Who we are

TheMuseumsLab is a platform for joint learning, exchange and continuing education on the future of museums in both Africa and Europe. The programme started in 2021 has the aim to establish close and lasting networks between future shapers of museum concepts on both sides.

The project was developed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and the Master‘s Programme in Museum Management and Communication at the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Berlin, in close cooperation with the African consultancy group The Advisors. Several African and European museums as well as cultural institutions are partners with the programme. The project is financed by the German Federal Foreign Office and supported by the German Minister of State for Culture and the Media as well as the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

What TheMuseumsLab is about

Museums are part of societies; they bear witness to relationships between societies, countries and continents. As living institutions, they have a responsibility to learn from their history and actively shape change for individuals, locally and globally. Together with 50 African and European fellows, over 100 lecturers, speakers and mentors from African and European arts, cultures and sciences, the MuseumsLab 2022 aims to change not only museums but also foster societal change by addressing urgent issues such as social justice and climate change. TheMuseumsLab 2022 is a programme developed to support professional exchanges between curators, researchers, and executives, working in museums, galleries and heritage sites across African and European countries, enabling staff to share knowledge, skills and best practice and support their individual professional development. TheMuseumsLab is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming experience for its participants. We value and promote diversity, inclusivity, fairness and openness and reject any form of discrimination, harassment, and racism.

Key facts


Joint learning, exchange and further training on the future of African and European museums. Establishing and upgrading networks.


The programme will be conducted in English in 2021 (sufficient knowledge of English is therefore a prerequisite for taking part). In subsequent years, it may be offered in French and potentially in other languages.


A compact, digital workshop and further training programme in Berlin and Cape Town with a two-week residency at a European museum and a one-week Project phase in Cape Town.


Current issues and concepts of museum management, social impact and responsibility, localisation of content, as well as practical aspects of museums as institutions in the 21st century, divided into three modules:

Module 1:

Entangled Histories and the Future of Cultural Memories

Module 2:

Collections and Research

Module 3 & Co-Working phase:

Process of transforming a nation/society: How do museums embrace transformation?


55 Executives from African and European museums (Fellows).

25 participants from African museums 25 participants from European museums 100+ lecturers, speakers and mentors from African and European arts, cultures and sciences Residencies & Co-Creation

Draft schedule

MODULE 3& CO-WORKING PHASE Communication & Strategic Management Cape Town RESIDENCIES Exchange and working phase Europe MODULE 2 Collection & Research Berlin MODULE 1 Entangled histories & the future of cultural memories digital KICK-OFF TheMuseumsLab 2022 cultural memories digital MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEP

Partner institutions

Participation of more partner institutions to be confirmed

In cooperation with


The DAAD is the world’s largest funding organisation for the international exchange of students and and researchers. With its many years of experience in interconnecting German higher education and research institutions with partners around the world, the DAAD will support the creation of a network in the field of international museum cooperation within the framework of the joint project The Museums Lab.


The Museum für Naturkunde (MfN) – Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science – is an integrated research museum within the Leibniz Association. The museum's mission is to discover and describe life and Earth – with people, through dialogue. As an excellent research museum and innovative communication platform, the MfN seeks to engage with and influence the scientific and societal discourse about the future of our planet, worldwide. The MfN therefore acknowledges the importance of this project and helped to launchThe Museums Lab.


The HTW's study programmes offer amongst others courses in conservation and restoration. The museological bachelor degree includes collection management, digitisation, provenance research, the master degree includes curating, outreach and museum management which makes it the ideal partner for The Museums Lab 2021.


We are The Advisors, a multidisciplinary network of consultants. We are committed to excellent knowledge-exchange projects in the fields of the arts, culture and science. We work with governments, cultural institutions, multilateral agencies, and the private sector. In Africa, Europe, and Asia.