Museums+Tech 2017 will be held at the Imperial War Museum, London, on Friday 3 November 2017. This call for proposals closes at midnight (London time) on Sunday, 30 April 2017 Wednesday May 3rd (extended to allow for the bank holiday).

MCG’s Museums+Tech 2017: tech in a divided world

2017 is set to be a challenging year – personally, politically, economically and socially – as the Brexit referendum and international elections made long-standing divisions in society impossible to ignore. 2016 showed that what we know about the state of the world is affected by where we live, our education, and by how we get our news. Museums, too, operate in polarised societies. Our 2017 conference asks whether digital experiences, collections and exhibitions can help create a shared understanding of the world and maybe even heal some of the ruptures that emerged over the last decades.

What is the role of digital technologies and platforms, whether social media, mobile apps, websites, gallery guides, publications, podcasts, videos, or virtual or augmented reality experiences in a divided world? Can museums provide a shared space where those with a range of world views recognise themselves, or where the impact of the ‘filter bubble‘ may be reduced – and if so, can a digital experience have the same impact?

The MCG’s Museums+Tech 2017 conference seeks proposals for presentations addressing these issues. It’s time to celebrate good work, and share ideas for helping museums do better. We’re open to suggestions, but topics might include:

  • How your museum has responded to an external event that’s prompted new ideas for digital experiences or encounters with audiences
  • How your museum has focused on inclusivity and diverse audiences in its digital offering
  • The impact of the political climate on how you present your museum, and how digital technologies have made that easier or harder
  • Behind-the-scenes technical work and organisational change to help reach polarised audiences
  • Tips on applying for funding and working within a limited budget
  • Connecting different communities, e.g. inter-disciplinary work, through collaboration with local or international communities, libraries and archives, or non-heritage organisations and sectors
  • Lessons on creating empathy through digital experiences, perhaps from other sectors, virtual reality, etc
  • Demonstrating integrity in a ‘post-truth’ society or cutting through the noise on news or social media
  • The ability of digital platforms to unpack the ‘neutral’ museum voice and share a range of different perspectives
  • Using digital technologies to ‘break down the barriers’ of physical venues and exhibitions
  • Using digital technologies to connect visitors with each other
  • Bridging the digital divide
  • Reaching audiences that don’t think of themselves as museum visitors
  • Addressing falling (physical) visitor numbers
  • And a bonus topic: in 2017, the Museums Computer Group celebrates its 35th anniversary. How different are museums in 2017 from museums 1982 because of the technologies and practices developed since then (or even since 2007)?

About Museums+Tech 2017

The MCG’s annual conference attracts speakers and participants from some of the most innovative museums, agencies and university programmes in the world. We’re keen to hear from practitioners, researchers, funders, and those from related cultural heritage and technology sectors. All submitted papers will be reviewed by experts in the field.

The conference programme will include long and short presentations, and you can suggest a length to suit your topic in the proposal form below. Short presentations are a great way for you to share useful ideas that others in the sector can try. Longer presentations let you provide a more detailed exploration of a topic or project.

Our audiences love our mixture of old and new voices. We have a great track record in presenting a diverse range of speakers, and we’ve started a profit-sharing scheme in acknowledgement of the resources required to attend and present at events. We can also provide some bursaries for speakers who would benefit from assistance with funds for travel, childcare etc. Please also read our Guidance for Speakers before submitting your proposal. Our events have a code of conduct designed to help everyone enjoy the event.

Proposals deadline

This call for proposals closes at midnight (London time) on Sunday, 30 April 2017 Wednesday May 3rd (extended to allow for the bank holiday). Our international Programme Committee will review proposals over May and you should hear from us at the start of June. If you have any questions please email us.

Ready to share your stories? Fill in our Call for Proposals form