Posted by: COSI | February 11, 2010

IMPACT

Wow has it been quite a busy month—my lack of blogging shows that. Blog ideas have come continually but as we enter an important plan assessment and multi-year budgeting process they always seem outdated by the time I get a moment to jot something down.

I’m out-of-town at an important annual conference of the Association of Science Museum Directors—one time that we can meet in a relatively small group and share challenges, solutions, and opportunities with CEO colleagues. It’s always a productive time for thinking about the future and touching base to see if the focus of other directors’ time is the same as mine or different.

Cap that off with getting snowed in in NYC and I finally get a moment with lots of thought and finally time to write a blog.

We had lots of discussion this time among CEOs about continuing to expand on the impact our science museums are having on the community—particularly at a time where many of society’s hopes and important discussions hinge on both the scientific strength of our workforce and the ability of our citizens to discuss rationally issues facing us all that have scientific underpinnings. Having the heads of the American Association of Museums and the Association of Science-Technology Center as part of the conversation—reporting on their discussions at the White House, Department of Education, and other federal agencies reinforced the opportunity for science museums to play a greater supportive role, as well as the need for places like COSI to continue to deepen our impact.

But we were face to face here with the power of a museum to deal with impact in another way. ASMD has behind the scenes opportunities—and this time visiting with the team conceptualizing and building the 9/11 museum—reminds me that what we do at COSI has to have a personal connection.

It was so powerful to be in the 9/11 museum temporary offices looking down at the site and having their CEO explain how they are dealing with the raw feelings left about that national tragedy. And their efforts to put the act of terrorism into a context and to help visitors deal with the powerful emotions that everyone has related to that event. It certainly was powerful to see how their museum could both have an IMPACT on how people continue to deal with that event, and the powerful IMPACT that 9/11 had on individuals from not only NYC, but around our nation and the world.

It was a special conversation and food for thought—how does COSI maximize the impact we can have on our community? And my hat is off to the 9/11 team for taking on this special obligation at the sacred site you can see redeveloping in the photo.

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