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Museum Entrepreneurship

Geneva. Source: Alitalia.

Jasper Visser, The Next Frontier: The Vital Elements of Museum Entrepreneurship, the museum of the future, 16 February 2015

MuseumNext will enter a new area of expertise this April. At its conference in Geneva the popular annual expert meeting on the future of museums will launch a Museum Entrepreneurship Platform. The platform is an initiative of my former boss Erik Schilp.

Entrepreneurship is one of the last remaining frontiers to conquer for museums. “Museum Entrepreneurship is not selling cute merchandise and occasionally renting out a museum space. It’s not just about maximising income.” says Erik Schilp, entrepreneur, former museum director and leader of the new platform. “Museum Entrepreneurship is the creative and strategic process with which you effectively translate your story to the largest possible audience. Money is just one of many tools you can use.”

“The qualities one needs to be an effective entrepreneur are often not the same as the characteristics of the museum professional. To find a knowledgeable, creative, sociable and financially sound leader of people and projects has been proven difficult. The challenge therefore lies in the development of skill set designed expertly for the museum sector which will provide the basis for a new way of working: preserving the quality and integrity of the museum’s core business while expanding its professional and commercial outreach.” At the MuseumNext Geneva Entrepreneurship Workshop, Schilp and his team will discuss not only the latest defining trends in the international museum sector but also present the Vital Elements of Museum Entrepreneurship, an elaborate checklist for museums to use when devising a new strategy.

Furthermore, MuseumNext will offer a small group of museums a years worth of coaching and training to develop an entrepreneurial vision and strategic plan. This plan is first and foremost an exercise in thinking, but the workshop leaders hope and believe that elements of the plan will be adopted in the regular museum’s strategy. During the MuseumNext Conference of 2016 the participating museums and our coaches will present the Case Studies and discuss the process, its successes and its pitfalls with the other conference participants in a second workshop.

If you want to attend the MuseumNext Conference in Geneva or if you want to attend the workshop, go to If you are interested in participating in one of the case studies, you can contact Erik Schilp at [email protected].