Applications are now open for Oxford Cultural Leaders 2019

Applications are now open for Oxford Cultural Leaders 2019, the residential leadership programme designed and delivered by Oxford University’s Gardens, Libraries & Museums in partnership with the Saïd Business School.

Oxford Cultural Leaders is a unique programme for directors and senior managers in cultural organisations, who want to redefine their identity as leaders and their vision for their institution at a time of increasing challenge and complexity for the sector. Now in its fourth year, the programme brings together expertise from the cultural and business sectors to encourage participants to explore how cultural organisations can reinvent themselves as not-for-profit hybrid businesses, with entrepreneurial ways of thinking and behaving.

As the recent devastating fire at the National Museum in Rio revealed, cultural leaders are currently having to grapple with a huge range of issues, from funding and political challenges to complex internal demands and changing audience expectations. These multi-layered challenges require leaders who are dynamic, flexible and responsive, and who are able to steer their institutions successfully through change.

‘I firmly believe that the success of the sector is reliant on a new type of leader - one who embraces change; is entrepreneurial in outlook; who continually looks outwards to learn new things and yet is rooted in a strong sense of values, core purpose and public service,’ said Diane Lees, Director General, Imperial War Museums.

Oxford Cultural Leaders was a chance to reflect and think deeply about our joint values, purpose and responsibilities as leaders in the cultural sector,’ commented Miki Lentin, Head of Corporate Affairs, British Library. ‘I came away energised and incredibly hopeful about the future, knowing that together we could inspire the organisations we all work for.’ 

Oxford Cultural Leaders is a five-day residential programme, which brings together a group of approximately 20 leaders from across the world. The 2019 programme runs from 7 to 12 April 2019, and the deadline for applications is 12 noon on 7 January 2019. Participants will stay at Corpus Christi College in the heart of Oxford, close to the museums, cultural venues and university buildings used to deliver the teaching, workshops and the social programme.

To find out more about the programme and to apply, visit or contact: Lucy Shaw, Programme Director, Oxford Cultural Leaders at or on 01865 613783.

The press release is also available to download as a pdf.