Strategic Plan 2020-2024

MEG takes action on global societal and environmental changes, as well as those occurring within the museum world, in order to define its commitments for the coming years. Issues such as decolonization, collaborative processes, creativity, inclusion, and sustainability form the core of MEG's new vision unveiled in its Strategic Plan 2020-2024 [PDF 1.25 Mo].

The challenge for MEG's future is to position itself strategically and critically in a world where global museum in full mutation. The "ethnography museums" are disappearing, confronted with new critical attitudes that urge them to engage in a process of "decolonization". In Switzerland as elsewhere, the colonial heritage is contested, unfair exchanges are criticized, racism and exclusion are denounced. In response to these movements, notions of inclusion, partnership, exchange, collaboration and co-construction are promoted in a spirit of mutual respect and trust.

MEG is undergoing a profound transformation to keep pace with these global trends, and has set the following strategic objectives to be achieved by 2024 :

  1. Decolonize the Museum.
  2. Strengthen the Museum's role as a platform and partner for local and international collaborations.
  3. Diversify and include new audiences.
  4. Inspire creative processes.
  5. To become a reference museum on sustainable development.


To this end, MEG has initiated eight major strategic programs. They concretize priorities in public service and in relations with working partners. These programs were designed by the Museum's teams and are all interdependent.

1. Looking to the future: a new museological strategy in the anthropocene era.

Program led by Philippe Mathez, head of the Exhibitions unit

The program presents the direction of the exhibitions for the next five years. It is based on the Museum’s five strategic the Museum’s five strategic directions, as well as all nine programs. The new museography of the MEG proposes to rethink the permanent exhibition and to offer two temporary exhibitions per year. In its new museological approach, MEG is committed to to address global themes in a transversal and interdisciplinary manner. and interdisciplinary approach. The reflection focuses on transversal questions that affect all populations. This questioning is placed in the context of current societal, political climatic and environmental changes. In a way, it is a question of taking into account the «construction site of the Anthropocene», this new era that marks the awareness that human activities have a significant have a significant global impact on the earth’s ecosystem, of which humans themselves are an integral part. integral part.

In 2021, MEG presented the fruit of a collaborative work on environmental issues from the perspective of indigenous knowledge and engagement in an exhibition entitled «Environmental Injustice - Alternative entitled «Environmental Injustice - Indigenous Alternatives». In order to address more broadly the the interactions between human societies and the living, the MEG will then address the issue of «posthumanism». posthumanism». This is a vast field of reflection that sees the convergence of movements of thought in the field of of thought in the field of science, philosophy and politics. Important step, the MEG is going to profoundly rework the presentation of its permanent collection by adopting a decolonial decolonial stance and dedicating a major temporary exhibition to this theme in 2024. 

2. Decolonizing collections: a renewed dialogue with the original cultures for fair exchanges.

Program led by Carine Durand, Director

MEG is strongly committed to a proactive process of decolonizing its practices and the history of its collections. An assumed and committed decolonial approach represents a real challenge in a country that did not have colonies, but yet has a rich and complex colonial history. MEG wants to show that decolonization concerns all countries, regions and institutions whose citizens have pursued colonial practices, sometimes even after declarations of independence. In this perspective, MEG wishes to raise awareness among its publics and partners about the colonial roots of its collections, the knowledge it has produced and its museology. The overall objective is to engage, from our Swiss and European reality, a translocal dialogue and fair exchanges with the descendants of those who were colonized. This dialogue is based on three principles. The first is to shed light on the history of the Museum's collections by deepening our knowledge of the provenance of the objects, in particular their motive and the way in which they were acquired. MEG will commit to informing culture carriers of the presence of sensitive objects in its collections. The second is to re-establish the link between "source communities", from the five continents, and the collections or archives that concern them, with the aim of reappropriating the heritage. The idea here is to gather around the collections to hear the voices of the descendants of those who created the Museum's objects, to co-construct new knowledge and new interpretations. The third is to promote exchanges with creators, with the aim of generating new artistic creations, and to encourage researchers, as well as culture bearers and audiences to look to the future and shape a decolonial future with many hands.

