How we produced Museums Change Lives

From Museums 2020 to Museums Change Lives
Museums Change Lives is the product of the MA’s Museums 2020 initiative that looked at the future of museums and their impact.

Museums 2020 included a discussion paper looking at the impacts museums have on individuals, communities, society and the environment.

It drew on policy documents, leading museum practice and academic literature to identify emerging trends, which it identified as wellbeing, participation and social justice.

Museums 2020 included discussion workshops, and generated extensive content and discussion on the MA's website, in Museums Journal and at the Museums Association Conference and Exhibition.

The Museums 2020 discussion paper touched a nerve in the museum sector and stimulated people to ask themselves fundamental questions about museums’ purposes.

There were over 200 written comments in response to the consultation paper and as a result of workshops. Many people were very supportive of the Museums 2020 vision of more responsive, socially engaged museums.

As part of Museums 2020, the MA commissioned pioneering research into public attitudes to the purpose of museums and held discussions with stakeholders from organisations that work in partnership with museums.

Museums Change Lives takes account of the findings of the public attitude and stakeholder research but does not aim to follow it. The Museums Association has always been a champion of going beyond the traditional boundaries of museums. Museums Change Lives wants to lead the sector into new areas.

Museums Change Lives and Museums 2020 build on earlier MA initiatives looking at the future of collections and sustainability and museums.