Nik Honeysett, Balboa Park Online Collaborative, USA
Wikipedia defines witchcraft as “…the practice of, and belief in, magical skills and abilities that are exercised individually, by designated groups, or by persons with the necessary esoteric secret knowledge”. One could argue that those of us in the museum community charged with creating interpretive experiences with current and emerging technologies, require a certain degree of witchery to be successful. For those of us charged with implementing broader digital transformation across an institution, magical skills and esoteric secret knowledge are probably a requirement.
Practicing successful digital transformation requires a subtle blend of art and science but starts with an institution being willing to question its assumptions and accept that embracing a changing environment is now the cost of doing business. Quoting the 2015 Horizon Report: Museum Edition: “This is a transitional moment in using technology for cultural experiences… and the audience is leading the way in defining the new norms.”
Understanding and keeping pace with cultural and societal trends; aligning with our audiences to meet them where they are with the tools they are using; developing and retaining skillsets to deliver compelling experiences; and transforming to a more nimble, entrepreneurial and opportunistic organization that reduces the friction between what is happening outside our walls to what is happening inside are fundamental requisites for a digital strategy that creates sustainable transformation within a museum. These are the magical abilities, chants and incantations that are needed to thrive in our evolving digital landscape, so please join this keynote presentation for a lesson in digital transformation witchery.