3. Reaffirming societal commitment: redeployment of programming and equitable and inclusive community partnerships.

Program led by Mauricio Estrada Muñoz, head of the Publics unit

MEG’s Strategic Plan calls for a global overhaul of its cultural and scientific cultural and scientific programming for, and with and with all audiences. This translates into a commitment to commitment that works towards sustainable development socially, environmentally and economically responsible responsible. In line with MEG’s vision, this program program aims to explore equitable exchanges and interculturality from a translocal perspective. This implies the implementation of a new relational ethic that takes into consideration, in an inclusive manner inclusive manner, a multiplicity of viewpoints representative of the perspectives and interests of all of the population.

This includes the populations from which the collections originate, but also groups and This includes the populations from which the collections originate, but also groups and minorities left out of the dominant narratives of the past and present. This program seeks to foster an inclusive approach by engaging with stakeholders from different fields than those of the MEG. In this way the Museum becomes an evolving platform for local and international collaborations as well as a source of and a source of inspiration for creative people from all disciplines. In addition, the The programming choices are designed to make the MEG a place that contributes to the well-being of everyone.  

4. Redesigning public spaces: encouraging longer and more frequent visits, and places that promote the diversification of audiences.

Program led by Olivier Kreis, administrator

The objective of this program is to reorganize certain areas of the Museum, to modify its ergonomics to encourage longer and more frequent visits by the public, and to encourage diversification of the reasons for visits. Thus, at MEG entrance, the Welcome Desk will be merged with the former Boutique to improve the reception of the public and resume the sale of publications. The area freed up by the relocation of the reception furniture will become a lounge with a beautiful view of the outside garden. The Foyer, in the 1st basement, will be redesigned to become a space for sound and music broadcasting giving it a new character.

The Marguerite Lobsiger Conference Room, in the 1st basement, will become a place for work and training, used to promote the use of the International Archives of Popular Music (AIMP) by means of a reading facility for different musical supports (vinyl, tape, CD, DVD, etc.). The conservation-restoration workshop, on the 1st floor, will be equipped to facilitate the consultation of the collections by a specialized public or a public culturally linked to the objects. Regarding the Auditorium depots, they will be reorganized to form a logistics center able to deploy event technical facilities in a minimum amount of time.

5. Engaging the digital transition: new technologies, and innovation as a corporate culture.

Program led by Grégoire de Ceuninck, responsible for digital

As a strategic, economic and social challenge, the digital transition is stimulating interdisciplinary thinking at MEG on the theme of "museum, interaction and technology". The implementation of high-performance IT solutions relating to administrative management, museology, mediation, digital communication, and business intelligence transforms the way MEG operates, simplifies business processes, reduces daunting tasks, and promotes innovation. It also solves certain issues related to IT security or the maintenance of tools currently used by MEG. The digital transition is leading to the development of new online services. It requires a rethinking of the links established between the public and the Museum by offering co-generated, co-edited participatory content that meets the public's expectations, needs and motivations. It engages the entire staff by establishing an intensive collaborative dynamic and developing the digital skills of each individual in order to improve the overall functioning of MEG.

6. Increasing sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint: concrete measures to address the climate and environmental emergency.

Program led by Mauricio Estrada Muñoz, head of the Publics unit

Museums, by virtue of their activities, are consumers of of energy and raw materials; they generate waste that adds to the waste that adds to the total volume of emissions. But as cultural actors, they also participate in the democratic in the democratic debate and make the population aware of to issues of concern to society. Based on this the climate emergency, MEG has set itself the goal of becoming a has set itself the goal of becoming a reference museum in terms of in the field of sustainability.

To achieve this goal, the program has several components: first, the implementation of a strong first, the implementation of a strong and binding charter of social and ecological responsibility for scenography which will allow MEG to considerably reduce its consumption of residual materials while This will allow the MEG to considerably reduce its consumption of residual materials while favouring the use of recycled materials and the re-use of its equipment. Secondly, a program of public events that makes the consequences of environmental change on society as a whole perceptible. the consequences of environmental change on society as a whole, including the most vulnerable, and provides to help reduce our carbon footprint. By basing these meetings on current and traditional and traditional practices, from here and elsewhere, this project shows how global the environmental problem is and how and how the answers are translocal.

