Theme of 2012 International Museum Day (Source: ICOM)

Museums in a Changing World: New challenges, new inspirations.

Museums in a Changing World: New challenges, new inspirations.

Today, the world is changing faster than ever. New technology delivers new ideas, gigabytes of information, news of an increasingly unstable climate, all shared by social media. Modern museums must compete for an audible voice against the furious pace of this background.

Museums in a Changing World is recognition that institutions are faced with interpreting, and existing in, a field that is becoming increasingly fluid. Each may face a unique set of goals, interests and audiences. But the necessity to thrive in the face of these changes is something that binds all institutions, large and small. Thus, IMD2012 is as much about museums growing and shaping their future, as it is about displaying and interpreting issues like climate change and new electronic media.

To assist you in connecting meaningfully with the theme, here are five topics on which you can build your specific programming. The topics are:

  1. The role of museums in a "new" society. Museums face unique challenges related to their social, political and ecological environment. They play a key role in development through education and democratisation, while also serving as witnesses of the past and guardians of humanity's treasures for future generations.
  2. Environmental sustainability. Museums are constantly developing and refining what they do to reduce their draw on environmental resources. As such, they are well placed advocates for environmental sustainability, as well as being examples of best practice.
  3. Using the past to build the future. Museums ensure they are the intergenerational guardians of the world's heritage and create an ongoing link to the past thanks to universal messages.
  4. New media. Museums rapidly learn to use some of the new communication opportunities associated with new media and show a strong ability to react in this respect.
  5. Innovation. To respond to the social changes and adapt to their visitors' expectations, museums innovate.