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Launch: Oxford Cultural Leaders

20 October 14 -- jsuess


Oxford Cultural Leaders: an international programme for museums, arts & heritage

Oxford University Museums, in partnership with colleagues from the Saïd Business School and supported by Arts Council England, are delighted to announce the launch of an innovative new executive leadership programme for the cultural sector.

A week long immersive residential course, it will be held in Oxford’s museums, colleges and cultural assets from 15-20 March 2015.

We are delighted to support Oxford University Museums work to sustain the long term resilience and success of cultural organisations through the creation of  the Oxford Cultural Leaders programme. It is really important that the ambitions of cultural organisations are underpinned with effective business models and this programme will ensure leaders are equipped to deliver this. We look forward to seeing this project support cultural organisations to embrace new ways of working that will ensure that they can continue to engage with and fascinate audiences across England. Moira Sinclair, Executive Director, London and South East, Arts Council England.

This programme has been created in response to the clear message from government that cultural organisations need to look beyond the state for their income, demonstrating their commercial acumen and ability to deliver successfully new business models. With the likelihood of public sector funding diminishing further, Oxford Cultural Leaders will address the need for cultural organisations to reinvent themselves as businesses, albeit not-for-profit, with entrepreneurial ways of thinking and behaving, by developing a cadre of leaders who are able to skilfully and confidently tackle these challenges.

There has probably never been a more challenging time for leaders of cultural organisations across the UK – the speed of change is such that it can feel dizzying at times. The thought provoking programme will help us all respond positively to the shifting sands we find ourselves on, responding with optimism to the challenges we all face. Richard Evans, Director, Beamish, the Living Museum of the North

The programme faculty comprises of cultural sector leaders, business school experts and industry authorities. Faculty will include:

  • Keith Ruddle, Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford delivering on transformational change, leading in complexity, adaptive leadership, and ‘wicked problems’
  • Tracey Camilleri, Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford exploring the role of the leader in understanding the interface between organisational dynamics and innovation
  • Michael Morrison, Partner, Purcell discussing the role of space in defining organisational culture and designing and implementing capital programmes
  • Richard Evans, Director, Beamish, the Living Museum of the North exploring how cultural organisations can reinvent themselves as businesses, with entrepreneurial ways of thinking and behaving
  • Maurice Davies, Kings College London & The Museum Consultancy offering a provocation about the future of the cultural sector

The programme is aimed at dynamic and reflective directors, heads of department, senior managers, and also brilliant emerging leaders with significant potential who want to challenge and redefine their identity as a leader and their vision for their organisation at a time of great change and complexity for the cultural sector.  

Future leaders in the cultural sector will need to develop the confidence to think about their organisations as sustainable entities.  This will require new skills and approaches – some learned from different sectors and disciplines.  The Oxford Cultural Leaders Programme in my view provides a powerful platform for the development of this shared future.  Tracey Camilleri, Director, Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme, Saïd Business School

There will be a competitive application process to select participants who have the capacity to lead change and whose organisations are ready to evolve.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on 14 January 2015. Home/EU participants will be asked to contribute a fee of £750 towards the cost of the programme which is part funded by Arts Council England and the University of Oxford. International participants will be asked to contribute a fee of £2,500.

To find our more visit our web pages or contact the Programme Director, Lucy Shaw, | 01865 613783.

Watch Lucy Shaw introducing Oxford Cultural Leaders, September 2014


For more information contact:

Lucy Shaw
Programme Director, Oxford Cultural Leaders
Oxford University Museums | 01865 613783


Notes to Editors:

Oxford University Museums

Oxford University Museums is a partnership of the four main museums within the University of Oxford: Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Museum of the History of Science, Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museum of Anthropology and World Archaeology. Collectively these museums are home to internationally significant collections covering the history of the natural world and most human cultures, as well as a uniquely strong depth of knowledge and expertise around collections, conservation, engagement, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Together the Oxford University Museums receive funding from Arts Council England as one of their portfolio of Major Partner Museums, and have been designated a national leadership role for the sector. Oxford Cultural Leaders is part of the museums’ broader Oxford ASPIRE Leadership Programme, which also includes one off training and knowledge sharing events and a peer-to-peer consultancy service. You can find out more about this programme at


Said Business School 

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact.  We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2013) Saïd is ranked 12th. It is ranked 14th worldwide in the FT’s combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2014) and 23rd in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2014). The MBA is ranked 5th in Businessweek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Nov 2012) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2013). The Executive MBA is ranked 23rd worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2013). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 7th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2014). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (Jun 2013) and has ranked first in ten of the last eleven years in The Times (Sept 2014). For more information, see


Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.