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How to innovate in museums - a guide

  • January 2020
  • Education & learning
  • Material for workshops and exhibitions
How to innovate in museums - a guide

Museums are huge information banks, conveying information about the world, even over a long time span, while creating experiences. In a museum it is possible to learn from the past, to understand the current moment, as well to anticipate the future. Museums can generate insights, new ideas and perspectives, but can cultural heritage and art help to develop new innovations?

Museums as innovation platforms was a two-year project from Finland, coordinated by Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova and implemented together with the Museum of Technology, Humak University of Applied Sciences, and Junior Achievement Finland. The project examined how museums can be utilised as a platform for societal activity. The project developed collaboration between museums, higher education and innovation education, as well as the professional skills and innovation know-how of young adults.

The project included societal think tanks and innovation courses targeted at students of higher education that were arranged in museums. The methodology developed, based on trial experiments, has now been compiled into a workbook, which allows cultural heritage and art to be examined from a new perspective, as starting points for ideation and problem solving.

The methods outlined in the workbook are specifically directed towards students and young adults who are soon entering working life. It is also possible, however, to use these methods with younger participants, for example, to support teamwork, discussion, or ideation. This book is intended for anyone working with young people, for example in schools, youth work, and museums. It helps to find new perspectives, practices, and learning environments for activating young people and innovation training.

The methods selected in this workbook develop working-life skills, such as problem-solving and group-work skills. They encourage creative and critical thinking, identifying one’s strengths, and give the courage to act and influence.

Public resource


  • innovation
  • developing
  • museums
  • young adults
  • schools