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Mahuki: Challenging expectations of the role of museums

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Melissa Firth
Chief Digital Officer
Te Papa Tongarewa

For almost two decades, Te Papa has challenged expectations of what a museum can be. This year they pushed out even further with the launch of Mahuki, our culture-sector Innovation accelerator.

A structured entrepreneurial program, Mahuki is run annually over 5 months where up to ten teams (or 40 individuals) work on sustainable solutions for challenges facing cultural institutions globally.

Through Mahuki, Te Papa has made a bold investment, recognizing that innovation is experimental and higher risk than core business. Even though Te Papa undertook extensive market research, Mahuki has still been a lesson in trusting our instincts and building a program iteratively.

Learn what went right, what was surprising and whether accelerators are something other cultural organisations should be thinking about adding into their business models.