Conference - Speakers and Conference

Speakers and Conference

Bonita Bennett from the District Six Museum in Cape Town spoke at Museum Ideas 2017

Explore the ideas shaping the future of museums. Each year Museum Ideas brings together a group of fascinating speakers and challenges them to share innovative ideas in concise, powerful talks. The aim is for delegates to be inspired by perspectives outside their own specialism and locality. What unites the conference is the quality and enthusiasm of contributors along with their desire to share valuable expertise and experience.

“An inspiring conference with passionate, generous people that are willing to share best practice openly, honestly, and with an open mind” – Roshni Hirani, Royal Museums Greenwich

You can expect an international speaker line-up and conference audience. Last year we welcomed speakers from South Africa, Argentina, Hong Kong, the US and Europe. This year the conference features speakers from India, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Europe. Now in its seventh year, Museum Ideas welcomes hundreds of leading museum professionals from around the world. Delegates from over 20 countries took part in the 2017 conference. Museum Ideas 2018 takes place on Thursday 4 October at the Museum of London. Early-bird registration is now open – book your ticket today.

Speakers include:

Museum Ideas 2018 speakers include: Manal Ataya; Sandra Shakespeare; Joyoti Roy; Kevin Bickham; Katrina Lashley; Yasha Young; Tony Butler; Tui Te Hau; Diana Chen; Chris Michaels

Kevin Bickham, Lead Interaction Designer, The British Museum – UK
Kevin Bickham is an award-winning product designer – specialising in user experience and user interface design – who solves complex problems and crafts beautiful artefacts. Throughout his practice, Kevin champions user-centred design methodologies, including iterative user testing and participatory co-design sessions. Born in California, Kevin gained his degree in Product Design at Stanford University before working as a Strategic Consultant at DEGW (now AECOM) in New York City. Following a Master’s Degree in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, Kevin currently creates new products and experiences as Lead Interaction Designer at The British Museum.

Elizabeth Galvin, Leader, Digital Programmes Team, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Elizabeth Galvin is an anthropologist and digital humanities specialist and is the leader of the Digital Programmes Team at the V&A. In this role, she manages the research, formation, and implementation of digital programmes and educational technology to explore collections. Prior to joining the V&A, Elizabeth was a curator at the British Museum, where, most recently, she was the project manager and leader of a major digital research project. Her academic interests are focused on the intersection of technology and digital outputs in academia with traditional museum research and engagement practices.

Katrina D. Lashley, Program Coordinator, Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, Washington, D.C. – United States
Katrina Lashley is Program Coordinator for the Anacostia Community Museum’s Urban Waterways project. Urban Waterways allows communities to challenge accepted narratives of issues pertaining to their ongoing connections to the natural world and the role equitable access to natural resources plays in the imagining and establishment of just, sustainable cities. The project is especially concerned with documenting historically under-served communities which are the first to feel the impacts of pollution and mismanagement of natural resources and challenges established norms of the civic obligations of cultural institutions, as the communities they serve confront issues whose impacts are reflected at the local, national, and international levels. Katrina received her BA in English Literature and Italian at Rutgers University and earned an MA in History (Public History track) at American University, with a focus on the British Caribbean, and has worked on projects for the National Museum of American History and Arlington House.

Elizabeth Cotton, Head of Human History, Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum – New Zealand
Liz provides leadership to the research, collection development, collection management and engagement activities of a large team of curators and collection managers. Their collective areas of expertise cover Māori, Pacific, Archaeology, Social & War History and Applied Arts & Design collections, and Museum Studies. Liz’s previous roles include working for central government as a senior adviser on movable cultural heritage policy, and in museum registration & collection management. Liz is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute (GLI2017), has an MA in Ancient History and a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies. Her primary research interests lie in the ongoing iteration of curatorial practice in 21st century museums, and museum sector development.

Joyoti Roy, Director of Marketing, CSMVS Museum, Mumbai – India
Joyoti Roy is an arts and museum manager and presently heads the Marketing and Branding Section of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay (CSMVS) in Mumbai, India. Until August 2017, she was Head of Outreach Department of the National Museum in New Delhi and has been involved in making museums accessible and interesting for visitors through programmes, exhibitions and new strategies since 2014. Between 2011 and 2013 she worked for the National Culture Fund where she coordinated the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India’s Museum Reform Programmes including the Leadership Training Programme for In-service museum professionals in collaboration with the British Museum. Joyoti was trained as an art conservator from the National Museum Institute and worked at the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) from 2003 to 2010, after which she worked as the Chief Archivist at the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, Delhi, an archive of 19th century photographs. She has been a Charles Wallace India Trust Awardee for the year 2008 for a fellowship programme in conservation of contemporary art at the Tate Gallery, London and is the International Clore Fellow from India to UK in 2017-18. She is currently investigating and searching for the real role of museums in India. Joyoti is an active theatre person and in 1999 she joined the well-known Delhi based Street Theatre group, Jana Natya Manch.

Chris Michaels, Digital Director, The National Gallery, London – UK
Chris Michaels is Digital Director of the National Gallery in London where he sits on their Executive Committee. At the Gallery, he runs the Digital & Communications Directorate with responsibilities including social media, the web, ticketing, membership, marketing and PR. Before he joined the Gallery, he was Head of Digital & Publishing at the British Museum, where he founded their digital department and created their digital strategy. He acts as an advisor to the Humboldt Forum, a new institution being built in Berlin. He has acted as advisor to museums in Qatar and Singapore. Before entering the world of Museums, he was CEO of educational startup Mindshapes. He has led digital functions in TV, publishing and advertising and has a PHD from the University of Bristol.

