GEM: Past Conferences


GEM Conference 2016 - Adapt and Thrive - Weathering the impact of change on cultural learning

The conference aimed to help us to think about change in new ways, understand its impact and explore how museum learning can thrive in these challenging times. Whether it’s hearing about current research, sustainability strategies or inspirational projects, Adapt and Thrive wanted to be relevant and engaging for heritage professionals from management level to career-entry. 

Click here to find out more about Adapt and Thrive.


GEM Conference 2015 - Measuring the Magic

The conference aimed to help everyone involved in delivering or managing museums, heritage or cultural learning to reflect on how we can best measure the impact, value and quality of what we do. It also explored how we use this knowledge to improve our professional practice. These are pertinent issues at a time when cultural and heritage bodies are looking very closely at where to place their limited resources for maximum effect.

Download 2015 conference programme (pdf)


GEM Conference 2014 - Enterprising Educators: Generating income without compromising one’s principles.

The conference identified and explored the attitudes and skills of entrepreneurship and enterprise, and how to apply them to heritage learning; the emerging concept of “social enterprises”; and the place of enterprise in museums, galleries and heritage organisations today.

Download 2014 conference programme (pdf)


GEM Conference 2013 - People Power: Realising the potential of volunteers, communities and partners.

In the context of financial austerity, the heritage education sector needs to find ways to tap into the potential of their most valuable resource: the people that live and learn in, with and around their organisations, transforming them into partners in learning - be it as a volunteer, a local community or an external partner. The GEM 2013 conference focused on helping heritage management and education professionals appreciate the value of this asset, and explored new and better ways of capitalising on it.

Download 2013 conference programme (pdf)


GEM Conference 2012 - Making the Case: the value of heritage education

The GEM 2012 conference focused on making a compelling case for heritage education in these challenging times – one that stands up to rigorous scrutiny – by helping heritage management and education professionals explore, identify and articulate the unique value of heritage education, and the positive impacts it has on a wide variety of audiences.

Download 2012 conference programme (pdf 99KB)


GEM Conference 2011 - Thinking Ahead & Staying Afloat
Tuesday 6 September - Thursday September 2011

How can we think more strategically and plan ahead to ensure we more than stay afloat in the current challenging times?

Reports of GEM's 2011 annual conference appeared in the November 2011 edition of the Journal of Education.  Read John Reeve's impressions of conference here.

Download 2011 conference brochure (pdf 262KB)


GEM Conference 2010 - Young People & Heritage
Tuesday 7 September - Friday 10 September 2010
at Hampton Court Palace and St Mary’s College, Strawberry Hill, London

Young people are an important audience for heritage organisations. What do we want our children to become, what expectations do they have of themselves and what are the big issues which will influence their lives?

Download 2010 conference brochure (pdf 262KB)


GEM Conference 2009 - Engaging Diverse Communities
Tuesday 8 September - Friday 11 September 2009
Aston University, Birmingham

What is community engagement? Why engage communities and how best can the heritage sector develop mutually-beneficial relationships?
This conference will help heritage learning professionals develop ideas, strategies and practices to help them make a valuable intervention in community engagement, and cultural and social diversity

Download 2009 conference brochure (pdf 262KB)


GEM Conference 2008 - Heritage Learning and Social Change
Tuesday 2 September - Friday 5 September 2008
Medway, Kent

Heritage learning can make a significant contribution to a functioning, stable modern society. This conference investigated the current socio-economic and cultural issues that are shaping heritage learning. In particular, it addressed how heritage learning can help to implement government policies such as Every Child Matters, Learning Outside the Classroom and the Cultural Offer.

Download 2008 conference brochure (pdf 262KB)


GEM Conference 2007 - Every audience matters
Tuesday 4 September - Friday 7 September 2007

As government and funding priorities shift to fulfil expanding learning and social agendas, are heritage organisations being realistic in trying to be "all things to all people?"

Download 2007 conference brochure (pdf 262KB)


GEM Conference 2006 - Reaching out and Working together (includes Conference Report)
Tuesday 5 September - Saturday 9 September 2006

How are museums, libraries and archives working together? What effect is Renaissance having in the region? How well do we reach out? 

More information


GEM Conference 2005 - Learning Organisations: Embracing Change
Tuesday 6 September - Saturday 10 September 2005

The proceedings of this conference are in the Journal of Education in Museums No 26 (2005).

More Information


GEM Conference 2004 - Healing Division: Do museums have a role?
Tuesday 7 September - Saturday 11 September 2004

The proceedings of this conference are in the Journal of Education in Museums No 25 (2004).

More Information


GEM Conference 2003 - Representations
Tuesday 2 September - Saturday 6 September 2003

Notes on the conference and many of the keynote speeches are in the Journal of Education in Museums No 24 (2003).

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GEM Conference 2002 - Making the Difference
Tuesday 3 September – Saturday 7 September 2002

Conference 2002 showed how museums and galleries can make the difference to learning for a wide range of audiences. Keynote speakers were drawn from across Scotland, the rest of the United Kingdom and the USA, and the programme highlighted examples of current best practice, explored the practicalities of funding and examined the potential for developing learning programmes and resources through ICT.


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