INTERCOM Doha 2023 Conference Kicks Off At National Museum Of Qatar With Talks And Presentations From International Museum Professionals


May 7, 2023


Today marked the beginning of the INTERCOM Doha 2023 Conference, hosted by Qatar Museums at the iconic National Museum of Qatar from 7 – 9 May. On its first day, The Future Museum: Framing the Skills and Mindsets of the Visionary Leader Conference, welcomed delegates from around the world, including museum directors, curators, educators, researchers, and communications professionals, to share their expertise and explore new developments in the field.

Opening remarks were given by chairperson of Qatar Museums, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who in her address said: “It is with great pleasure that we welcome such an impressive and diverse group of professionals to INTERCOM Doha 2023, in what is truly a historic moment. The conference marks the very first time that Qatar has been host to the International Committee for Museum Management, INTERCOM: one of the most important committees in the world for helping museum managers set standards and establish best practices.”

Her Excellency added: “I look forward to collaborating, and sharing ideas and insights that will help one another continue to move forward in managing our institutions, and, more importantly, our futures. Most of all I look forward to sharing what Qatar has done to develop its own authentic museum experience about Islamic, Arabic and Qatari heritage and culture.”

Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Museums, Ahmad Musa Al Namla added: “As the pre-eminent cultural institution in the region, QM plays a crucial role in driving change and serving as a role model for the museums sector. The conference provides an ideal opportunity to gain knowledge and insights from one another, and to extend a warm welcome to our colleagues from across the globe to experience our rich cultural heritage, dynamic contemporary art scene, and exceptional array of museums and galleries.”

Sheikha Amna Al Thani, Acting Deputy CEO of Museums, Collections and Heritage Protection, and Director of National Museum of Qatar also commented on the event, saying: “We are incredibly proud to be hosting Intercom Doha 2023 this week, and to have the chance to bring together museum professionals from around the world in conversation, to discuss ideas and visions for the future. We look forward to showcasing our vibrant museum scene and sharing our experiences and perspectives on the future of museums with the international community.”

Dr Fatema Al Sulaiti Director of International Cooperation and Governmental Affairs commented on how she believes that the conference is providing a platform for museum professionals to address the challenges and obstacles facing cultural institutions, as well as to discuss the latest innovations and trends in the museum field.

Al Sulaiti said: “ICOM-INTERCOM is the foremost global organisation in museum management, dedicated to establishing best practices for governing and administering museums and advancing their mission. The focus of the upcoming meeting – INTERCOM Doha, is particularly timely as it provides a platform for participants to examine the findings of ICOM-INTERCOM’s recent research into the effects of global crises on museum leaders and decision-makers. Qatar Museums is honoured to host this gathering that will generate fresh perspectives and solutions on a matter of significant importance.”

The conference agenda highlights a different theme each day, with today’s topic centring on ‘Profiling the Leader: Key Skills and Future Mindsets of the Museum Leader.’ Presentations included Charging for Charity by John Wetenhall of The George Washington University Museum, USA, and a speech by Anne-Marie Gilis of KU Leuven in Belgium on Qatar’s emerging museum landscape.

“The latest global research by INTERCOM has revealed that good museum leadership and governance is a complex matter”, said Dr Goranka Horjan, the Chair of INTERCOM. “A main goal of the ICOM’s International Committee for Museum Management (INTERCOM) is to explore strategies that can assist museum professionals in running their institutions. The conference in Doha will focus on how to equip museums with visionary leadership and useful management tools designed to communicate the value museums provide to society, which will in turn, make the decision-makers, legislators, and other interest groups more committed to museums and to understand that value. In addition to this, better advocacy is needed to provide support and funding, and to explore new opportunities for museums to deal with present and future challenges like sustainability, digital transformation, climate change, funding issues, new working environments, and operational demands. The INTERCOM Doha 2023 conference will run until Tuesday 9 May and will provide attendees with the opportunity to attend a series of keynote speeches, panel discussions, and take part in various workshops.