Your 2020 Vision

Discuss your ideas for the future
We want to hear your thoughts on the core purpose of museums, how they might look in the year 2020, how they might impact on individuals, communities, and society; and how they might need to change in order to do this?

If you'd like some inspiration, then have a look at some of the contributions on our 2020 Vision section.

This is a space for debate and discussion about the future of museums. Please let us know your ideas and the things that you agree and disagree with. Together we can shape the sector's future.


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11.05.2013, 03:30
Collections will still need to remain course in order for museums to thrive. But social involvement too remains key. Museums need to keep people interested and instead in not just the perfect but the history and movement behind it, they need something to relate back to and that's why I think investments in education and interaction are key.

The internet can in this sense be utilised providing a user to go through a collection and gain a rudimentary knowledge of the past. As technology develops so do how museums work, but even as technology advances there is still a need for the physical link through collectionsone can not truly understand the asked of something until it is physically present.
David Barker
Senior Consultant, Champollion Digital
13.09.2012, 13:55
Hi all

We created the concept of public social curation for the IC Tomorrow national contest for the Design Museum and came second - may be of interest to review as part of the 2020 Vision?

Here's the 2-minute video that we were short-listed from:


11.08.2012, 20:20
The museum has to improve in actives otherwise in this busy world museum will become just a building no life ,no meaning ,no past
02.07.2012, 11:23
The future is coming at us much faster than it ever has before. 2020 will be vastly different from 2012 than 2010 was from 2002. On the one hand, technological invention is on an exponential upwards curve. On the other, the tipping points of climate change and other planetary boundaries have been passed. The most extreme predictions of Arctic melting have been outpaced by what has happened in reality. In the next decade, much of the equatorial band of the planet (including southern Europe, China and USA) will be too hot to grow food. Maybe this seems irrelevant because I'm not talking about museums. Maybe, by 2020, museums being bolstered by tourism and entertainment industries will seem like a fantasy, perhaps only possible for some prime museums in mild climates. The UK has many prime museums and our climate will be comparatively benign for a while, so we will fare better than others. It's a crucial time for a debate about museums and their role in future-building because without them/us pulling at the wheel, there will not be a future. The wheel is a very big and complex one combining ecological innovation, rewilding and eco-social repair. There are many ways that museums can contribute to this. It's hard to convey these ideas in one comment, and it comes across as very blunt, so here's a longer article to read:
This article has been described as dystopian. However, I think that the effort required to create thriving cultural hubs in a context of ecological collapse will take a huge amount of utopian imagination. The ecological collapse is not a dystopian fantasy. Museums are utopias, which is why they will continue to have a role in helping us imagine better futures while we also reinterpret the past.
29.06.2012, 14:17
At the Jewish Museum London we are currently running a programme called 'Connecting Lives - tackling antisemitism in schools.' To date we have worked with around 1,000 students (aged 13-15) in 10 Inner City London secondary schools. The programme includes a hands one workshop enabling the students to handle artefacts from the Museum's collections. These objects act as a springboard for discussion and gives the students the opportunity to ask the experienced facilitator questions about Judaism and Jewish People in a 'safe space'. The programme has been very well received and, subject to funding, we hope to extend the programme next year. Who knows, by 2020 this could be a nationwide project!!
12.06.2012, 11:36
At LivingNorwich we've brought museum learning out to the streets and public buildings of a city. We work in collaboration with museums and other institutions to get through to people who wouldn't always visit museums or historical sites. We'd love to do more collaboration and share our ideas.
09.06.2012, 15:36
Museums will be more inclusive through on-line community-building
07.06.2012, 10:22
I am in two minds about what the future holds for museums.

Museums have the resources to experiment with new ways of recording what will be history for future generations, and it is thrilling to think that people will be able to access so much information about us all after we are gone.
Although part of me thinks that it is the mystery of the past that makes it magical, and therefore keeps people interested. Exploring history and other cultures through museum collections is exciting because we are given just enough information to be informed, yet there is still room for us to interpret the vision of another time or place in our own way, and if we don't have to when we visit a museum, what do we have?

Objects and people of the past are given a voice through various different interpretation methods, but we still need pace for visitor's imagine the object bing used, to try to comprehend the feelings of the owner or conjur up an image of the object in-situ. This means that we must be creative in our approach to interpreting collections.

I think there is a lot of room for artists in museums. The use of people from other professions as curators or exhibition designers, means we are given a fresh spin on an otherwise tired collection, exhibitions will attract different types of visitors, and artists can also use their position to help to create new learning strategies and can involve the public in the development of the exhibition though workshops and events.

My favourite example of a 'museum of the future' can be seen in Kensington palace, the 'enchanted palace' completely transformed part of the property and attracted many different types of visitors; completely changing the image of the place. From this we learn that people enjoy elements of discovery, problem solving, mystery and intrigue, and enjoy taking part in the making of the meaning of an exhibition.

From the success of museum events, such as 'lates' we can also see that there is a generation that sees visiting museums and galleries as a social or group activity, focusing on their surroundings as a creative hub within which they can be inspired, and seeing museum objects as a catalyst for debate and discussion, we should try to harness this power and positively direct it throughout all of a museums' activities.
06.06.2012, 17:18
Collections must remain at the core of what we do in museums. As human interaction becomes increasingly mediated through technology, the experience of engaging with actual objects will become ever more powerful and important. Neglecting collections can risk undermining the unique selling point of museums (here I disagree with Maurice's comment). However, the point of caring for collections should be to enable access to collections for audiences both now and into the future, rather than act as a barrier.

We need to work with our communities to shape what we collect and what we interpret and to reach new audiences. We also need to work more with each other, forming partnerships between museums and other institutions, to share collections, expertise and resources. Collectively we can achieve far more than we can as individual museums.