Curating the Future Keynote


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Here's a presentation I gave on 11 November to Renaissance Northwest's Curating the Future Conference, held at the People's History Museum in Manchester.

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Curating the Future Keynote

  1. 1. Discover your Real lives. Wythenshawe. new favourite place...
  2. 2.
  3. 3. Old stuff. New pitch. Steve Connor
  4. 4. “Partnership is the suppression of mutual loathing in the pursuit of public funding.”
  5. 5. Successful partnerships... - Agreement that a - The development of a - Good communication, partnership is necessary. shared vision of what perhaps aided by a might be achieved. facilitator. - Respect and trust between different - Time to build the - Collaborative decision- interests. partnership. making, with a commitment to achieving - The leadership of a - Shared mandates or respected individual or agendas. consensus. individuals. - Effective organisational - The development of management. - Commitment of key compatible ways of interests developed working, and flexibility. through a clear and open process. Courtesy of David Wilcox.
  6. 6. Failed partnerships... - A history of conflict - Unequal and among key interests. unacceptable balance of power and control. - One partner manipulates or dominates. - Key interests missing from the partnership. - Lack of clear purpose. - Unrealistic goals. - Hidden agendas. - Differences of philosophy - Financial and time and ways of working. commitments outweigh the potential benefits. - Lack of communication. Courtesy of David Wilcox.
  7. 7. Museums in partnership - National and core - Partnerships with public museums. service providers. - Promotional partnerships - Working with educators - Creative Tourist. and skills development bodies. - Partnerships with the private sector. - Local Enterprise Partnerships. - Working with local communities - a Big - Regional Development Society? Fund. - Partnership clusters and rationalisation.
  8. 8. Your partnership programme - Get advocates in - Understand - Be creative and see - Deliver and shout your corner partners’ priorities beyond funding about it - Every museum needs - Think not what your - Partnerships aren’t - It’s not the time to advocates to help put partners can do for just about formal hide your successes, them on the radar the museum, but applications and build your case, and access key what the museum chasing funding pots. demonstrate your decision makers. Be can do for its value and tell the networked and partners. people that matter knowledgeable. how the museum is a good and profitable investment.
  9. 9. Now, the small matter of saving the world.
  10. 10. Can museums save the world?
  11. 11. In the last quarter century... Redefining Prosperity: UK Sustainable Development Commission 2009
  12. 12. In the last quarter century... Global Economy 100% Carbon Emissions 40% Global Ecosystems -60% Redefining Prosperity: UK Sustainable Development Commission 2009
  13. 13. We (the UK) are consuming three planets each.
  14. 14. What makes us happy? Redefining Prosperity: UK Sustainable Development Commission 2009
  15. 15. What makes us happy? Partner/spouse and family relationships 47% Health 24% A nice place to live 8% Money and finances 7% Religious or spiritual life 6% Community and friends 5% Work fulfilment 2% Don’t know 1% Redefining Prosperity: UK Sustainable Development Commission 2009
  16. 16. The debt burden - Personal debt in the UK more than doubled from 1990 to today. - Even during the 2008 recession, it was growing at the rate of £1m every 11 minutes. - In 2008 it reached £1.5 trillion, higher than our GDP .
  17. 17. “Growth for the sake of growth is the philosophy of the cancer cell.” Edward Abbey
  18. 18. “Our commonest economic error is the assumption that production and trade are our only practical activities. “We need to say what many of us know in experience: that the life of man, and the business of society, cannot be confined to these ends; that the struggle to learn, to describe, to understand, to educate is a central and necessary part of our humanity.” Raymond Williams Raymond Williams, Communications, 1962
  19. 19. My pitch - Happiness and wealth fell - Non-materialist forms of - Reaching people, and out with each other more social capital and fighting for headspace, is than half a century ago. experience are part of the a core strength of the solution. cultural sector. - We need to ‘reboot’ economics and find a way - Culture and the to achieve prosperity experience economy can without growth. win us back from materialism.
  20. 20. My pitch - Culture creates the places - Innovation must no longer - Culture can (help to) save and spaces that people be the preserve of the world. want to be in, fostering a consumerist ‘novelty’ and more compelling and desire but has to become competitive identity. part of how we craft our collective future.
  21. 21. Two images that capture my thoughts.
  22. 22. Creating a sense of place.
  23. 23. Difference, distinction, diversity - No two museums are - In many cases they are - As an enhanced level of completely alike, and in guided, driven and funded localism guides our fact those that thrive are by local partners, collective future, markedly unique and including local Museums can play a compelling. government. prominent role in this new, localised future. - Rooted in the cities, towns - They have a level of and neighbourhoods of accountability, a - Museums are a vital part our region, museums have democratic and open of the tourism mix. People a critical role in building a communication with the are pulled towards these greater sense of place, a populace. They are places ‘cultural magnets’ for the stronger local identity and and spaces for people. stories they tell and for a richer, more rewarding the experiences they offer. visitor experience.
  24. 24. Steps to take - Gather your evidence. - Make the business case. - Image is everything - Collect the information that - Add value to your - Is your museum genuinely you will need to ensure that proposition by connecting it reflective of where the future you are seen as a key to the fortunes of the private lies for your town or city, or partner in developing the sector. even of your current local competitive identity. sense of place? If not, - Four. Set out a route to a embark on your own - Connect to the place bolder future. makers. process of reinvention. - If your city or local area has - Seek them out, meet them, future vision, how can you and make your case. as a museum play a part in creating that future brand?
