The biennial conference debating museum futures


University of Malta

Valletta Campus



18 - 20 October 2021




As museums navigate uncertain times, we might ask whether museums can morph into genuinely democratic, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical conversations about pasts and futures. We could also question whether museums can ever be fully integrated within communities, acting as co-catalysts for radical changes in ways of seeing and living. Indeed, will a human-centred museum, in harmonious existence with the natural environment, ever see the light of day? 


This conference seeks to present the latest thinking, actions and initiatives that modestly or radically depart from the traditional museum idea, to rethink the museum of the future. We are keen on showcasing the latest developments in the museum landscape, be they reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, conceptual initiatives that have been in the pipeline for a while or tangible projects happening and evolving in the now, and which may well inform, influence and define the museum of the future. We are particularly keen on showcasing the lessons learnt over the past year and the ways and means how these have been overcome. Yet, we ae also eager to create spaces for critical reflections that can help shape museum futures. 


We shall explore three possible strands of museum futures. The first concerns technology and online, as museums seek to transit into a new mode of relevance. We are curious to learn how this might be taking shape and how the possible equilibrium between physical and online can be achieved. The second concerns the democratisation of access, and how the museum can become a public space, be it physical, virtual or both, welcoming a polyphony of voices. The third is about climate change and how museums are, can or may rise to the challenge. We consider the three as being inextricably intertwined, with each informing the other.  



We welcome contributions from scholars, museum curators and directors, think-tanks, institutions and others working in the museum sector who act as or support game changers in the sector. We are also keen on best practices and projects that have taken shape in response to the COVID-19 crisis, particularly if these were informed by or inline with the thinkers and presentations featuring in our pre-conference webinar events.



MUZE.X also builds on the positive response of the pre-conference, global webinar series events, featuring six notable thinkers and doers reflecting on  museum futures. We firmly believe that their contribution can be the seed of hands-on tangible actions addressing the needs of the museum landscape weathering the storm. Some of them shall also be our keynote speakers but we have also added others.

This is the complete lineup of keynote speakers we shall be hosting for our first ever edition. 



Riel Miller

Riel is one of the world’s leading authorities on the theory and practice of using the future to change what people see and do. 

He is the Head of Futures Literacy at UNESCO and his latest book 'Transforming the Future: Anticipation in the 21st Century' is available in English, French and Arabic. 

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Jette Sandahl

Jette's career is a commitment to the formation of new paradigms and platforms for individual and collective empowerment, for cultural participation and social justice.


 'The Museum Definition' ( Museum International, 71, France 2019) features her thoughts on the museum idea and it's definition. 


Diane Drubay

Diane is a long-standing member of the museum and innovation effervescence, a specialist in museum strategy but also an event curator, community builder, writer and artist. 

She is the founder and brains behind We Are Museums, the international online community spearheading discussion about museum futures. 


Fabio Viola

Fabio is an award-winning digital entertainment producer with an academic background in the humanities.


He is the founder of TuoMuseo, an international collective of artists working to break the boundaries between culture and interactive media. Fabio has spearheaded projects that bridge museums and video game. 


Mike Murawski

Mike is a change-maker, museum thinker, independent museum advisor and author living in Portland (Oregon, U.S.A.).

Mike is the proud co-founder of the #MuseumsAreNotNeutral campaign which actively campaigns against the myth of museum neutrality.


Under the Distinguished Patronage of the President of the Republic of Malta

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In collaboration with 

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with the support of 

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Media Partners

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Conference Co-Convenors: Dr Carmel Borg and Dr Sandro Debono
Conference Organiser: Dr Sandro Debono 
Hosting Institution: Department of Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education, Faculty of Education, University of Malta
Logistics coordinated by the Conference and Events Unit, Valletta Campus, University of Malta