Vietnam Field School 2016-17

Upcoming Activities

12th Sustainability Conference | Urban Sustainability: Inspiration & Solution, Jan 2016, Portland, USA

Inaugural International Conference on Tourism & Leisure Studies, April 2016, Hawaii, USA

9th International Conference on the Inclusive Museum | Urbanism, Inclusion, and Cultural Freedoms, Sept 2016, Cincinnati, USA

Inclusive Cultural Leadership in Sustainable Development Field School, Dec 2016-Jan 2017, Vietnam

Recent Activities

8th International Conference on the Inclusive Museum | Museums as Civic Spaces, Aug 2015, New Delhi, India

Keynote: ICCN 2014 Festival and General Assembly,, Oct 2014, Isfahan, Iran

7th International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, August 2014, Los Angeles, USA

Masterclass & Keynote | Pathways: Connecting Museums & Communities. South East Queensland Small Museums Conference, 21-24 August 2014, Australia

Keynote speech to Exploring Borders, 6th General Conference of ASEMUS,, Sept 2014, Weltmuseum Wien, Vienna, Austria

Keynote speech to Museums and Innovations. ICOM - International Conference on Ethnography, Oct 2014, Zagreb, Croatia

Co-facilitator and lead, Ha Long Ecomuseum study tour: Postcolonial Museology, Appropriate Capacity Building and Regional Engagement, ICOM-ICTOP Annual Conference,, Oct 2014, Hanoi & Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Chairperson of the Eleventh Sustainability Conference. Sustainability Dividends- Developmental Fault Lines,, Jan 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark

Strategic Transformations: Museums in 21st Century, February 2014, New Delhi & Kolkata, India

World Culture Forum: The Power of Culture in Sustainable Development, November 2013, Bali, Indonesia

Asia-Europe Foundation Experts' Meeting & Public Forum - Investing in Heritage Cities: Stimulus for Sustainable Tourism and Livelihoods, June 2013, Yangon, Myanmar

Workshop: Heritage as Knowledge Resource: social, political and cultural context, June 2013, Zagreb, Croatia

International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Jan 2013, Hiroshima, Japan

6th International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, April 2013, Denmark, Copenhagen

UNESCO World Heritage Convention 40th anniversary celebrations & book launch "World Heritage: Benefits Beyond Borders", Nov 2012, Kyoto, Japan

International Symposium on Culture & Sustainable Development, Nov 2012, Paris, France

5th General Conference of the Asia-Europe Museum Network, Sept 2012, Seoul, Korea

More than Meets the Eye - Keynote Lecture

Museums Australia National Conference, Sept 2012, Australia

Expert Meeting on the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections July 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,

European Museum Advisors Conference, May-June 2012, Portugal

NEXT STEP: Putting Culture on the Agenda for the Future of Europe June 2012, Denmark


2016 Vietnam field school

Inclusive Cultural Leadership in Sustainable Development Field School, Vietnam 

28th December 2016 – 18th January 2017

The Field School provides first hand ‘fingers in the dirt’ experiential learning through case studies from diverse cultural, economic, social and environmental contexts. This four pillar approach to sustainable development facilitated through an immersion covers a range of places across Vietnam from Hanoi/Ha Long Bay/Mai Chau in the north to Ho Chi Minh City and UNESCO Bio Sphere Reserves in the south. It addresses as to how the agency of inclusive cultural leadership plays a critical role in the transformation of local, regional and national cultures and economies. It profiles as to how international and national legal instruments for safeguarding cultural diversity, governance structures, and local area planning intersect within integrated and interdisciplinary management. It provides a critical introduction to cultural mapping, gender and youth issues in community engagement, poverty alleviation, Millennium Development Goals, South South Cooperation and the transition to Sustainable Development Goals in the UN post-2015 Development Agenda.

Download PDF Field School Brochure here

The Field School provides first-hand experience to graduate students, researchers and professionals, as capacity building for locating culture in sustainable development in a rapidly globalising world. Cultural and environmental resources of all kinds are examined in the context of the four pillars of cultural, economic, environmental and social sustainability. The focus is on real-life examples and documented case studies in Vietnam. Partners in the development of the case studies in the past fifteen years include UNDP, UNESCO, ICOM, ICOMOS, IUCN, NORAD, SIDA, AUSAID, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. The School is facilitated through Sustainable Development programming, the main focus of the International Institute for the Inclusive Museum.

This Field School is offered as a professional development program to those involved in humanities, social and environmental sciences, tourism, community development, cross cultural studies, archaeology, anthropology, planning, postcolonial studies, sustainable development, cultural heritage law and interdisciplinary studies. The Field School is the only study/professional development program of its kind offered in Vietnam with the support of the local, provincial and national institutions and their respective authorities.  It also addresses conflicts between conservation and development, negotiations with stakeholders and business models for sustainable development.

