next decade and how can we confidently step into this and lead change.

We’ll learn techniques, hear examples and put plans in place for moving ourselves and our organisations forward.


Talk: The Future of Museums

As museums bounce back from Covid-19 what will the future look like. In this presentation Jim Richardson shares the trends and technologies that will define the next decade of museums.


What Art can do for the Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015 the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals – as a roadmap for the sustainable development of all people and our planet.

In this session cultural innovator Jasper Visser talks with composer and art activist Merlijn Twaalfhoven about what art can do for the SDGs.

Expect to be inspired by artists and museums from around the world and be empowered to lead the change in your own organization or community.

Jasper Visser is a consultant and facilitator working with cultural & civic organisations. Merlijn Twaalfhoven is a composer and artistic entrepreneur.


Rapid prototyping for museums

A speculative 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 maybe isn’t talking about. It’s precisely those problems we should use to quickly craft and test drive possible, tangible alternatives for the here and now.

Drawing on some of my recent experiments in disruptive museology and leadership, I’ll share with you a handful of low-cost, low-tech and actionable measures that will hopefully 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.


Workshop: Design Thinking for Museums

Over the past few decades, museums have experienced a paradigm shift from collections-driven institutions to visitor-centered, socially responsive public institutions. Now more than ever, with the Covid-19 crisis and its worldwide impact on cultural institutions, there is an urgent need for institutions to innovate, iterate, and adapt while remaining focused on equity, inclusion, and engagement.

Design thinking offers a framework and set of tools for identifying and responding to human needs, cultivating responsive and engaging institutions, developing equitable and relevant experiences, and experimenting and innovating a new way forward.

It is a codified, repeatable process for problem solving, creativity, and innovation that combines empathetic listening, holistic thinking, collaboration, and experimentation. In this interactive workshop-style session, participants will be introduced to actionable design thinking tools and methods they can apply inside their organizations in order to make change happen and move forward in an uncertain world.


It all leads to this...

Our final session in MuseumNext Disrupt is down to you. We’re challenging our community to make short films sharing ‘What’s next for museums?’

We want to hear your ideas, provocations and visions for the future.