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CFM Home   CFM Blog   Join the Alliance   Moving? New Job? Let the Alliance know. Jan. 9, 2014


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News from CFM

Growing museum sustainability
Center for the Future of Museums
Can a museum farm its way to sustainability? Or can a museum's historic farm at least sustain itself? Gore Place, an historic house and estate in Massachusetts, thinks the answer is "yes," and the museum's chickens, sheep and veggie garden all have their marching orders in the farm's three year plan. Director Susan Robertson explains how produce becomes super productive, this week on the CFM Blog.
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Trends


Biggest overlooked trends of 2013
Politico Magazine
What about the big changes we're missing — those potentially revolutionary shifts that took root outside the media and the public's eye? Politico Magazine asked leading thinkers like Bill Gates, David Petraeus and Anne-Marie Slaughter to nominate the most overlooked development in their fields this year, whether game-changing new inventions, market-shaping regulations or consequential but little remarked-on news events halfway across the world. Here are the big shifts they noticed, from France's resurgence to America's budding robot advantage to the rise of autocrats abroad and the onset of a new battle for supremacy in space.
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Social media update 2013
Pew Internet and American Life Project
Some 73 percent of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind. Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, but a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms. Some 42 percent of online adults now use multiple social networking sites. In addition, Instagram users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in to the site on a daily basis. These are among the key findings on social networking site usage and adoption from a new survey from the Pew Research Center's Internet Project.
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SHOWCASE
  America's Destinations Leading STEM

The US trails many other nations in producing enough STEM talent to fill our innovation-fueled future. PGAV Destinations’ latest research investigates our society to uncover potential sources of this deficit, and offers evidence that America’s destinations may be the best incubators for STEM inspiration and cultivation. MORE
 


As the world turns: NPQ's 10 trends and 10 predictions
Nonprofit Quarterly
After having spent the last year tracing the trends in and around nonprofits through stories that appeared in the news, NPQ editors have chosen to spotlight 10 trends for 2013 and make 10 predictions for 2014. ♦ Including the wealth gap, backlash against government surveillance, government paralysis, the rise of nonprofit journalism and the future of U.S. educational reform.
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The top 10 arts policy stories of 2013
Create Equity
2013 was most notable for providing us with markers along the path of longer-term trends. With the struggles of the Great Recession largely behind us, arts stakeholders increasingly turned their attention to non-financial matters, planning for the future and seeking to invest wisely. Yet the specter of fear and dysfunction in Washington, D.C., hung over the arts field to a degree not seen since at least the Bush years, sapping enthusiasm from even the most passionate of government idealists.
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Public's views on human evolution
Pew Research
According to a new Pew Research Center analysis, six-in-ten Americans (60 percent) say that "humans and other living things have evolved over time," while a third (33 percent) reject the idea of evolution, saying that "humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time." While the share of the general public that says that humans have evolved over time is about the same as it was in 2009, there are sizable differences by party affiliation in beliefs about evolution, and the gap between Republicans and Democrats has grown.
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Projections


Predicting trends in nonprofit finances for 2014
Counting on Charity
OSU Accounting Professor Brian Mittendorf offers predictions for what the next 12 months will bring in the realm of nonprofit finances. ♦ Mittendorf's forecast includes the continued survival of the charitable deduction; U.S. charities tackling program lending and cash transfers; a crackdown on charitable telemarketing; increased government oversight of Donor Advised Funds; and requirements for some religious nonprofits to file 990s.
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Isaac Asimov predicts in 1964 what the world will look like today — in 2014
Open Culture
When New York City hosted The World's Fair in 1964, Isaac Asimov, the prolific sci-fi author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, took the opportunity to wonder what the world would look like 50 years hence — assuming the world survived the nuclear threats of the Cold War. Writing in The New York Times, Asimov imagined a world that you might partly recognize today. ♦ Asimov got a lot right, particularly technology such as self-driving cars and flat screen TVs. On the other hand, he forecast that our biggest problem in 2014 would be boredom, as we adapted to a "society of enforced leisure." I'm still waiting ...
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Brainlike computers, learning from experience
The New York Times
Computers have entered the age when they are able to learn from their own mistakes, a development that is about to turn the digital world on its head. The first commercial version of the new kind of computer chip is scheduled to be released in 2014. The new computing approach, already in use by some large technology companies, is based on the biological nervous system, specifically on how neurons react to stimuli and connect with other neurons to interpret information. In coming years, the approach will make possible a new generation of artificial intelligence systems that will perform some functions that humans do with ease: see, speak, listen, navigate, manipulate and control.
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AP Poll: Most Americans pessimistic about the future
Herald Mail Media
Ask people to imagine American life in 2050, and you'll get some dreary visions. Whether they foresee runaway technology or runaway government, rampant poverty or vanishing morality, a majority of Americans predict a future worse than today. Whites are particularly gloomy: Only 1 in 6 expects better times over the next four decades. Also notably pessimistic are middle-age and older people, those who earn midlevel incomes and Protestants, a new national poll finds. ♦ Despite the fact that, as the poll shows, personal happiness has been stable for four decades, and there have been huge advances in racial and gender equality, many people are nostalgic for the 1970s. Go figure.
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5 future forecasts to change the world
World Future Society
Top 5 future forecasts for the World from 2014-2040 from technology futurist Gray Scott. ♦ Including the rise of Transhumanism, wearable haptics, artificial wombs, ubiquitous augmented reality and age reversal.
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Timeline of the far future
BBC
What can we expect in 1,000 years, 10,000 years, a million, 10 quadrillion? [Infographic.] ♦ One item in the forecast, pegged at 1 million years in the future, is about monuments: "massive stone structures like Giza or sculptures at Mount Rushmore may still exist. Everything else is gone. Sure puts museums' preservation missions in perspective."
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Museum Innovations


