Bold Futures - Museums Association

Bold Futures

How can we work together to build a shared, strategic vision for museums, galleries and science centres?

Bold Futures has been developed to explore some of the complex cross-sector challenges that have arisen since the pandemic and enable organisations to make changes through follow-on, capacity building grants.

It has been designed and delivered by a partnership of the Museums Association, The Liminal Space and Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC); and is supported by Wellcome as part of the Inspiring Science Fund.  

25 senior leaders and innovators from across the museum and science centre sectors were convened for two online workshops led by The Liminal Space. These were supported by some offline ‘fieldwork’ where participants were encouraged to speak to members of their team, as well as take time to reflect on their space. The project built on some of the insights uncovered in the Mindsets for Museums of the Future and Science and Discovery Centre Futures research.

Through the workshop series, we wanted to consider what our organisations need most to support values-led practice with communities, audiences and partners. We asked:

  • How can we build capacity to deliver meaningful and responsive work that engages old and new audiences, funders and partners?
  • How can we consolidate our individual learnings and opportunities to become more resilient in the face of our most pressing challenges?

We explored this through four challenge areas: 

  • Evaluation and Innovation: A sector-wide shared language, development and enhancement of impact measuring for audiences 
  • Listening and Sharing: Inclusive communication and resource sharing, both internally and cross-sector; favouring ground up dissemination and inclusion of all levels of staff, as well as regular dialogue opportunities
  • Explore and Experiment: Better mechanisms and opportunities for reflection and critique as well as ability to test and look outside of sectors to learn about innovative engagement, content and practice
  • Power Dynamics and Inclusion: Sustainable and implementable methods for decolonising, non-extractive community building and equitable practice at every level; internally and externally

Explore your own Bold Futures

All the workshop materials are available to download below, with a guide to how you can use them with your team to develop ideas that might innovate within your organisation.