GEM Conference 2018

Past, Present and Future

Tuesday 4 September – Thursday 6 September 2018, Nottingham

To celebrate GEM’s 70th anniversary the 2018 conference explored how the landscape of heritage education had evolved over time with a look to what laid ahead for the sector.

We were pleased to be joined by the following keynote speakers:

•  Rhian Tritton, museum and heritage consultant
•  Beccy Speight,
chief executive, Woodland Trust
•  Tony Butler, 
executive director, Derby Museums
•  Matthew Cock, 
chief executive, VocalEyes
•  Nikola Burdon, 
relationship manager, museums, Arts Council England
•  Esme Ward, 
director, Manchester Museum
•  Sandeep Mahal, 
director, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature

We looked to answer the following question … What have we learned from previous practices and how can we ensure a sustainable and vibrant heritage education provision both now and in the future? There was a focus on current innovative practices, which challenge previously held norms and have adapted to an ever shifting financial landscape. We also considered what the future holds and looked at how we take our shared learning forward.

The conference approached this through three major threads:

  1. Sharing the learning from the heritage sector, with a focus on the evolution of our practices, audiences and outcomes.
  2. Exploring current ground-breaking programmes, challenging previous thinking and developing new models.
  3. Looking to future trends in heritage education, posing possible solutions and innovative working practices to address these.

The GEM 2018 conference aimed to help to anyone involved in managing or delivering museum, heritage or cultural learning. We aimed to reflect upon the progress that we have made and the possibilities open to us, so that we move forward together with renewed positivity. Most of all, we sought to empower the workforce, as the roles of learning and sharing in the lives of the public grow ever more important.

For more details about the conference programme, please download the full conference handbook here.  You can also read the summaries and afterthoughts of some of the sessions on our conference reports page.


We’d like to thank all those that helped make the 2018 conference a success, including our delegates, speakers, contributors, contractors, venue hosts, exhibitors, advertisers, and the GEM area convenors, trustees and team! 


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