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The Digital Literacy for Leadership programme


The opportunities around digital culture can be huge and the challenges daunting. A thriving, successful museum needs digitally literate leaders and teams who recognise these opportunities and challenges and understand the ways in which digital technologies, content and culture can best serve their mission. This is more relevant now than it ever has been, but in a fast-changing, multi-layered environment, it can be hard to know where to start.

The Digital Literacy for Leadership programme, funded by Museums Galleries Scotland and Art Fund, will support current and emerging museum leaders in Scotland to develop their digital confidence, understanding and skills.

The collaborative learning programme will combine strategy, theory and expert insight with practical, actionable advice - putting you and your organisation in the position to understand these challenges and make the most of the opportunities.

The programme will be designed and delivered by Anra Kennedy and Jane Finnis of Culture24, with the support of digital leadership specialists including Dr Lauren Vargas and Patrick Towell of The Audience Agency Group. This experienced  team has run similar programmes for a wide range of arts and heritage professionals in the UK and internationally to great effect, including Leading the Sector, part of The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Skills for Heritage initiative, Cultivator - Creative and Cultural Leadership Development Programme, and DEN Academy in the Netherlands.

Hero Image: A 3D scan point cloud of MV Spartan, a Clyde Puffer boat in the collection of the Scottish Maritime Museum. 3D scanned through the "Scanning the Horizon" project. 

Who is it for?

There are up to 30 places in the cohort, made up of 15 pairs of participants - leaders and changemakers - from 15 museums in Scotland. We ask that two people from each museum participate together to give you the best chance of effectively embedding your learning and development in your organisation.

In your pair, at least one of you needs to hold a leadership position: CEO, director, trustee or senior leader. The other half of your pair will be someone who makes change happen and gets things done, someone who manages a particular strand of work, perhaps - an emerging leader.

We know that ‘leaders’ come with a range of job titles, expertise, experience and digital confidence and we welcome that variety within this cohort. Most importantly, you will have the desire and remit to make change happen within your museums.

This offer is open to all museums and galleries in Scotland.

What will we gain?

This is a cohort-based programme in which we will support you to:

  • understand what ‘digital’ means in a museum context and where most value lies for your teams, organisation, communities, wider audiences and the collections you work with
  • learn how to become a digitally literate leader in a small, inclusive and supportive community of practice, with peers facing similar challenges
  • tailor your learning to apply in a chosen project at your museum, helping build your teams' digital skills and your organisations' digital maturity and capacity
  • build your own digital literacy, skills and confidence, in the context of your leadership roles.

When, where and your time commitment

Over ten months, beginning in late April 2022 (see specific dates below), you’ll receive a mix of strategic and practical guidance, including:

  • Three half-day online workshops focussing on understanding and applying digitally literate leadership
  • Three digital skills-focussed workshops of two hours each, involving other colleagues from your museum if relevant
  • Six individual 1 hour support sessions, tailored to your personal and organisational contexts, guiding you through a process of self-directed learning and digital capacity-building
  • Being part of a friendly, supportive group of peers all facing similar challenges, connected via an online community space.

In addition to attending the workshops and support sessions outlined above, you will need to spend time within your leadership role, learning, reflecting, connecting with peers and trying out new approaches.

We will help you plan this self-directed learning around your particular needs and priorities.

  • Perhaps you need to better understand your team’s digital skills and attitudes?
  • Maybe you want to understand and improve the impact of your museum’s public-facing digital work?
  • Or to improve the organisation’s collaborative work and efficiencies, using digital tools?
  • Perhaps you know your museum needs to build its digital maturity, but you’re not sure where to start?

These 1-2-1 sessions can benefit individuals to clarify goals and talk through challenges in a supportive space. They are an opportunity to reflect and gain greater perspective on their own development.

Whatever your starting point, the workshops and resources will help you figure out the changes you need to make and the team will then support you to try things out, putting theory into practice.  

Don’t think of this as ‘extra’ time on top of your day job – our experienced team will support you in planning and trying out approaches that serve your museum’s mission and purpose, align with current (and/or future) projects and most importantly, are realistic and achievable. This is about building digital leadership in useful ways, not burdening people with ‘homework’ for the sake of it.

The workshops are integral to the process so please note the dates. We can only accept applications from applicants who can commit to attending all workshops.

Workshop One - 3 hours

4 May 2022, 10 – 1pm

Workshop Two - 3 hours

6 May 2022, 10 – 1pm

Workshop Three - 2 hours

6 June 2022, 2 – 4pm

Workshop Four - 2 hours

7 July 2022, 10 – 12pm

Workshop Five - 2 hours

1 August 2022, 2 – 4pm

Workshop Six - 3 hours

22 September 2022, 10 – 1pm


The six support sessions will take place at regular intervals between May 2022 and March 2023. They will be scheduled at times that suit you, once the programme begins.

Why is this of value for our museum? And why now?

As the sector emerges from the pandemic, when for many museums, digital technologies, processes and services were centre stage as never before, now is the time for leaders to reframe and to take action.

Each organisation is at a different stage in its digital development, their contexts and priorities differ, but the fundamentals of effective digital leadership apply to all museums.

This programme will help leaders to become more informed, reflective, responsive, active and confident around digital, in order to help your organisations thrive and serve their strategic aims. It will support you to explore how you understand, value, manage, and use digital in the widest sense, across every aspect of your organisation’s activity. 

Is there a cost?

There is no cost to museums for this fully-funded training. We do ask that everyone invited to join the cohort understands the considerable investment being made in your professional development and commits to participating fully and making the most of this opportunity on behalf of your museums. 

When and how to apply

Applications are open now and close on Monday 28th February at 12 noon

Please fill in the application form below to apply - just one form per museum.

Apply here

All applicants will be contacted and successful applicants will be asked to confirm their participation in the week beginning March 14th.

Still not sure?

Still not sure if this is the programme for you? If you would like to discuss the opportunity with the course leader before applying, we’re offering two sets of Zoom slots when we will be online and you can book a 15 minute slot for a confidential chat.

Session one: Wednesday 19th January 2022 

Session two: Monday 14th February 2022

For any other queries please contact either:

Anra Kennedy, course leader,
or John Campbell, MGS Senior Skills Development Manager, or 0131 550 4131.