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Center for the Future of Museums

AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums (CFM) engages in research and forecasting to help museums explore the cultural, political, and economic challenges facing society and devise strategies to shape a better tomorrow.

2024 Forecasting Report

TrendsWatch: Navigating a Volatile Future

This year the report explores volatility—strategic foresight parlance for the speed of change. That speed has been increasing exponentially in recent decades.

  • Culture Wars 2.0
  • AI Adolescence in Museums
  • Decarbonizing the Future
  • Dropping the Degree for Museum Work
  • Trend Alert: Combating the Loneliness Crisis in Museums
  • Digital Twins and Doom Loops

Click here to see all of the TrendsWatch Reports!

New Report: Understanding the State of Voluntary Repatriation, Restitution, and Reparations Today

The Next Horizon of Museum Practice: Voluntary Repatriation, Restitution, and Reparations

This report documents the trends and events that have created the current state of museum practice. Download your free copy and use the report’s worksheet to begin framing your thoughts on the evolution of museum practice.

This report is stage one of AAM’s Voluntary Repatriation, Restitution, and Reparations project, generously supported by the David Berg Foundation.

New Future of Museums Community on Museum Junction!

Join to swap ideas with fellow futures-minded museum colleagues, share news stories you’ve found that illuminate trends and events, and keep up with the latest news from the Center for the Future of Museums

AAM’s Museum Junction, our online hub of over 50,000 museum professionals, has a specific community for those working in museum finance to connect, share ideas, and swap advice with peers across the field.

These groups are a member benefit, open to all through 2023.

More from the Center for the Future of Museums

The Center for the Future of Museums, in collaboration with our community, works to:

  • Monitor cultural, technological, political, and economic trends that matter to museums
  • Equip museums to help their communities address future challenges
  • Build strong connections among museums and educational, corporate, civic, nonprofit, and government organizations

Learn more about how you can sharpen your strategic foresight skills with the resources and opportunities below.

Dispatches from the Future of Museums

A teal background with text that reads Dispatches from the Future of Museums

Dispatches from the Future of Museums is a free weekly newsletter with news stories illuminating trends that may impact the field. Fuel your museum’s strategic foresight by thinking about the implications of these “signals,” and the kinds of future they might create.

Bring the Future to Your Museum or Conference

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The Center for the Future of Museums’ founder and director Elizabeth Merritt is available for a limited number of engagements each year. For more information about booking Elizabeth and other AAM staff, read about our current areas of focus for lectures and workshops.

Hone Your Strategic Foresight Skills

Cover of the Strategic Foresight Toolkit

Enhanced with worksheets, slide presentations, and games, the AAM Strategic Foresight Toolkit can help you build your foresight skills. Organizations can use this toolkit to train staff in the essential tools of futurism and integrate foresight into planning and operations.

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Become an AAM Member Today!

Instantly access hundreds of resources on the future of museums, plus thousands more on topics from education to strategic planning when you become an individual or museum member.

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Transforming Inclusion in Museums
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Effective DEAI and Anti-racism Practices for Museums
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Designing for Empathy
The Inclusive Museum Leader

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