Finally, the deployment of an eco-responsible work culture in which each MEG employee is a stakeholder in this collective part of this collective effort. Based on the strong commitment of the City of Geneva, this involves of the City of Geneva, this involves, in particular, carrying out an internal consumption assessment and adopting urgent measures adapted to MEG, raise awareness and train staff and implement an environmental management system management system that will cover all areas of activity. An eco-labeling of MEG to the highest international standards will guarantee the credibility of the efforts made by all the teams.

7. Develop a new verbal and visual identity: a transformation reflecting the museum's museological and decolonial orientation and strengthening its international positioning.

Program led by Laurence Berlamont-Equey, Head of Communication and Press Relations

MEG is developing its new vision around its social and environmental commitment. This radical transformation must be supported by an evolution of its positioning and name. Therefore, the name "Museum Ethnography of Geneva" must be challenged, questioned and rethought. The new MEG brand must reflect the identity of the institution and the way it wishes to present itself. Its verbal identity, image and logo must externally reflect its vision, goals and "promise". A new name could be chosen to reflect the transformation of the Museum and the break with its past. The MEG will therefore consider a new brand, decolonial and global, that reflects the institution's identity and commitment. In this perspective, the Museum will be repositioned in a global and international museum field and its brand must be unique among other similar institutions around the world.

A strong brand generates an emotional connection, creates a positive sense of attraction, consolidates the existing relationship with its public, but also helps to attract new visitors.

8. Experimenting music: meeting, sharing and creating around sound.

Program led by Madeleine Leclair, responsible for ethnomusicology

The objective of this program is to share the exceptional music collections collections housed at MEG with a wider audience a wider public, including the source communities, researchers communities, researchers, music lovers and artists. and artists. The focus is on the expressive dimension of music. The circulation of the International Folk Music Archive of the International Folk Music Archive (IFMA), one of the most collection of recordings from five continents, aims to bring to light different of recordings from the five continents, aims to bring to light various works that explore the creative and unifying potential of music and sound. and unifying potential of music and sound.

Access to these archives is provided in the form of publications and presentations at various public events (exhibitions, performances, listening sessions, etc.), listening sessions, etc.). MEG encourages creative projects inspired by recordings that are and contextualized by the communities that are its heirs. The MEG also wishes to pursue the programming of musical performances, but also initiate meetings and discussions between artists and audiences from all walks of life. The guiding principle of this future programming is to explore the links between musical traditions and contemporary music music, by focusing on the work of artists engaged in a creative process on the basis of inherited heritage.

9. Rethinking the exhibition spaces: towards a new permanent exhibition and more frequent temporary exhibitions

Program led by Nelly Pontier, Exhibition Production Manager

In line with its strategic plan and with the intention of preserving a strong link with its public to maintain a strong link with its public, MEG wishes to renew its exhibition renew its exhibition offer. Presented since 2014, the permanent exhibition The archives of human diversity will be replaced by a new a new exhibition. The renewal of the permanent exhibition exhibition offers the opportunity to change the spaces, with the option of swapping the two exhibition exhibition rooms.

Currently the two exhibition spaces of the MEG, permanent and temporary, are spread over two floors of 1000m2 each. The volume in which the current permanent collection is presented collection is presented can be divided into two distinct areas of 400m2 and 600m2. By swapping exhibition spaces, the MEG can therefore envisage splitting the new space for the temporary collection into two temporary collection into two and to program two temporary exhibitions per year. These changes require a multi-year planning process.

The programming of The programming of exhibitions must be anticipated so that the needs and resources required at the level of the The programming of exhibitions must be anticipated so that the needs and resources required at the Museum level can be evaluated and anticipated. These changes will have an impact on the work of the staff of the various units of the Museum. By renewing these offers, MEG wishes to encourage the public to visit more frequently and at the same time hopes to attract new visitors. With each of these each visit to MEG, the public will be able to visit the permanent exhibition and one or even two temporary exhibitions, depending on the dates. By questioning and renewing itself, the MEG wishes to preserve its place as a reference museum on a national and international level.


Strategic Plan 2020-2024 [PDF 1.25 Mo]