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Reading the Tea Leaves: Global Trends and Opportunities for Tomorrow's Museums

Reading the Tea Leaves: Global Trends and Opportunities for Tomorrow's Museums

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A presentation to the 2014 Communicating the Museum conference in Sydney, Australia.

As our society becomes increasingly more intertwined, it is evident that global trends that once seemed remote are having a deep impact on our local communities. These same trends play out in museums around the globe as we reflect our communities both past and present. The museum audience is inherently submerged in this current of cultural change. Without pretending to predict the entire future, there are strong signals that a few important global trends will persist. What are those trends and how can museums begin to take advantage of those likely shifts to promote, advocate, and enhance their relevance to a global audience?

A presentation to the 2014 Communicating the Museum conference in Sydney, Australia.

As our society becomes increasingly more intertwined, it is evident that global trends that once seemed remote are having a deep impact on our local communities. These same trends play out in museums around the globe as we reflect our communities both past and present. The museum audience is inherently submerged in this current of cultural change. Without pretending to predict the entire future, there are strong signals that a few important global trends will persist. What are those trends and how can museums begin to take advantage of those likely shifts to promote, advocate, and enhance their relevance to a global audience?

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Reading the Tea Leaves: Global Trends and Opportunities for Tomorrow's Museums

  1. READING THE TEA LEAVESGlobal Trends and Opportunities for Tomorrow’s Museums Robert Stein, Deputy Director Dallas Museum of Art @rjstein
  2. Flickr Credit ~karochkin GLOBAL ISSUES IMPACT GLOBAL MUSEUMS
  3. Flickr Credit ~arthurjohnpicton
  4. Flickr Credit ~mediotanque GLOBAL POPULATION is growing by 80m people each year
  5. Source http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/153596/
  6. 70% OF THE GLOBAL POPULATION WILL LIVE IN ONE BY 2050 CITIES Flickr Credit ~fab05 Source: Guardian Cities, Jan 2014 http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/jan/27/guardian-cities-site-urban-future-dwell-human- history-welcome
  7. Flickr Credit ~Elena Lagaria Negotiating the circumstances of everyday life in any true city tends over time to create a broad-minded, feisty, opinionated personality type we'd have no problem recognizing, wherever and whenever it appears in human history. City people may well be tolerant of diversity not out of any personal commitment to a utopian politics, but because that's just what the daily necessity of living cheek-by-jowl with people who are different imposes upon you. City”
  8. 1% OF THE POPULATION OWNS 46% OF THE WEALTH Source: Oxfam, “Working for the Few”
  9. 85 RICHEST OWN AS MUCH AS THE POOREST 50% Source: Oxfam, “Working for the Few”
  10. GROWTH OF THE INTERNET It might not be what you expect
  11. GLOBAL INTERNET ADOPTION IS SLOWING WEALTH DRIVES THE INTERNET NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND
  12. MIND THE GAP A disparity in access to the Internet creates a corresponding gap in access to information and global online culture
  13. MUSEUMS CAN BE CATHEDRALS FOR CULTURE
  14. [Museums] have become cathedrals for a secular culture, storehouses of collective values and diverse histories, places where increasingly we seem to want to spend our free time and thrash out big issues. We put our faith in few traditional institutions these days, but the museum is still one of them. Museums in a Quandary: Where Are the Ideals? Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, August 26, 2001 MUSEUMS ARE PLACES TO THRASH OUT BIG IDEAS
  15. The potential of art to create indelible images, to express difficult ideas through metaphor, and to communicate beyond the limits of language makes it a powerful force for illuminating civic experience. Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts
  16. Begin with art, because art tries to take us outside ourselves. It is a matter of trying to create an atmosphere and context so conversation can flow back and forth and we can be influenced by each other. W. E. B. Du Bois
  17. CULTURE CREATES BETTER CITIZENS Even after controlling for age, race and education, we found that participation in the arts, especially as audience, predicted civic engagement, tolerance and altruism. Ranallo, A. B. Interest in Arts Predicts Social Responsibility: Study University of Illinois at Chicago. August 16, 2012.
