Chieko Asakawa, Chief Executive Director of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), on July 8 announced concrete measures to realize the Miraikan Vision of "At Miraikan, together with you, we 'Open the Future,'" which she set forth when she assumed her position in April 2021. In addition to planning and developing new permanent exhibitions such as "Changes as People Age," "AI/Robots," and "Earth Environment and Me," which have opened recently or are scheduled to open in the next fiscal year and beyond, she is also working on five things, such as planning a series that changes themes every few months and strengthening external collaborations and human resources development.
Director Asakawa said, "Miraikan's new slogan is 'Mirai (Future) can ＿! We will be a place to help each person realize their own future. Personally, my 'Future Can' is 'Participating in the Honolulu Marathon alone.' The AI suitcase (which Director Asakawa invented) will be useful for going to Honolulu alone and having fun. Then, the suitcase and I will participate in the marathon together. I'm not sure I'll be able to finish the marathon, so I just want to run it. The future is something that can come true."
In order to realize this new Miraikan, she set out five initiatives: (1) The Future of People, (2) The Future of Creation, (3) The Future for Everyone, (4) Creating the Future, Creating People, and (5) Sustainability & Accessibility.
For "The Future of People," four themes were set as a gateway to thinking about the future from a "human perspective": "Life," "Society," "Earth," and "Frontier." From these four entrances, exhibitions, events, and demonstration experiments, etc., will be developed. Specifically, within the framework of "Mirai can NOW," the theme will be changed every two to three months to create opportunities to experience the "now" of cutting-edge science and technology. For the first installment, it will open with "Imagination ⇔ Implementation: Creating Your Future with Robots." The second installment from October will provide opportunities to reconsider "health and wellness" through experiencing state-of-the-art physical measurements. Then, in January 2023, the third installment will be a program on the theme of manned space exploration.
For "The Future of Creation," the "Miraikan Accessibility Lab," a consortium in which the Miraikan itself conducts research and development on accessibility technologies in collaboration with external research institutions, and the "Research Facilities," where highly creative researchers conduct research in their field at Miraikan, are further expanding the research functions of their combined 12 research projects. Future exhibitions and programs will also aim to incorporate innovations that allow visiting researchers to experience technologies and ideas that are being developed, to incorporate ways for those researchers to bring in what they have experienced into their research, and to be a testing ground for creating the future together.
In "The Future for Everyone," Miraikan will strengthen its partnerships with external parties such as individuals, companies, and local governments. Miraikan will not only consider enabling more people to participate in the Miraikan's activities beyond spatial and generational differences, such as introducing a new membership system and promoting more digital and online exhibition content, but in addition, research institutions and companies will also strengthen the frameworks for cooperation and collaboration with various partners that are not bound by conventional frameworks, such as governments, schools, and creators.
For "Creating the Future, Creating People," Miraikan will work to develop science communicators who can "play an active role in society at large" through collaborating with a variety of stakeholders.
For "Sustainability & Accessibility," Miraikan is aiming to become a role model for museums around the world through conducting advanced initiatives as a testing ground for sustainability and accessibility.
This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd.(https://sci-news.co.jp/). Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.