From June 1-3, 2024, the Museums Commission in Saudi Arabia proudly announces the inaugural International Conference on Education and Innovation in Museums (ICIEM). This landmark event underscores the Commission’s commitment to fostering a vibrant museum sector in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

The ICIEM conference brings together leading museum professionals and educators for knowledge exchange and collaboration. Attendees will explore best practices in museum education, discuss the critical role of museums in fostering creativity and learning, and identify opportunities for international collaboration.

The conference agenda features key speakers from the world’s leading public arts and academic institutions including Adam Habib, the Vice-Chancellor of SOAS University of London; Eric Langham, Vice Chairman of the Association for Heritage Interpretation and a former curator for the National Justice Museum; Jennifer Rodrigues, the Senior Curator and Acting Head of Collection Care and Management of National Museum of Australia; Dr. Reem AlMadani, Assistant Professor & Dean for Admission & Registration at Effat University and Dr. Victoria McGuinness, Museums Consultant and also Head of Public Engagement (Humanities) at University of Oxford.

Over the course of three days, the conference will feature a series of expert-led sessions, including panel discussions, interactive workshops, and research paper presentations. Discussions will address current issues facing museums and will cover a range of topics, including Collaboration Between Museums and Universities; focusing on the SOAS & Effat partnership under the Saudi Museums Commission Sponsorship; Beyond the Textbook, exploring active and experiential learning strategies in museum education; Beyond the Museum Walls, looking at public engagement in museum education; and Design Thinking and Innovation in Museum Management, discussing creative and user-centred approaches.

The conference will also feature the MUSEUM-A-THON competition, an event aimed at addressing key challenges within the museum sector. Participating teams—including innovators, entrepreneurs, and museum professionals—will develop innovative solutions focused on enhancing visitor engagement, increasing revenue, and improving overall museum visitor experiences.

The winning team will earn a week-long educational trip to London, UK, with expert-led museum tours and specialized lectures. The registration for the competition closes on May 25, 2024.

About the Commission

The Museums Commission’s role is to develop this important sector, presenting the Kingdom’s identity, history, heritage, and culture to all. The Commission does this by strengthening and enhancing the quality of museums in line with international best practice, encouraging investment and boosting career opportunities within the museum and related sectors. The Commission also encourages investment to support the development of the sector, fostering partnerships with individuals, institutions, and companies. The Commission supports the development and adoption of sector-accredited educational and professional training programs. The Commission champions museums, raising public awareness and highlighting their importance to all, and families, young people, tourists, researchers, and students. Museums will participate in a range of activities, including regional and international forums, and organize exhibitions, conferences, events, and competitions. The Commission will support the museum sector to establish, develop and manage museums, as well as in their role as preserving, enhancing, presenting, and interpreting our heritage for the purposes of education and entertainment.

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