  18. Flickr Credit ~purewightphotography ROBOT PREPARE FOR THE COMING OF OUR OVERLORDS
  19. Flickr Credit ~in2photos According to the US Bureau for Labor Statistics Truck Diver is the most common job for men in America TRUCK DRIVERS Source: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/employment_occupations/cb12-225.html
  20. Flickr Credit ~purewightphotography Our findings thus imply that as technology races ahead, low-skill workers will reallocate to tasks that are non-susceptible to computerization – i.e., tasks requiring creative and social intelligence. The Future of employment: how susceptible are jobs to computerization Frey and Osborne, Sept 17, 2013
  21. Flickr Credit ~stevensnodgrass A CHANGE IN THE NATURE OF WORK
  22. Flickr Credit ~stevensnodgrass A CHANGE IN THE NATURE OF WORK Automation will drive shorter work-weeks in order to provide jobs for displaced workers As routine skills disappear, a need for creative-class workers will be a key point of concern for tomorrow’s companies. Shorter work-weeks will result in more “non-work” hours available to the public.
  23. For workers to win the race, however, they will have to acquire creative and social skills. Frey and Osborne, 2013
  24. Flickr Credit ~asbjorn_floden MUSEUMS CAN TEACH CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION
  25. CREATIVITY cited by 1500 CEO’s as the single most crucial factor for future success IBM, 2010 http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/31670.wss)
  26. The future [of knowledge] is to let ‘the machines’ do the heavy lifting and for us humans to focus on connecting the dots, discovering context, meaning and relevance, and to make human sense of it all. THE FUTURE OF KNOWLEDGE Gerd Leonhard. The Future of Knowledge. Jan 7, 2014 https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/creativektn/article-view/-/blogs/the-future-of-knowledge
  27. CURIOSITY THE SNEAK ATTACK OF MUSEUM-LEARNING Flickr Credit ~aftab
  28. CURIOSITY This work suggests that once you light that fire of curiosity, you put the brain in a state that’s more conducive to learning. Once you get this ramp-up of dopamine, the brain becomes more like a sponge that’s ready to soak up whatever is happening. Curiosity improves memory by tapping into the brain’s reward system Ian Sample, The Guardian, Oct 2, 2014
  29. THE WORLD NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO DISCOVER Over the next twenty years the earth is predicted to add another two billion people. Having nearly exhausted nature’s ability to feed the planet, we now need to discover a new food system. The global climate will continue to change. To save our coastlines, and maintain acceptable living conditions for more than a billion people, we need to discover new science, engineering, design, and architectural methods, and pioneer economic models that sustain their implementation and maintenance. …
  30. THE WORLD NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO DISCOVER The many rich and varied human cultures of the earth will continue to mix, more rapidly than they ever have, through mass population movements and unprecedented information exchange, and to preserve social harmony we need to discover new cultural referents, practices, and environments of cultural exchange. In such conditions the futures of law, medicine, philosophy, engineering, and agriculture – with just about every other field – are to be rediscovered. American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist David Edwards, WIRED Magazine
  31. THANK YOU Flickr Credit ~motograf @rjstein http://slideshare.net/rstein

Editor's Notes

  • Global population is growing by roughly 80M people per year. This is the same as adding the population of Germany to the world each year.
  • That would require a city with a population of at least 1M to be built every five days between now and then

    The rapid urbanization of the world’s population over the twentieth century is described in the 2005 Revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects report. The global proportion of urban population rose dramatically from 13% (220 million) in 1900, to 29% (732 million) in 1950, to 49% (3.2 billion) in 2005. The same report projected that the figure is likely to rise to 60% (4.9 billion) by 2030.

    "World Urbanization Prospects: The 2005 Revision, Pop. Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UN".
  • MARY MEEKER, KLEINER PERKINS, MAY 2014
    http://www.slideshare.net/kleinerperkins/internet-trends-2014-05-28-14-pdf

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