  25. 25. SOCIETY big
  27. 27. Taking part... - 66% of adults took part in two or more different cultural or sport sectors - 79% had visited historic environment sites - 65% had visited a museum, gallery or archive - 54% used a public library DCMS Taking Part Survey 2009
  28. 28. The value of ‘taking part’ - Mental wellbeing (or happiness!) - Social cohesion and stronger communities - Volunteering and engagement - Lifelong learning - Mass innovation and inspiration
  29. 29. Cultural solutions: - Building social capital - An ‘alternative hedonism’ - Changing values and shifting behaviours - Reducing our carbon footprint - Stronger places and competitive identity - Genuine innovation - A happier world
  30. 30. Coming soon. Other insights from the NW Fed.
  31. 31. a culture of happiness new models opportunity & wellbeing of business
  32. 32. See the future.
  34. 34. WHAT FUTURE?
  35. 35. ONE EXAMPLE
  37. 37. 2008 2033
  38. 38. Our Changing Age 15.00 11.25 Millions 7.50 3.75 0 2008 0-14 15-29 30-44 45-59 60-74 75-84 85 & over 2033
  39. 39. Support 40 30 THERE WILL BE MORE OF 20 US, AND FEWER OF THEM 10 0 2008 2033 Working age Pension age ONS 2009
  42. 42. How we’re getting hitched 120 90 Thousands per year Religious ceremonies Civil ceremonies in approved premises HAVE YOU GOT ONE 60 OF THESE? 30 1996 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 ONS 2009
  46. 46. A GUIDE FOR FORECASTING AND PLANNING Elizabeth Merritt, Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums, American Association of Museums Garry Golden, Director of Foresight Strategy, Oliver Kaizen Produced by the California Association of Museums and The Center for the Future of Museums, American Association of Museums
  47. 47. A resource guide... - Based around a working session, “forecasting the future of california museums,” held in Los Angeles on May 25, 2010 at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Museums. - Center for the Future of Museums led participants in an exploration of the future - the next 30 years and beyond. - Led by futurist Garry Golden of Oliver Kaizen, a next generation communications agency focused on the future of mobility and infrastructure.
  48. 48. Key trends - Economic/political - People/communities - Technology - Environment - Shift in global power. - Not enough highly - Location-based - Water scarcity educated workers to connectivity via - Increasing inequality - World has already in distribution of meet the demands of ubiquitous hand-held reached peak wealth. new economy jobs. devices. production of - Old economy jobs - Greater income gap - Managed identities, conventional oil. shrink while new between rich and relationships and - Carbon emissions. economy jobs (health, poor. shared experiences in information, nano- the physical world. - Ethnic diversity and bio-technology) - ‘Echo boomers’ or grow. digital natives...
  49. 49. Five scenarios... - SCENARIO 1 The distributed museum in california - SCENARIO 2 The 21st century Silver rush—california’s creative ageing industry - SCENARIO 3 calibalkanization - SCENARIO 4 a revolution in education—learning moves Beyond the Schools - SCENARIO 5 The universal culture Pass—Set museums free!
  50. 50. Scenario 1 - The Distributed Museum - Underlying Trends: - Increased desire to create - Disruptive Event: walkable communities, - An increase in technological - A series of terrorist attacks tools and platforms that helping to conserve energy, on public venues— support a “Maker” or do-it- lower the environmental museums, sporting events, yourself culture. impact of transportation and concerts and festivals— increase quality of life. starting in 2015. - Pop-up retailing, moveable culture. - Increased tendency of municipalities to pressure - New technologies (social museums to pay property and creative) that support a tax, or make payments in more participatory culture lieu of property tax. and foster an expectation of shared authority.
  51. 51. Scenario 2 - The 21st Century Silver Rush - Underlying Trends: - Four out of five Baby - Disruptive Event: Boomers see work as - Elderly Californians (age - Passage of Proposition 65+) are the fastest growing playing a role in their 1096, reforming the state’s population group in the retirement years, with only real estate laws. state. 14% of the state’s 20% anticipating retiring residents will be 65 or older and not working at all (aarP). by 2020—and 18% by - People increasingly want to 2030. “age in place” rather than consigning themselves to - Biomedical advances continue to improve the retirement homes. ability of seniors to remain mobile and active.
  52. 52. Scenario 3 - Calibalkanization - Underlying Trends: - Political scientists have - Disruptive Event: identified signs of a new - There is a dramatically - Severe national recession increasing gap in wealth segregation by political starting in 2016 between richest and beliefs. poorest. The percentage of - Progressive cuts to local american wealth held by the and state funding of basic top 1% of the population fell services due to financial as low as 20% in 1976, and stress. rose to 35% by 2010.
  53. 53. Scenario 4 - A revolution in Education - Underlying Trends: - Rise of the virtual - Continued cuts in state classroom, interactive funding for primary and - Growth in home-schooling and alternatives to public content over the web. secondary education. schools. - Increasing desire for - Disruptive Event: specialized curricula to - Disillusionment with - Election of a progressive standardized tests, more accommodate religious, governor able to rally the expectations for outcomes- cultural or political beliefs. legislature to pass radical based learning, reduced - Rising awareness of the educational reform trust in public school need to provide multi-modal system. learning in order to provide equitable education to diverse learners.
  54. 54. Scenario 5 - The Universal Culture Pass - Underlying Trends: - Continued economic stress - Disruptive Events: and the continued rise in - Rising public expectation - Establishment of a California (reinforced by the wealth of price of traditional certification board for free content on the internet) entertainments. cultural nonprofits. that entertainment and - Increased use of portable, - Mandated free admission to information be free. distributed payment all state museums. systems.
  55. 55. UNLOCK YOUR INNER...