Share your Vision of the Future in Portland!

Hi! I'm Elizabeth Merritt, your designated museum futurist for the WMA conference in Portland this year. My assignment is to help you imagine many plausible futures that could face museums in coming decades. What are my secret weapons? Well, I won't reveal them all, but one is a Museum Forecasting Tarot Deck which will be deployed in my session on "Forecasting the Future of Museum Sustainability" with Allyson Lazar on Wednesday t 3:45.

Another is a time machine, disguised as a deceptively simple Flip videocamera! It give me the power to record the visions (hopes, fears, goals) people have for their lives, organizations and communities decades hence. You can see some of the glimpses of the future it has captured at the Center for the Future of Museums YouTube channel--

Interested in sharing your vision of the future? Give it some thought on your way to Portland. You might tell your story

  • Straight up. Looking into the camera and describing what your museum is like on this day, 25 years in the future. Tell me what things are like, touching on things that are different AND the same as in 2010.
  • Immersive. Pretending you are talking to a colleague, friend or relative 25 years from now. You might be sending them a video letter, submitting an oral report, or you can pretend that I am that person, and just talk to me.

To record your vision of the future, find me in the exhibit hall Tuesday, or on Monday morning. Drop me a line at if you want to make an appointment, or get some suggestions about how to shape your story.

Need to fuel your imagination? Take a look at "Tomorrow in the Golden State"*--a primer on futures studies for museumers, that includes 5 provocative  stories of the future. I bet you can come up with one that is even better!

See you in Portland

Elizabeth Merritt, Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums, American Association of Museums

*(Celeste DeWald and I will present on this resource guide on Wednesday afternoon  in the session Forecasting the Future of California Museums.)



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Just want to see if you are a robot.