In recent times, many voices have been raised regarding the role cultural institutions should play within their own local communities. The democratic battles fought worldwide in the name of human rights urge museums to take an active stance towards a fair advancement of civil society. Believing that the cultural sector can remain neutral in the face of exclusion and discrimination would endanger museums’ own relevance. This plenary session stimulates a wider debate on projects and ideas capable of enabling museums to take on a key role as agents of social change.
Climate change, natural disasters and a wide range of environmental concerns call for the implementation of more effective actions from global institutions. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically underlined the need to develop more sustainable funding models for museums and other cultural institutions. In this context, can museums, through their activities and programmes, actively participate in the creation of sustainable models for contemporary societies? A varied group of panellists will provide an opportunity to share experiences and innovative ways to move towards a sustainable future.
Disruption is emerging as a key factor for contemporary museum leadership. Museum directors are faced with the difficult tasks of encouraging their colleagues to find new solutions to unprecedented issues, as they seek ways for their organisations to endure and survive. Expert panellists from renowned international institutions will debate on the challenges faced by museum leaders today, including the integration of physical and digital, the need for new business models, a greater engagement with the social role of museums and more.
New technologies for museums are not only precious tools for creating digital exhibitions and improve audience engagement, but also effective resources to protect and store collections, reduce organisational costs and expand accessibility in cultural institutions. The application of digital instruments accelerated due to the recent forced closures of most museums worldwide: several museums have resorted to the use of digital tools to maintain contact and engage with their publics remotely. This plenary session addresses the potential of new technologies to meet the different needs of contemporary museums.