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Museums & Society 2034: Trends and Potential Futures

TitleMuseums & Society 2034: Trends and Potential Futures
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsChung, J., & Wilkening S.
PublisherCenter for the Future of Museums; American Association of Museums
KeywordsAAM, envisioning, future, museum studies, museums

Museums are often viewed as conservators of the past, but some have always been in the business of the future—even going so far as to enshrine it in their mission statements.
But what will the future look like? How much can we really anticipate about the world of 2034? To address those questions, Reach Advisors pored over nearly a thousand articles, data sets, interviews and discussion forums to identify the trends that are most likely to change U.S. society and museums during the next 25 years. Our quarry was the emerging structural changes that are highly likely to reshape society and highly likely to affect museums.
Of course, there will be other trends that impact the future of museums. But some of these trends might not be apparent yet; others may have a huge impact on some museums but not a broad crosssection of the field; others might have profound impacts on museums if they come to pass, but the likelihood of that happening is low. This report focuses on demographic trends, changes in the geopolitical and economic landscape, shifts in technology and communications, and the rise of new cultural expectations.
To assess how each of these trends might shape the future, we start by stepping back 25 years to 1984, to identify some of the emerging structural shifts that shape what we see today. With the full benefit of hindsight, it becomes clearer which of today’s emerging trends are most likely to shape the world of 2034.

Citation Key10446