Museum Ideas 2020: 30+ FREE talks exploring the future of museums

Next month we will be sharing 30+ talks exploring the ideas shaping the future of museums. All FREE to watch on — no subscription, membership or ticket required

Due to coronavirus we are unable to run the 2020 conference in the usual way and have decided to make it a FREE online event.

Museum Ideas 2020 will take place in October. All 30+ talks are pre-recorded and free to watch. The full conference programme will be announced soon. If you would like to add your voice to the conference there is still time and we’ve tried to make the process of contributing a talk as easy and straightforward as possible. Please email for further details.

Confirmed speakers include:

• Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell, Head of Programs, Smithsonian American Art Museum
• Thanh Sinden, Specialist Consultant in Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement
• Melanie Keen, Director, Wellcome Collection, London
• Esme Ward, Director, Manchester Museum
• Richard Benjamin, Head, International Slavery Museum, Liverpool
• Dan Hicks, Professor of Contemporary Archaeology, University of Oxford
• Becki Morris, Director, Disability Collaborative Network; and Associate Consultant, EMBED
• Nina Finigan, Curator Manuscripts, Auckland Museum, New Zealand
• Sufea Mohamad Noor, Development Assistant, Tate Liverpool
• Aisling Serrant, Community Engagement Manager, Museum of London Docklands
• Kinsi Abdulleh, Artist and Educator; Founder, NUMBI, and Somali Museum UK
• Dominic Neergheen, Exhibitions Graduate, Wellcome Trust
• Monica O. Montgomery, Cultural Consultant, Diversity Inclusion Practitioner
• Manal Ataya, Director General, Sharjah Museums, UAE
• Alvin Tan, Deputy Chief Executive, National Heritage Board, Singapore
• Hasina Dabasia, Youth Programme Producer, Wellcome Collection
• Emily Siddons, Producer, Exhibitions, Museums Victoria, Australia
• Anna Hansen, Director, Regional Museum, Kristianstad, Sweden
• Russell Dornan, Digital Producer, V&A Dundee
• Anjana Khatwa, Engagement Lead, Wessex Museums
• Emily Scott-Dearing, Content, Interpretation, and Public Engagement Consultant
• Mark Miller, Head of Programme and Practice, Tate
• Nick Merriman, Chief Executive, Horniman Museum & Gardens, London
• Heidi McKinnon, Executive Director, Curators Without Borders
• Veronica Reyes Carrillo, Communicator, Museum für Kommunikation, Switzerland
• Chris Michaels, Digital Director, The National Gallery, London
• Katrina Lashley, Program Coordinator, Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum
• Sarah Wang, Adult Educator Trainer, Vancouver Art Gallery; Canada
• Lucy Malone, Co-Director, Museum of Ordinary People
• Mafalda Dâmaso, Lecturer, Culture and Creative Industries, King’s College London
• Kate Forde, Head of Exhibitions, Wellcome Collection

Why we are making Museum Ideas 2020 FREE
With the current experiences of job losses, uncertainty, anxiety and grief, we feel this is the wrong time to be putting the cost of a ticket in the way of taking part in the conference this year. Museum workers need support, solidarity, and meaningful structural change rather than expensive and exclusive events.

Many working in museums are going through a difficult time — the pandemic hitting hardest those already experiencing emotional strain, financial hardship, and barriers to access and opportunity. Making Museum Ideas 2020 free is a practical act of solidarity with museum workers.

We hope the talks will provide a space to explore our hopes and fears about how museums can be reimagined as ethical, people focused organisations in a time of growing inequality, environmental emergency, and in the midst of the most extreme economic crisis the museums field has faced.

Tickets for Museum Ideas 2021
If you have already booked for the 2020 conference your ticket has been transferred to the 2021 conference. Museum Ideas 2021 will take place in the usual way in London in October next year. If you are unable to attend, tickets can be swapped between colleagues working at the same organisation or gifted to someone else to attend in your place.

As with our previous conferences, 25% of tickets for Museum Ideas 2021 are free or available at the reduced rate of £97 for professionals often underrepresented at museum conferences. A crucial part of being an inclusive and relevant event is trying to keep the cost of tickets down as much as possible. Having a higher ticket rate means excluding people who should be represented and who need to be there to move the conversation forward in a meaningful way.

As we move forward with both Museum Ideas 2020 and 2021 we continue to be inspired by the words of our 2019 keynote speaker Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell — “As museum practitioners we can allow museums to be a tool of the establishment, the powered, the oppressor. But through a reflective practice and a reimagining of our purpose, we can instead exercise the power of the museum towards challenging the status quo.”

We would like to thank everyone – delegates, speakers, sponsors – for their continued support. The encouragement and support we have received from so many means a huge amount. We remain committed to continuing to share museum ideas and doing what we can to support the wider museum community.


There are around 70 tickets remaining for Museum Ideas 2021. If you would like to support our continued work please consider purchasing a ticket to the 2021 edition of the conference. Or you can buy the book of the 2019 conference (£29.95) and/ or subscribe to Museum-iD magazine (£4.95).

Published Tuesday 28 July 2020 / Updated Tuesday 15 September

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