Collections Care Conference 2023: Preserving the Un-Preservable


9:30-9:50 Disco wellbeing session

Join David Burgess for an active start to the 2021 conference! 


David Burgess, Director of Apollo Fundraising

10:00-10:15 Welcome to Regroup Rethink Reset

Join Jamie Everitt, Jenny Cousins and Steve Miller as they officially welcome and provide the opening speech for the 2021 online festival. 


Jamie Everitt, Regional Manager at SHARE Museums East
Jenny Cousins, Director at Museum of East Anglian Life

Steve Miller, Norfolk County Council Director of Culture & Heritage, Head of Norfolk Museums Service & Head of Norfolk Arts Service. 

10:15-11:15 SHED Talks

‘Off the Sticky Floor! Lead with a Growth Mindflow … ’ 

From ‘Mindset’ to adopting a Growth Mind’flow’. VUCA times need us to re-think the way we approach success. This short talk will bring my experience as a woman leader to life, and focus on how we can remove self-imposed barriers and get off that sticky floor! 

Ruchi Aggarwal, Associate Professor and Director of Business Development at University of Lincoln

Ruchi is a business professional with over 2 decades of multi-industry, cross cultural experience across UK and India. She has worked in diverse industries like Sports, Telecom and IT @ Microsoft – before joining the University of Lincoln, where she is Director Business Development at the Lincoln International Business School.   

Ruchi manages business relationships in Greater Lincolnshire, across the UK and even internationally. She champions the concept of a adopting a ‘Growth Mindflow’ and her team have received many awards for their work at the University, which span innovations with local businesses, the military and international partnerships.  

As an additional interest, Ruchi is a keen speaker on diversity and inclusion, with a focus on inspiring women leaders. She is currently authoring her first book on Women Leadership which focuses on taking charge and ‘Getting off the Sticky Floor’.

We Can’t Go Back

Zak Mensah, Co-CEO at Birmingham Museum Trust

Zak Mensah is co-CEO of Birmingham Museums Trust. His background is in staff development and digital and he has been on the web since the late 90s and has watched the web permeate every corner of our lives. Before coming to the arts sector in 2013, Zak helped small businesses, charities, Jisc, Universities and the Heritage Lottery Fund to ‘do’ digital well.

“I’m excited about helping our service make a ruckus by focusing on the needs of our 1 Million+ visitors. I’m focusing on helping us to become a cultural business and embedding digital and emerging practice throughout the service.”

11:30-12:30 SHED Talks

Collaborative Strategies for Success

Cornwall Museums Partnership grew out of a recognition that collaboration presented opportunities for Cornish museums to grow and thrive. This session will share some of the ways in which a strategic approach to collaborative working is helping Cornish museums to tackle some of the most pressing challenges in society including Covid recovery and climate adaptation. 

Emmie Kell, CEO at Cornwall Museums Partnership

Emmie is CEO of a charity (Cornwall Museums Partnership), recognised nationally for its collaborative leadership and socially enterprising approach. Emmie is a member of the Cornwall and Scilly Creative Industries Taskforce and leads on the Creative Economy strategy for the region, engaging with national policy makers for the creative industries. Emmie was the Arts Council England Clore Fellow in 2014/15. She is a member of the UK Council of the Creative Industries Federation, Tate St Ives Advisory Council and the Exeter University International Heritage MA Industry Advisory Group.  

Values in Action: Surviving the Pandemic – and Recovering

Over the last 2 years we have used the Museum values to shape the direction of our engagement with our local community. This is will a practical conversation about the work of a very small Museum (4 part time team members), how we used our values to help us get through the early stages of the pandemic, and how we are using them now in 2021 

Liz Power, Director at London Museum of Water and Steam

Liz Power has been the Director of the London Museum of Water & Steam since 2018, and her 20 years in Museums, focused on community engagement have shaped her thinking on the purpose of Museums and how we make those ideas come to life.

13:30-14:15 Conversations

Join your fellow conference attendees in conversation around key themes, facilitated by our county Museum Development Officers.

Values & Community 

What values are important to you and your museum practice?  

Join us for an informal conversation about our values and the values of those around us in our communities – how can we find common ground, work together and become more relevant to our audiences? 

Social Prescribing & Wellbeing 

Could your museums engage with Social Prescribing and other organised Wellbeing activities? 

Informal conversation to share experiences and ambitions in this area 

Activism in Museums 

“There is a growing and irresistible imperative to redefine the contemporary museum as an active agent in shaping the world around us and making it a better place” Richard Sandell and Robert Janes in Museum Activism 2019. The idea of museums’ neutrality has been challenged for many years but what does activism mean in museums? Is the term activism unhelpful and how is it different to advocacy? Can it increase our relevance and help us appeal to currently underserved audiences? How do we choose our causes without alienating anyone?

14:30-15:15 Talks

Commercialising the Warner Textile Archive Collection

Braintree District Museum Trust’s vision is to establish the Warner Textile Archive as an international design and manufacturing resource. Based on the interior furnishing design collection of Warner & Sons, Braintree, Essex, the Archive was purchased and moved back into the original textile mill building by the Trust in 2004, for a total project cost of £2.6 million and continued commercial trading including establishing a wholly owned trading company. The presentation will review the benefits and challenges of commercialising an historic Archive Collection of textile designs through commissions, licensing and wholesale products including the impact of COVID-19 and working in a VUCA world. The opportunities of responding to the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of the current commercial climate will be considered as the Trust moves into COVID recovery and growth. 

Robert Rose, Museums Manager at Braintree District Museum Trust

In April 2018, Robert Rose was employed directly by Braintree District Museum Trust as Museums Manager with responsibility for Braintree Museum and the Warner Textile Archive. Working with a staff team of six colleagues, freelance staff and volunteers, across two sites, his responsibilities include the management of commercial services at the Warner Textile Archive and reporting to the Directors of the trading company, Warner Textile Archive Trading Company Ltd. His background in collections management and social history has been supplemented by commercial experience of working with the Warner Textile Archive since 2004. 

Growing Through Tough Times: Case Study of de Havilland Aircraft Museum

In early 2021, consultant Rachel Mackay led on a SHARE funded project to support four small museums in the East of England in building resilience and supporting future growth. This session will share lessons from work at de Havilland Aircraft Museum and suggest ways you could support the future growth of your small museum.  

Rachel Mackay, Heritage Manager and Consultant at the Recovery Room

Rachel Mackay is Manager of Historic Royal Palaces at Kew and a freelance heritage consultant. She specialises in business planning, crisis management and visitor experience delivery. She is the creator of The Recovery Room, a free online space sharing resource and research to help museum and heritage organisation recover after the pandemic.  

John Baldwin, Trustee and Finance Director at de Havilland Aircraft Museum

John Baldwin is the Finance Director and Operations Support for the De Havilland Aircraft Museum. Being Britain’s oldest aviation Museum, named after the innovator Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, attracting 2000 visitors per month of all ages and backgrounds, our accredited, and award-winning museum is a significant part of Hertfordshire’s tourism industry. Being led and run by the 220 volunteer community, who undertake almost everything to maintain and secure its legacy for future generations. John is a (semi-retired) business consultant with senior management experience, and commercial and operational expertise. 

15:15-15:20 Closing remarks for day one

Join chair Jenny Cousins as she concludes the first day of the 2021 online festival. 


Jenny Cousins, Director at Museum of East Anglian Life
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