Past participant’s perspective:
Encounters through a Museum Field School (PDF)
Transnational Educational Experiences in Anthropology (PDF)

Curriculum focus

The Field School is grounded in what the Australian curriculum says about 21st Century learners: 1. Tackle real world problems; 2. Develop questioning and research skills; 3. Solve problems/Create solutions; 4. Use technology as a tool to help in learning; 5. Collaborate inside and outside the classroom; 6. Acquire a deep understanding; 7. Connect with community/community engagement; 8.Empower oneself with the process of learning – collaborative – Take control of your own learning; 9. Challenge one’s own preconceptions; 10. Learn in a structured environment

Key action learning activities include:

  • Exercises to understand Sustainable Development Goals, post 2015 UN Development Agenda, associated indicators and targets. Why Vietnam made demonstrable progress with the MDGs (2000-2015) will be examined throughout the Field School.
  • Critical investigation into the impacts of tourism on the cultural values in Northern, Central and Southern Vietnam.
  • Sustainable community engagement: workshop at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology on the participation of indigenous and minority groups in the conservation and interpretation of tangible and intangible heritage and their representation in different contexts.
  • Women and youth issues in culture and development – round tables at the Vietnam Museum of Women in Hanoi and Women’s Museum of the South in Ho Chi Minh City – addressing issues of gender, representation and participation.
  • Workshops with management in Hue, Hoi An, My Son and Ha Long Bay World Heritage Areas.
  • Post-conflict heritage management, peace and reconciliation with case studies.
  • Sustainable development of Ba Dinh Archaeological Site, Thang Long Citadel and the Old Quarter in Hanoi and the layers of significance of urban heritage in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Roundtables on contemporary aesthetic discourse at the Museums of Fine Arts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
  •  Study of the Vietnam Temple of Literature as Documentary Heritage
  • The significance of Object ID, Vietnam National Cultural Heritage Law and minimization of illicit traffic in cultural property and UNESCO & CITES Conventions with seminar at the Cham Museum in Danang.
  • Ecomuseums and holistic heritage management: workshop bringing together floating fishing villages and curators, site managers and conservators through the floating museum in Ha Long Bay World Heritage Area and the Hoi An Ecomuseum development bringing the Cua Lao Cham UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Area together through integrated local area planning.
  • UNESCO Conventions on Cultural Diversity and Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage and the integration of intangible and tangible heritage in museums and World Heritage Areas.
  • Evaluating heritage and environmental policies, cultural mapping and integrated sustainable systems methodologies and intercultural dialogue in development and poverty alleviation.


To secure a Professional Development Certificate or a written report from the Director for credit back at their home institution, participants are required to write and submit a professional field journal (20%); submit a preparatory essay prior to the Field School to be shared by the cohort (20%); and complete at least 3 problem solving exercises in small teams during the three weeks in the field (3×20%).


The Field School is led by a faculty of researchers and professionals with a substantial track record of applied work in Vietnam. It is directed by Professor Dr. Amareswar Galla who has been working on culture in sustainable development and MDGs in Vietnam since 1999. The Vietnamese faculty includes Managers and Directors of various national and provincial museums and World Heritage Areas and the team of all the cultural agency Directors in Ho Chi Minh City. The program is applied with problem solving exercises and a final report as feedback with recommendations to the Vietnamese Government. The Field School is a deep transformative learning experience and not a study tour.


Professionals from the museum, heritage, environment and other relevant conservation sectors can take the course as a Professional Development Program subject to prior approval from the Course Director and meeting the entry requirements. The Field School is available to research students as a research and field work training option in Masters and Doctoral programs.  The full program and travel itinerary will be sent to the participants on acceptance of enrolment. Participants pay for their own return airfares to Hanoi, travel insurance, plus a discounted package fee. Tuition fees/professional development fees are subsidised by the International Institute for the Inclusive Museum and its partners. Students can register in their own university for a free elective, equivalent to 2 hours in the US higher education system.


Annual cohorts are targeted to include participants from several countries to create an immersion learning environment as an international cross cultural exchange program. There are 25 places available to be filled with full registration by the 1st of September 2016. Expressions of interest are continuing starting from 1st September 2015. Recruitment continues with staggered deadlines until all the places are filled with the highest quality assessed candidates.

Preliminary applications should include:

  • A brief Expression of Interest (150 words) stating how you will benefit from the Field School.
  • Current Curriculum Vitae. It should include details of qualifications.
  • Professional Development Participants need a supporting letter from a referee or employer.

Useful Documents

Encounters through a Museum Field School (PDF)
Transnational Educational Experiences in Anthropology (PDF)

Professor Amareswar Galla PhD
Executive Director
International Institute for the Inclusive Museum