I’m really looking forward to this year's Museums Association (MA) Conference (2-6 November on Zoom). Although I wish I could immerse myself for a few days in a conference venue talking to people and enjoying the buzz of it all, I’m actually really looking forward to being able to share the sessions with many more of my colleagues than would normally have the opportunity to attend in person.
Being able to tune in to sessions across the five days, picking and choosing the ones that are most relevant or grab my attention is just what I need right now as my working pattern still requires some flexibility.
The sessions I will definitely be putting into my diary are those focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement and the role that museums have to take in that. The day one session, Black Lives Matter - Anti Racism and Museums, chaired by Hilary Carty with Errol Francis and Geoff Palmer is just one of the sessions on this matter I'll be listening to closely.
Later that same day I'm delighted to see Johnnetta Betsch Cole and Elaine Heumann Gurian on the programme and spending an hour listening to them talk I know will be inspiring and thought provoking.
Of course, as the head of learning at National Galleries of Scotland I am excited to attend the launch of the MA's Learning and Engagement Manifesto on day four and am really looking forward to hearing from the speakers and the international perspective.
It's going to be a brilliant five days, and it's all there for our professional development, free of charge. Hats off to the MA!
Siobhan McConnachie is the head of learning and engagement at the National Galleries of Scotland and is a member of the 2020 Museums Association Conference panel
This year's conference, World Turned Upside Down: Exploring the Future of Museums, is free to all MA members. See the full programme here