Dissent: inspiring hope, embracing change

Find out more about this year's conference theme
The Museums Association Conference & Exhibition 2018 is the biggest event of its kind in Europe for museum and heritage professionals. It showcases inspiring work from across the world that places museums at the heart of communities and transforms people’s lives.

Conference theme

The theme of Belfast 2018 is Dissent: inspiring hope, embracing change - having the courage to challenge traditional thinking to transform museums and society.

How can we foster radical ideas that defy the norm? Who develops these ideas, and how can we ensure that their voices are heard and valued in our work? And who are the dissenters from outside museums that can provoke, inspire and challenge us?

The conference showcases inspiring work from across the world that places museums at the heart of their communities and transforms people’s lives. We highlight the role museums of all sizes and types can play as dissenting organisations, standing with their communities as they encourage activism and promote positive social change.

We also challenge the concept of dissent. How dissenting can museums be, particularly those that are supported by public funding? Does dissent always lead to positive change and transformation? And how should museums represent dissenting voices that challenge values such as diversity, equality and inclusion?

Dissent can be scary, it can involve debate, friction and conflict - but only by embracing change do we find the radical and innovative ideas that give all museums the tools to face the future with confidence, ambition and hope.

At Belfast 2018 be part of an international conversation about the future of museums and enjoy the inspiring culture of this welcoming and historic city.

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