Tui Te Hau, Innovation Hub Manager, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa – New Zealand
The start-up community is the grassroots of innovation in any city and Tui has been involved in Wellington’s innovation eco-system since its beginning. For almost two years, she has been leading Mahuki – Te Papa’s innovation accelerator. Tui’s background includes working for NZTE where she headed up the Maori Enterprise Team supporting major primary exporters into offshore markets. She went on to be New Zealand Trade Commissioner based in Melbourne and on her return to New Zealand headed up NZTE’s exporter education programme. Tui then spent over a decade working with start-ups and headed up Wellington’s Fashion HQ business incubator and was the former Chief Executive of Creative HQ. Tui was responsible for the establishment of the Lightning Lab, New Zealand’s business acceleration programme.

Manal Ataya, Director General, Sharjah Museums – United Arab Emirates
Manal Ataya has served as Director-General of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) for eight years and currently manages 16 museums. The department is responsible for the strategic development of future museum projects, fostering partnerships with the international museum community and leading the effort to deliver best practice in museum services. The current scope of the museums includes Islamic culture and history, contemporary art, heritage, maritime history, archaeology, science and children’s learning. She currently serves on the boards of the College of Fine Art and Design, University of Sharjah and of ICCROM-ATHAR, the regional centre for cultural heritage preservation in the Arab region. She was an international fellowship recipient for the UK based Clore leadership programme in 2010. Ataya holds a BA in Studio Art and Communication Studies from Hamilton College and a graduate degree in Museum Studies from Harvard University.

Sandra Shakespeare, Clore Fellow – Archives Consortium / Museum Detox
Sandra Shakespeare is a Clore Fellow – Archives Consortium and has delivered youth arts projects in partnership with the V&A, Royal Opera House, Urban Development, and Bow Arts Trust amongst others. Between 2012 and early 2018 Sandra was Outreach Officer for The National Archives. Previously Sandra was Arts Development Co-ordinator, East Potential, Stratford; Learning Communities Development Worker, London Borough of Tower Hamlets; Marketing Assistant, Black Women in the Arts. Sandra is currently focussing on the strategic development of Museum Detox and is one of the co-founding members working with NEON Orgbuilders to develop a business model for Museum Detox. She is also a Trustee for Youth Club Archives – a brilliant organisation doing pioneering work with archival collections documenting the historical narrative of youth subcultures.

Mike Sarna, Director, Collections and Public Engagement at Royal Museums Greenwich – UK
Mike will be leading the special study day taking place at the National Maritime Museum as part of Museum Ideas 2018. Mike has worked in museums for over 25 years from small to large. Most of his professional career has been in Chicago – including 8 years as Director of Collections and Senior Curator at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry – but since 2006 Mike has been based in the UK with roles including Head of Interpretation and Design at the Natural History Museum in London and now Director, Collections and Public Engagement at Royal Museums Greenwich.

Tony Butler, Executive Director, Derby Museums Trust / Founder, Happy Museum Project – United Kingdom
Tony will be chairing the Museum Ideas conference for the third year running. Tony is a social history curator at heart and has been Executive Director of Derby Museums Trust since January 2014. Derby Museums includes Derby Silk Mill, the site of the world’s first factory and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Derby Museum and Art Gallery which contains the world’s finest collection of works by the 18th century artist Joseph Wright. From 2015 he will oversee the £17m redevelopment of the Silk Mill as Derby’s Museum of Making. Prior to that, Tony was director of the Museum of East Anglian Life for nine years. He repositioned the organisation as a social enterprise and led a major capital development programme. In 2011 he founded the Happy Museum Project, to create an international community of practice to explore how museums could contribute to a society in which well-being and environmental sustainability were its principle values. Tony has an MA in Museology from University of East Anglia and was the Fellow for Museums on the Clore Leadership Programme in 2007-08.

Call for Papers: Museum Ideas 2018
Interested in speaking at Museum Ideas this year? We would be delighted to hear from you. If you have an idea you would like to share – or just some initial thoughts you would like to discuss – please get in touch by emailing

Museum Ideas speakers

Speakers at previous Museum Ideas conferences include:

• Bonita Bennett, Director, District Six Museum, Cape Town
• Whitney Donhauser, Director, Museum of the City of New York
• Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
• Silvia Filippini-Fantoni, Director of Interpretation, Indianapolis Museum of Art
• Robert Stein, Deputy Director, Dallas Museum of Art
• Kaywin Feldman, Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
• Rose Hiscock, Director, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Sydney
• Synthia Griffin – Curator: Regeneration & Community Partnerships, Tate Modern
• Seb Chan, Director of Digital & Emerging Media, Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt
• Francesca Rosenberg, Director of Community and Access Programs, MoMA
• Hadrian Ellory-van Dekker, Head of Collections, Science Museum, London
• Peter Gorgels, Digital Communication Manager, Rijksmuseum
• Pille Runnel, Research Director, Estonian National Museum
• Kirsten Jensen, Audience Development Manager, Trapholt Museum, Denmark
• JiaJia Fei, Director of Digital, Jewish Museum, New York
• Ken Arnold, Creative Director, Medical Museion, Copenhagen
• Gravity Goldberg, Associate Director of Public Programs, Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
• Dan Hicks, Professor of Archaeology, University of Oxford
• Jane Burton, Head of Content and Creative Director, Tate Media
• Andrew Lewis, Data and Insights Architect, Natural History Museum
• Jonas Heide Smith, Head of Digital, SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark
• Caryn Boehm, Creative Engagement Producer, Peabody Essex Museum
• Rosie Stanbury, Acting Head of Public Programmes, Wellcome Collection, London

Museum-iD Magazine #21

Museum-iD Magazine #21

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