Transforming Future Museums

What is the Transforming Future Museums programme?

Museums in Greece, as in the rest of Europe, are experiencing rapid change and face multiple challenges. These changes and challenges increase the need to train a new generation of museum leaders. In response to this need, the British Council is launching Transforming Future Museums (January 2016–July 2018), an intensive professional development programme designed to boost the museum and heritage sector in Greece by enabling it to respond to the challenges and possibilities of a new era. A core part of the programme is the International Museum Academy (IMA), taking place in Athens and Thessaloniki in October and November 2016 and 2017.

Our Transforming Future Museums training programme will engage with numerous museums and professionals in Greece over a two-year period to change the way they work and increase their organisations’ impact, resilience and sustainability.

The programme will offer organisations and individuals alike the support and tools to test out new ways of working, become more central to their communities, keep up to date with current international trends and opportunities, and adopt a more collaborative, innovative, entrepreneurial and outward-looking approach in order to bring positive change to society. It will also equip museum professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to become competitive in an international environment.

The programme is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

What are the programme’s aims?

The Transforming Future Museums programme aims to:

  • provide emerging museum leaders from Greece with the skills and knowledge necessary to increase the sustainability and growth of museums and galleries
  • develop the capacities of museum and cultural heritage professionals, and equip them with relevant up-to-date skills to respond to the needs, opportunities and challenges of tomorrow
  • foster working cultures which encourage openness, collaboration and innovation, and allow for risk taking and failure
  • create an empowered national network of museum and heritage professionals, which will share knowledge, exchange good practice and work as champions and advocates for the sector
  • broaden the vision and strengthen the professional confidence of the museum workforce to empower them to become agents of change within their organisations and shape the future
  • articulate clear arguments and raise awareness of the value of heritage and museums in cultural, social, economic and environmental development, and provide advocacy for the sector to influence national, regional and local policies.

Who is the training programme for?

The International Museum Academy courses are specially designed for emerging as well as experienced professionals working in the museum and cultural heritage sector (e.g. archaeologists, curators, art historians etc.) in Greece who wish to:

  • develop their existing skills and expand their knowledge
  • acquire new skills in their area of expertise
  • connect with fellow museum professionals, exchange ideas, learn from each other and create a strong network of peer-to-peer support
  • update themselves on current international trends in the museum sector and gain access to a unique repository of resources and opportunities
  • explore unconventional ways of working that show potential for real social impact (on a local and national level)
  • formulate creative solutions for a sustainable development of their organisations, communities and museums
  • experiment, seize new opportunities, develop an entrepreneurial spirit and have the courage to take risks.

What are the strands of the programme?

Including the International Museum Academy, the Transforming Future Museums programme consists of three interlinked key strands (each encompassing a range of different activities) taking place from January 2016 to July 2018:

1. Research

Building on our Cultural Skills Unit’s research (PDF, 1 mb) conducted in 2014 on skills gaps and shortages across the whole of the cultural sector in Greece, further more in-depth research (PDF, 280 kb) was conducted from January to March 2016 specifically on the museum and heritage sector, which has informed our skills training programme and course planning, so that it is bespoke and 100% relevant to the needs of the sector.

2. International Museum Academy (IMA)

The International Museum Academy provides a unique learning experience with an international approach and outlook, as well as access to a wealth of expertise, innovative research, best practice and case studies from around the world. The IMA has already taken place in the UK, China, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Burma and Kuwait, and the plan over the next two years includes five more countries. For further information, visit our Cultural Skills Unit website.

Courses will be taught through a network of partner museums in both Athens and Thessaloniki, which will strengthen day-to-day engagement with the institutions and provide access to collections, museum facilities and exhibition spaces. Shorter versions of the courses will be delivered at a number of regional hubs across Greece.

IMA participants representing a museum will be tasked with cascading key elements of the courses to colleagues on their return to the workplace, so that knowledge is shared with wider teams.

IMA participants will have two mentoring sessions with a course leader via Skype three and six months following completion of the courses to discuss and evaluate progress and the implementation of new ideas, working methods and projects as a result of the training.

3. Networking and peer-to-peer relationship building

  • A new network of museum innovators in Greece
    The programme will kick start and nurture the creation of a national peer/alumni network of IMA participants in Greece, with opportunities to meet up regularly, share ideas, discuss issues affecting the sector, learn from each other and explore together new innovative ideas and working methods.
  • International alumni network
    Participants will also be part of the fast-growing international alumni network of the IMA. The alumni network involves museum professionals from all over the world and has access to opportunities and benefits provided by the British Council and partner organisations for exclusive networking, peer-to-peer mentoring, information sharing, invitation to professional networking events and conferences.
  • International study tours
    The programme will offer international study tours, which will combine a bespoke, curated programme of museum visits and meetings with industry experts, as well as the opportunity to take part in Europe’s leading museum and heritage events. A limited number of places will be available and selection will be based on application from within the pool of IMA participants.
  • Exchange of short work placements in Greece and the UK
    In order to emphasise the role that regional and local museums and heritage organisations can play in their local community and economy, the project will connect museums located outside the capital cities in each country to exchange knowledge and good practice in the area of community engagement and sustainable business models.


For further information, please contact:

Maria Papaioannou
Arts Manager
210 369 2336
Dina Ntziora
Cultural Skills Co-ordinator
210 369 2358