Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Can museums save the world?

I'm off to deliver a 'provocation' tomorrow morning at the annual Museums Association conference here in Manchester. My pitch – no huge surprise here - is whether museums can help chart our collective course into the future, deliver greater levels of environmental sustainability and deliver major societal change. Not asking too much there, then!

With the rest of the team at Creative Concern I've been lucky enough to work with loads of cultural organisations over the last few years, such as the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry and Renaissance Northwest. They're all amazing institutions and people, and I'm genuinely in awe of their potential to reach out and touch people, to open minds and, possibly, help us create a better world. Even in the 'Age of Austerity' there can be no other mission with such singular importance.

In putting the pitch together for tomorrow, I found myself particularly absorbed by the work of the Center for the Future of Museums in the US. They've done some great 'futurology' work recently and I think that they're a fine model to follow; the 'Tomorrow in the Golden State' report is worth reading, if you have the time.


  1. ... I was getting into that Steve, but can't make it go past the 15th slide?
    might be my machine? .... shall try again after next restart... :o(

    Graeme C

  2. Graeme - did you get it to work? I think it's fixed!