TrendsWatch: Navigating a Volatile Future

Welcome to TrendsWatch, CFM’s annual forecasting report. This year the report explores volatility—strategic foresight parlance for the speed of change. That speed has been increasing exponentially in recent decades.

In the report:

  • Welcome to TrendsWatch
  • Culture Wars 2.0: Last year TrendsWatch examined the growing partisan divide in the US and how museums might help repair our fractured democracy. Where Culture War 1.0 was fueled by the rise of the Moral Majority and other religious conservative movements, today’s culture war engages the progressive left as well as the conservative right.
  • AI Adolescence in Museums: What is generative AI, and what are the practical applications and implications for museums?
  • Decarbonizing the Future: How can museums reduce their own emissions and inspire the public to take action?
  • Dropping the Degree for Museum Work: It may not be a simple solution, or a magic fix, but examining when they might want to drop the degree for particular roles could be a healthy first step for museums to take on the road to effective, fair, and equitable hiring.
  • Trend Alert: Combating the Loneliness Crisis in Museums: About a third of US adults 45 and older suffer from loneliness; that figure rises to nearly 80 percent in young adults 18 to 24. Learn some of the surgeon general’s recommendations for how cultural organizations can help combat this epidemic.
  • Digital Twins and Doom Loops: A brief guide to terms that may be popping up in your news feeds.

The format is designed to be practical and immediately actionable, providing a scaffold for discussions and decision-making by the museum’s staff, board, and stakeholders. Each chapter:

  • Introduces the issue
  • Suggests critical questions for museums
  • Describes the challenge
  • Summarizes how society, and museums, are responding
  • Presents a framework for action
  • Documents examples of museums tackling these issues
  • Provides additional resources

Members and Museum subscribers received TrendsWatch first, as the January/February issue of the magazine. Join today or renew your membership to receive future issues and access all member benefits.

Book a lecture, presentation, or discussion about the topics explored in this year’s report through the Alliance Advisors and Speakers Bureau.

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
Log In

We're Sorry

Your current membership level does not allow you to access this content.

Upgrade Your Membership

Subscribe to Field Notes!

Packed with stories and insights for museum people, Field Notes is delivered to your inbox every Monday. Once you've completed the form below, confirm your subscription in the email sent to you.

If you are a current AAM member, please sign-up using the email address associated with your account.

Are you a museum professional?

Are you a current AAM member?

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, and please add to your safe sender list.