A newsletter on progress-space research and audience development for cultural leaders. One reader calls it, "sometimes funny"

Our community thread for this spring is Listening.

We're all worse at listening than we think, but we can all become better listeners.

(Almost) everything we do in the MAP Community this spring will be geared toward helping us become better listeners.

Why listening?

Listening is an essential aspect of progress-space research, but it's a skill that can be used in every aspect of our lives.

The purpose isn't to  turn people into progress-space researchers. The community isn't a training ground for researchers. The purpose of the community is to provide people with a pair of glasses that helps them achieve better outcomes in their work, whatever that work may be.

Progress-space research leads to progress-space thinking, which is portable and applicable in all kinds of ways.


This touches on one of the things that I'm especially interested in pursuing in MAP. Unlike other conferences or professional organizations that are focused on skill building, MAP prioritizes more fundamental concepts. You won't see many courses or events with titles like "Digital Fundraising 101" or "How to Become a Data-Driven Museum" or "How Virtual Reality Will Change Your Labels Forever" and so forth.

Instead, I'd like us to focus on things like Listening, Attention, or Imagination for four months at a time and go deep into that topic… But more on progress-space threads in a future letter.

So, progress-space research relies on listening skills; This spring is all about listening in the Museums-As-Progress Community.

What does that look like?

  • Next month, we'll kick off our first Dinner Club — which is a weekly meetup that's a cross between a book club and dinner party. The book we'll be reading is Listening Well: The Art of Empathic Understanding by William R. Miller. (If you're in the community now and you'd like to participate, just check the feed on the community site and respond to the Doodle poll, which closes this Friday.)
  • The Progress Space group starts a new season on Tuesday, May 4th. As with most everything else this season, we'll be structuring activities around Listening, covering concepts like what it means to listen more deeply and looking at transcripts of interviews to identify how we can arrive at a deeper understanding of the people we wish to support through listening sessions.
  • I'm also working on bringing in some special guests who can shed light on this topic of Listening from their own unique viewpoints. (Future updates to be posted in the community.)

Spring registration for the MAP Community ends this Friday, April 30th.

After that, there will be a waiting list until we reopen enrollment. My hope is that having enrollment periods will help us (read: me) be more focused during the months when we're only hosting events and labs for existing members.

If you'd like to participate in our season of Listening, you can register before the end of the day (ET) on Friday.

As always, reply to this email to let me know your thoughts, or leave a comment on this post.



  • I'll be hosting a free workshop on listening and the progress space this Thursday. You can read more and register here.
  • MAP Community Planning is this evening — Community members, please check the community website for how to join. We'll be reviewing our roadmap and soliciting input from members for future planning.
  • For an overview of additional community events, visit the events page.
Events — Museums As Progress


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