Large Impact by Joining Forces - Session at the ICOM General Conference Kyoto 2019

jan 11 2019

Icom kyoto

Probably 4 September 2019

What are Hubs?

Hubs are physical or virtual places, bringing enterprising people together in temporary labs and incubation spaces which ignite innovations, static or mobile hubs, as well as online networks with the potential to revive the economy or change society ( Hubs are a cross between a business incubator, a learning lab, and a professional membership community ( In a hub, people with good ideas can meet and find a creative place to connect.

The hub between Japan and the Netherlands

Dejima in Japan, the Japan Museum Sieboldhuis in the Netherlands are gates to the centuries old hub between two worlds. Dejima is an artificial island constructed by Nagasaki merchants until 1636 under Japan's feudal government for trade with the West. However, contacts were not limited to trade only. Dr von Siebold worked for the Dutch authorities in Dejima between 1823 and 1829. He collected a large number of items which formed the basis of the Dutch National Museum of Ethnology.
Currently, the island Dejima as well as the Japan Museum Sieboldhuis are museums focusing on the relation between Japan and the Netherlands. Also they promote international contacts in the present.

Case Study

What were the specifics of Dejima as cultural hub, centuries ago? Is this model an option for the future and if so, in what respect? How do these connections still play a role and how are traditions and shared heritage involved? Is this hub model based on exclusiveness or is it inclusive enough? What are the roles of colonialism and protectionism in the past and the present? Do we need more inclusive models of interaction, which are globally speaking more just? Who are the winners and losers?

How can museums function as a hub?

Museums worldwide are increasingly linking with other organizations, authorities, industries research centres. They have always been a place where people, communities, professionals and artist come together. Museums should take their place in conversations about larger issues like social cohesion and climate and function like a hub in facilitating contact and be one of the engines behind meaningful action towards larger issues like social cohesion and climate.

The “Large Impact” Session at Kyoto 2019

In this session “Big Impact by Joining Forces”, we will use the historical Dutch-Japanese ties as backdrop to discuss exactly this trend, how museums can function as a hub. The two countries have a four-century old connection in trade, military and knowledge exchange. This connection is still strong as governments, companies, cultural organisations and technology innovators from both sides regularly join forces.

Speakers in this session will look well beyond the museum sector and define their ambitions for the future of museums and their role in society. So far, the following speakers have agreed:

  • Léontine Meyer van Mensch, Staatliche Ethnografische Sammlungen (SES) (DE), ICOM Executive Council 
  • Prof. Joy Hendry, Oxford Brookes University (UK)
  • Mijuki Yamaguchi, Dejima Museum, Nagasaki (JP)
  • Kris Schiermeier, The Japan Museum Sieboldhuis, Leiden (NL)


The session is a cooperation between:

ICOM the Netherlands:
ICOM Japan:
The Japan Museum Sieboldhuis 


Ben je zelf ook van plan naar de General Conference in Kyoto te gaan? Reis samen met je Nederlandse collega’s: heenvlucht 30 augustus – 14.45 uur (KL 867 Amsterdam - Osaka) en terugvlucht op 9 september – 10.25 uur (KL 868 Osaka - Amsterdam). De prijs voor een retourvlucht is op dit moment ongeveer 800 euro.

Het Karasuma Kyoto Hotel ( biedt de Nederlandse groep korting op het verblijf. Als je wil boeken met korting, mail:

Voor overige vragen of meer informatie, klik hier.

Bij voldoende belangstelling wordt een rondreis georganiseerd, onder andere langs Nagasaki en Dejima, de oude Nederlandse handelspost. Deze is gepland van 5 t/m 8 september. Voor de kosten wordt subsidie aangevraagd, maar deze zal niet de volledige kosten van 1.200 euro per persoon dekken. Voor meer informatie, klik hier. Heb je belangstelling? Wensen? Neem contact op met

More information about the general conference: