One Smithsonian

Addressing complicated issues and global problems such as zoonotic diseases, climate change, and the rapid loss of natural resources resulting from human activities and population pressures requires work that spans disciplines and organizational boundaries. The Smithsonian’s potential to tackle complex challenges, as well as to innovate in design, technology, and other pursuits, is greatest when our museums, galleries, Zoo, research centers, education centers, and mission-support offices work together as One Smithsonian.

This section of the Dashboard highlights forward-thinking, interdisciplinary, and cross-Smithsonian activities that tackle pressing issues and chart new paths that the Smithsonian is particularly well suited to address due to its unique combination of science, history, art, and culture experts and global partnerships. Learn more at Torch, Smithsonian Global, Smithsonian Insider, and

Illustrative artwork of elephants in urban landscape

Sidedoor Season Seven

The Smithsonian podcast Sidedoor launched its seventh season in October with an episode on what happens when endangered Asian elephant herds run up against human habitats. The new season, hosted by Lizzie Peabody and featuring Smithsonian experts, will include 15 episodes on a wide range of topics. Since 2016, Sidedoor has had more than 9 million downloads. It is produced by Smithsonian Digital Studio in collaboration with PRX, the public media pioneer behind iconic shows such as “This American Life.” Listeners can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts or stream it, with new episodes available every other Wednesday. 

Concept illustration of "FUTURES"

“FUTURES” Debuts

In November 2021, the Smithsonian’s historic Arts and Industries Building opened its doors to the public for the first time in nearly two decades to host the groundbreaking museum experience “FUTURES”. Running through July 6, 2022, this unique installation celebrates the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary with 32,000 square feet of artworks, interactives, prototypes, inventions, and “artifacts of the future,” as well as historic objects and discoveries from 23 of the Smithsonian’s museums and research centers. The show officially kicked off with “FUTURES Remixed,” a free opening festival spanning the month of November, culminating in a series of special events and concerts on the opening weekend of November 20.

Education day poster

Educator's Day

The Smithsonian hosted its first annual Educator’s Day on September 17, 2021. This free virtual conference brought together Smithsonian educators with pre–K–12 teachers from across the country to address topics for which the latter often seek assistance from the Institution, including interdisciplinary lesson design, skill development, and using museum resources in the classroom. Education has been at the core of the Smithsonian’s identity since it was founded in 1846 with a mission to promote “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” The staff of its museums, research centers, and other units include more than 300 educators who translate the Institution’s vast collections and resources into offerings for learners of all ages and descriptions.

Smithsonian Organization and Audience Research/OCIO