What challenges will society and museums face in the next quarter-century? How will the demographic profile of America change between now and 2034? How will energy and infrastructure costs affect the sustainability of museums? What will Web 3.0 -- or 5.0 or 6.0 -- look like? Will the "real" survive the assault of the "virtual"? Will the number of leisure-time alternatives continue to grow? Will the lines between work and leisure, public and private, continue to blur? Most importantly, how will museums face these challenges and shape the future they will have to inhabit?
This report, commissioned by the Center for the Future of Museums at the American Association of Museums, projects current social trends to 2034 and suggests how museums can face future challenges while continuing to meet their mission of public service. The report focuses on four major trends: demographic shifts, globalization, the revolution in information and communication technologies, and new cultural assumptions about the primacy of the individual as creator and curator.