Hands On! into the Future
We are currently living in interesting times. The time of the pandemic is a time of crisis for us, which entails restrictions, insecurity, helplessness, and many questions. Even though the pandemic is ubiquitous, we cannot forget the challenges we were previously facing such as climate change, resource scarcity, unstable political conditions, etc. Especially in times, where there is so much in transition, we should be taking the chance to think new things and to develop new formats, structures, and cooperation.
As part of our strategic Creative Europe EU-Project 21st Century Children, together with organisations from all over the world, we have formulated a vision of the future for our sector over the past year. This year’s conference is dedicated solely to the topic of the future. What is the role of the children in museums sector in the future? Which methods and topics will be tackled? What does this change mean for our organisation Hands On!? These are the topics we would like to discuss together with the conference participants during a new workshop format, dedicated keynotes, panel sessions. Thanks to the generous funding of the European Union, the festive Children in Museums Award Ceremony & winner announcement will be broadcasted online worldwide.
How do we work?
What is the right tool for our work in the future and what is the right method? Is it the analogue approach, which was always important to us? Is it possible for us to remain true to our Hands On! principle, even though in these times distance and digitalization are paramount? Do we relocate our program, in tune with the zeitgeist, into a digital space? Or do we consciously do the opposite? Do we want to offer more outdoor programs in new locations and so reach new target groups? Which types of communication are thinkable and which work methods are possible? What does our audience expect from us? How do we continue to be a place for children – offline/online – or both?
What are our topics?
Children’s museums and cultural institutions with offers for children are places of knowledge sharing. But it is not just that. Which topics do we deal with in respect of our future? Have science topics become more important than ever due to the major challenges of climate change and resource scarcity? Is cultural education our defined goal, in order to facilitate intercultural togetherness? Should the focus be on historical topics, because only someone who knows the past can judge the present? Or is it more important than ever to be places that deal with social issues and teach human skills?
Who do we work with and for whom do we work?
Diversity is becoming more visible and to what extent is it portrayed in our institutions? Who are we? And who are the others? How diverse are our teams concerning sex/gender, age, nationality, education, language, skin colour, religion, and political views? Is inclusion experienced in our institutions and to what extent is that visible to our audience? Who even is our audience of the future and how diverse is it? How do we succeed in reaching people, who have until now not observed our work, because they have never felt addressed?