The Museum of Possible Futures

Today’s guest blog post is written by Elise Rebmann, Renewals & Retention Manager, PatronManager. 

As a life-long art museum fan and patron, I felt fortunate to be able to attend the American Alliance of Museum’s Annual Meeting earlier this year. It was fascinating to meet people in the industry and learn more about museum technology and trends.

At the conference, I was introduced to Museum Magazine which just finished their November/December edition called Museum 2040. As you might suspect from the title, this edition is written from the year 2040 and imagines how museums would respond to one possible future resulting from some of the existing environmental and cultural challenges we face today. I highly recommend this fascinating read which includes articles about:

  • Museums operating well-being and health centers, schools, and elder-care programs
  • Museums contributing to urban planning trends and sustainability, helping cities achieve carbon-neutral status
  • The rise of technology designed to compensate artists for creative works of all kinds
  • Museums as leaders advocating for human rights and healing
  • Communities working together as cultural ecosystems
  • Relocating culture and science collections to space to ensure climate-control
  • A living museum and zoo alliance opening additional locations for African game animals in Idaho since those populations had to be relocated because of environmental pressures

…and much more! You can download a free copy here (you don’t even have to be an AAM member).

It’s clear to me that no matter what the future brings, museums have an important role to play in helping us respond to the challenges our world faces and stretching our ideas of what is important to our culture.

This industry seems to be eagerly embracing technology and helping us find ways to integrate those new technologies into our lives, resulting in more meaningful conversations around the dinner table. While I’m not sure about having my museum experience dictated to me by my smartphone quite yet, I would love my aging parents and children to be together in a museum-based health and education center!


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