Innovation, flexibility, participation, future viability – Museum work and the role of museums as social actors are increasingly in the focus of interest. In this area the Goethe-Institut is incorporating new perspectives on cultural education and international cooperation into a variety of projects.The general public is becoming increasingly aware of the potential offered by museums as places for democratic education, dialogue and social discourse with participation from diverse actors. On the basis of its robust network involving key figures within the museum and culture scene at local level, the Goethe-Institut firstly initiates its own projects, and secondly steps into the crucial role of intermediary between German and international partners as well as civil society organisations. In doing so, the Goethe-Institut is taking on a function that the individual institutions often cannot afford themselves.
The organisation has years of practical experience in cooperative and partner-oriented working approaches, during which time an ideal of international dialogue has been pursued, with the principle of learning from one another at its core. Capacity building in this context is neither a one-sided transfer of knowledge nor an export of existing models of museum practice, it’s a process of knowledge sharing between all parties, and the expression of a self-perception based on learning and unlearning. A dialogic encounter on an equal footing, which also reflects power relations, forms the foundation for the development of new museum practices and projects.