Skip to content

Wild Talks: Art, nature, place and belonging

Free, book tickets now.

15 Jun 2024 2:00 pm -3:30 pm

Kanaris Theatre, Manchester Museum, Oxford Road.

Free, book tickets now.

Wild Talks: Art, nature, place and belonging

A conversation with Mike Murawski and Esme Ward

Join us for a thought-provoking dialogue between Esme Ward, Director of the Manchester Museum, andMike Murawski, museum consultant and advocate for place-based learning.

Grounded in the themes of the current Wild exhibition, this conversation will explore the transformative role of the museums as agents of social change and as platforms for addressing environmental challenges. Esme Ward and Mike Murawskiwill discuss what it means to reimagine museums as vibrant hubs of community activity and partnership, and how these institutions can embrace place-based practices to forge deeper connections with communities and landscapes. 


Free, book tickets now.

Mike Murawski

Esme Ward

Mike Murawski is a consultant, educator, and the author of Museums as Agents of Change: A Guide to Becoming a Changemaker (2021). He is the Co-Founder of Art Nature Place, a business focused on place-based learning, environmental education, and developing human-centred strategies for meaningful change.  After more than 20 years of work in education and museums, Murawski has become an outspoken advocate for transformative change in museums, nonprofits, and communities. 


Esme Ward is Director of Manchester Museum, the University of Manchester, the first woman in the museum’s 130-year history to hold this role. Esme has worked in museums and heritage as an educator and cultural leader for over 25 years, including at the V&A, National Trust, the Whitworth and now, Manchester Museum. She has also worked across sectors, notably health and education. She is Professor of Heritage Futures and for several years taught Museology.  

She led the £15 million capital transformation of Manchester Museum, with the aim of renewing its creative and civic mission. She is currently leading work with others to develop practice and policy on repatriation, ecological stewardship and building an ethics of care in museums. She is Co-Chair of the University Museums Group and sits on the National Museum’s Directors’ Executive Council. She is a member of the Oxford Road Corridor Board and chairs the Culture on the Corridor group. She sits on the Research England Advisory Group (REAG), Kew’s Wakehurst Advisory Committee and is a Trustee of Hope Valley Climate Action. She is the founding Chair of the National Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance and a Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme. 

Wild Talks

There is a clear and growing need for new education pathways to support learners’ aspirations at every stage of their lives. Through our offer of a series of public lectures we aim to provide access to a Manchester education throughout a learner’s lifetime. Wild Talks are a series of public lectures that bring some of the UK’s foremost thinkers, writers, activists and influencers to Manchester Museum, part of the University of Manchester, to our visitors, students, staff and community partners.


Wild Talks format

  • Chaired by a member of the Wild exhibition team at Manchester Museum.
  • 45 minute talk with 15 minute Q&A, followed by 30 minutes meet and greet, and networking opportunity with free refreshments.
  • Talks will be filmed, and videos will be made available shortly afterwards on Manchester Museum and University of Manchester websites.


Wild Talks Programme

Share this via

Plan your visit

Find out everything you need to know to enjoy your visit

Plan your museum visit

Sign up to our newsletter

Be the first to find out about events, exhibitions and museum news


You can help us care for our collections and bring joy and inspiration to people in Manchester and beyond

As one of the UK’s largest university museums, we care for over 4.5 million objects, with an internationally-important collection spanning from Archaeology to Zoology, and nearly everything in between. We work with communities, support university students and schools in Manchester and beyond and we are a free, inclusive museum for all. But we need your help. Every object we care for, exhibition, school visit and community event comes at a cost, and you can help make the museum as ambitious and impactful as possible.