Black typewriter on white background looked at from above. A sheet of paper reading "*** The revolution will not be monospaced ***" is drawn in, the ribbon and brand "Favorit" together with a logo are visible as well as all of the keys (numbers and letters). Each key is round with a golden letter against a black surface. It is a QWERTZ-keyboard.

President’s letter | December 2023 | What’s next for the network?

As the year 2023 is coming to a close, IATM’s president Joachim Breuninger is addressing the network with his December letter.

Dear colleagues from all around the IATM World,

As the year 2023 comes to an end, we can pause and look back at a great conference in London: Wonderful visits to important museums and heritage sites and spectacular insights into communication and transport museums. We celebrated Director Sam Mullins OBE as he ended his term as president. During his term, he kept this organisation together through difficult times during the pandemic and brought it back into the good shape it is in today.

Once again, I want to express my deep gratitude to Sam for the great job he did in the last four years. Together with a highly engaged board that had to adapt to a new world without physical meetings, a total absence of visitors, problematic budget conditions and endless Zoom conferences. And as this year comes to close, it is with gratitude and a sense of pride that I assume my role as president of IATM. I look forward to leading such a great organisation for the next four years as we face new challenges and opportunities. 

2023 has been a year that left many of us with little optimism for the future. As I write, the Russian war on Ukraine is still going on with no end in sight. The terrible attack of Hamas on Israel has added the next big crisis to the agenda. We look back at a year that has seen temperatures soar higher than any year before we started recording weather data. The climate crisis is unfolding and gives us an impression of what is yet to come.

Our Scandinavian and Baltic colleagues must think about the security of their museums and collections in the face of the Russian aggression just next to their boarders. There are many museums around the globe that already face new challenges caused by climate crisis. High temperatures, wildfires, floodings or lack of water are upcoming threats to our museums, we must prepare for in the future.

The impact of these world crises and an uncertain future led us to the decision to dedicate our next conference to the theme of “Museums in Danger” as we all face multiple challenges for our futures.
It makes no sense to ignore these threats. That’s why we want to talk about them in our upcoming conference. And we can, once again, use the strength of this organisation to learn from each other instead of trying to solve problems isolated and on our own.

That’s why I am really looking forward to our next conference which will take place in and around Tampere in Finland from 8 – 12 September 2024. My sincere thanks to our dear colleagues in Finland for accepting the task of this important event – I know that we will have yet another great conference. I hope to see as many of you as possible in person in Finland next year.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2024.

Joachim Breuninger
President IATM