Idea: museums should host exhibits that would display technologies that could be deployed as part of micro-lending programs in the developing world providing tools to people to sustain themselves and create a source of income. Then, at the end of the exhibit, allow kids and parents to participate in the process. Example: Museum of Science + Earthbox + Kiva = ?
A brief elaboration:
A couple of days ago, I met a guy from the Museum of Science in Boston. Speaking to him, I felt that there is a general sense of exasperation in attempts to get audiences to come in. What draws crowds in? A big hit this season is the Baseball exhibit. It is popular with kids? No, it’s popular with the elderly. I can only imagine that a) this is because this taps into their memories and b) because kids now don’t go to museums cause… well, in general it’s boring and parents see no incentive to take kids to see an archaic presentation unless it is something really stimulating. Like the Bodies exhibition in NY, for example.
So, with all the thinking about micro-finance and social responsibility, it only seems natural that there should be an exhibit that allows popular participation. For example, what about creating an exhibit that would display technologies like the Earthbox, which could be deployed in developing countries as part of micro-lending programs to enable people to a) produce goods to sustain themselves and b) form businesses that would bring value to the community. Then this could be partnered with Kiva and similar sites that would enable parents and children to immediately participate in the process.
So, this way:
- Kids learn about interesting new technologies that can make a difference
- Parents teach kids about social responsibility
- There is something that comes out of this besides education of the kids
I think something like this could be very interesting. Thoughts?