On the town: Pacific Asia Museum and USC merge dynasties
Pasadena Star-News
Along with the Keck Medical Center of USC and the USC School of Architecture's Gamble House, the Pacific Asia Museum will henceforth be known as the USC Pacific Asia Museum, one of the few U.S. museums dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The new partnership will preserve Grace Nicholson's iconic 1924 Chinese Qing Dynasty-inspired treasure house as an art museum, and will enhance USC's six arts schools and departments of Art History, East Asian Language and Cultures, Religion and Archaeology. In addition, the alliance will provide a foundation for a renewed museum studies and curatorial training program at USC.
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With national treasures at risk, D.C. fights against flooding
NPR
New flood maps in 2010 declared that the area in D.C. known as the Federal Triangle is a flood zone. Officials have long known the area was vulnerable and have been using sandbags for years. But after 2005's Hurricane Katrina, the Army Corps deemed that approach no longer acceptable. So it's been building a $10 million flood barrier. The lowest point in the "bathtub" at the heart of the National's capitol, is the site near the Washington Monument where the National Museum of African American History and Culture is being constructed, complete with underground galleries. The new museum will have an automatic flood gate, manually installed panels, sandbags and special glazing, all designed to protect against a 500-year flood.
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Recent research on museum worker well-being: Are museum professionals happy?
Solving Task Saturation
Andrea N. Michelbach (2013) completed her M.A. thesis research on the well-being of museum workers in Seattle museums. The study focuses on the psychology of work-related emotions and happiness measured by using The Happiness Initiative's well-being survey, and determined that museum worker respondents rank above those in the large pre-existing Happiness Initiative survey sample on all but one of 11 measures of well-being. However, respondents report that problems with time balance and work/life conflict create problems such as a disappointing lack of opportunity to think strategically, achieve personal goals of and opportunity to repair damage to family time brought on by work over-commitment.
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Tools for the Future


Kandi Crush: An electric-car vending machine from China could upend the auto industry
Forbes
VideoBrief The Chinese city of Hangzhou is home to an ambitious experiment that combines electric vehicles, giant vending machines and a Zipcar-like business model. Oh, and if it works, private car ownership as we know it is probably going to disappear in the world's biggest cities. Kandi Technologies plans on making 100,000 cars available to the residents of Hangzhou for hourly rental over the next couple of years. It's also planning to expand into 2-3 other cities during 2014. But instead of having small parking lots with a handful of cars like Zipcar, Kandi is building automated garages that hold between 30 and 300 cars apiece. They work like giant vending machines: Put in your card, out pops a car.
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Can Airbnb, Taskrabbit and all the other sharing economy companies save the day in a disaster?
Fast Coexist
The city of San Francisco recently launched a disaster preparedness partnership with BayShare — an advocacy group made up of sharing economy companies like Lyft, Yerdle, TaskRabbit and Getaround. The organization will get a seat on San Francisco's disaster council, and ultimately, the city hopes to aggregate all of its resources that could be useful in a disaster on the SF72 website (a new "gathering place for emergency preparedness," designed by Ideo).
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A makeover for maps
The New York Times
Like many designers, Eric Rodenbeck has had a long relationship with bar graphs and pie charts. He just thinks they are a little old school for today's data-filled world. Mr. Rodenbeck has experimented with animation, three-dimensional maps that show the height of buildings by color changes and a representation of how photos spread on Facebook that looks like ice crystals forming on a car window. He's even tried to characterize in a graphic how people were communicating in back channels at business conferences, with the biggest talkers at the center of a series of circles. He is, in short, trying to rethink how data is presented.
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Three-dimensional mid-air acoustic manipulation (acoustic levitation)
Yoichi Ochiai, The University of Tokyo via YouTube
VideoBrief The essence of levitation technology is the countervailing of gravity. It is known that an ultrasound standing wave is capable of suspending small particles at its sound pressure nodes and, so far, this method has been used to levitate lightweight particles, small creatures and water droplets. ♦ "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" – Arthur C. Clarke.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read the most in recent months.

    Ford: Top 10 trends shaping the world in 2014 (Triple Pundit)
Nonprofit knowledge matters; Trends, transparency and totally cool stuff (National Council of Nonprofits)
V&A acquires Katy Perry false eyelashes as part of new 'rapid response collecting' strategy (Dezeen Magazine)
The peer economy will transform work (or at least how we think of it) (Harvard Business Review)
The rise of the artcade (Gamasutra)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.
 

Dispatches from the Future of Museums
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