In the tough world of circuses, Cirque du Soleil became the world’s largest theatrical producer because after a rough start in the 80s, they redefined what it means to be a contemporary circus. To ensure their long-term success and sustainability, they identified their unique strengths and got rid of expensive and hard-to-maintain elements of a traditional circus (such as animals). It is still a circus, but a circus uniquely suitable for today.
Airlines such as SouthWest and EasyJet did the same thing when they pioneered low-cost flying. By getting rid off unsustainable elements and emphasising their core business, they redefined air travel, and what it means to be a carrier.
In September 2016 I was asked for a lecture and workshop in Helsinki to redefine what it means to be a museum today. My belief is that a modern museum (any modern organisation) is not a fixed, static thing, but rather a dynamic collective of people and ideas, that mixes approaches to ensure meaningful engagement with its audiences. In Helsinki, I called this “the Freestyle museum”, which is just one label. As my business partner Erik Schilp says, ‘there is not A museum of the future’, not one template.
A wonderful example of such a museum is the Street Art Museum of Amsterdam. It is a dynamic organisation that uses the neighbourhood it is in as its exhibition space, works together with local communities and does not have a traditional building (see my vlog to get a sense of the museum). Their approach begs the question: Is the Street Art Museum of Amsterdam actually a museum? Continue ReadingRead More »