Michael Peter Edson

I'm the co-founder and associate director of the newly forming Museum for the United Nations – UN Live
(My TEDx talk about it here, and a good recent interview in Artribune Magazine)

I was formerly the Director of Web and New Media Strategy at the Smithsonian Institution. (My first job there was cleaning Plexiglass.)

I'm writing The Age of Scale, a book about scope, scale, and speed. Read the Foreword here.

I'm a Salzburg Global Fellow; a 2017—2018 Fellow at the Getty Leadership Institute, Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University; and a Distinguished Presidential Fellow (emeritus) at the Council on Library and Information Services (USA).

I’m the instigator of the Openlab Workshop.

I'm on advisory boards for City of Copenhagen History and Culture institutions (Københavns Kommune Historie & Kunst); the Saxo Institute's Past's Future project; Greenhouse Studios at the University of Connecticut; and more.

I am a juror for the MacArthur Foundation's $100m 100&Change initiative.

I'm a certified LEGO SERIOUS PLAY ® facilitator; a certified (but lapsed!) Java developer; a certified (also lapsed!) Scrum Master, and a visual artist.

Twitter: @mpedson | LinkedIn | Presentations on SlideShare | Email: usingdata at gmail dot com
bio at the bottom of the page | “Best pizza on the block”

Presentations and recent work


Stuff I'm doing soon

  • Keynote/panel, We Are Museums, May 2019, Muzeum Ślaskie, Katowice, Poland (via video)

  • SDG Cafe, Zuiderstrandtheater, The Hague, Netherlands, June 2019

  • Law on Trial: Democracy, Birkbeck Law School, London, June 2019

  • Midsummer Days Popup Festival (“Mid Zomer Dag”), Stads Lab Leiden 10th anniversary, Leiden, the Netherlands, June 2019

  • Keynote, Wikimania conference, August 2019, Stockholm, Sweden

Some stuff I've done recently



.. If you need it for some reason...
[Need to update this, sorry!]

Michael Edson is a strategist and thought leader at the forefront of digital transformation in the cultural sector. Michael is co-founder and Associate Director for the Museum of the United Nations – UN Live, a new institution currently being envisioned for Copenhagen, Denmark and locations throughout the world. He was formerly the Director of Web and New Media Strategy for the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex, based in Washington, DC.

During 25 years at the Smithsonian (where his first job was cleaning Plexiglass for exhibitions) Michael worked on numerous award-winning projects and was involved in practically every aspect of technology and New Media for museums. In addition to leading the development of the Smithsonian’s first Web and New Media Strategy, first blog, and the first Alternative Reality Game to take place in a museum, Michael has been a forceful advocate for open content and the cultural commons.

Michael is a Salzburg Global Fellow; a Fellow at the Getty Leadership Institute; a Presidential Distinguished Fellow emeritus at the Council for Libraries and Information Resources (USA); and the founder of the Openlab Workshop initiative, a solutions lab, convener, and consultancy designed to accelerate the speed and impact of transformational change in the GLAM sector. Michael is an O'Reilly Foo Camp alumni and he was named a "Tech Titan: person to watch" by Washingtonian magazine.


photo cc-by Lars Lundqvist