Forecasting the Future of Museum Ethics

What emerging issues face museums in the 21st century? Will our positions on enduring concerns (use of funds from deaccessioning, cultural property, conflict of interest) hold firm, or morph with changing times?

To explore these questions, the Center for the Future of Museums conducted a forecasting exercise in partnership with Seton Hall University’s Institute of Museum Ethics (IME), with funding from the Institute of Museum & Library Services. This project is using a “Delphi” method to capture and synthesize the opinions of people with expertise in ethics.

Eighty practitioners of diverse backgrounds, museum professionals as well as lawyers, librarians, researchers, consultants and philanthropists are serving as “Oracles” for the forecast, identifying which ethics issues will change in important ways in coming decades, and in what way. In addition, each round of the Forecast features a publically-available version that enables any and all to weigh in. This crowd-sourced input will be compared and contrasted to the responses of the Oracles.

The results of the forecast will be summarized in a report issued by the Institute for Museum Ethics and CFM.

Read more about the project on the CFM Blog.

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