21 May 2018 Attractions Management Handbook
 

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Attractions Management Handbook - Jeff Bezos

Movers & Shakers

Jeff Bezos


Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos – founder of the largest retailer on the internet – is the principal donor for the new Bezos Center for Innovation in Seattle

Jeff Bezos, principal donor of MOHA
The new innovation centre cost US$10m, with the primary funding coming from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. MOHAI attracts 250,000 visitors a year, and the new centre will broaden the reach
The new innovation centre cost US$10m, with the primary funding coming from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. MOHAI attracts 250,000 visitors a year, and the new centre will broaden the reach
The new innovation centre cost US$10m, with the primary funding coming from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. MOHAI attracts 250,000 visitors a year, and the new centre will broaden the reach
The new innovation centre cost US$10m, with the primary funding coming from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. MOHAI attracts 250,000 visitors a year, and the new centre will broaden the reach

With the aim of “igniting the innovator within”, the Bezos Center for Innovation opened its doors at Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) last October. This US$10m (£6m, e7.3m) extension to the 62-year-old museum furthers its vision to inspire people to create a better future – that the preservation and exploration of the past is essential to effective decision-making in the future.

When did you become involved?
I began talks with Museum of History & Industry’s (MOHAI) chief executive Leonard Garfield in the fall of 2011 to plan and develop an innovation museum in Seattle. I became familiar with the MOHAI programme, and by sharing ideas the mission of the museum was expanded.

Seattle is my hometown, so involvement in the Center enabled me to share the story of the history of innovation with a broader audience, especially young people. By sharing the innovation tradition in this way, the local community gained access to information.

What funding did you provide?
Overall, the Bezos Center cost US$10m. My wife MacKenzie and I were the primary funders, and the rest has come from general funding raised by the museum. Like all US museums, it is self-funded.

How has the Bezos Center benefited the museum?
History museums usually start with the distant past and work forward to the present day. The Bezos Center is the first thing you see on a visit to MOHAI and kicks off the visitor experience with the history of today, before leading back to a deeper history. We believe that this encourages visitors to think of the future.

An unusually good place to innovate

Bezos says: “Look at the disproportionate number of extraordinary organizations founded in Seattle – Microsoft, Costco, Boeing, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, PACCAR – even UPS began here. Their innovations have had a big impact on Seattle, the country, and the world.

There’s something about Seattle that has made it an unusually good place to innovate, and the MOHAI Center for Innovation will help it continue on that course by showcasing and teaching how industrial innovation can play an important role in human advancement. New treatments, affordable flight, a computer on every desk – the core activities of these Seattle organizations have created benefit for people at home and around the world.”

 



An important role in human advancement

ABOUT JEFF BEZOS
American technology entrepreneur
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994.

Facebook: /seattlehistory
Twitter: @MOHAI
www.mohai.org/exhibits/center-for-innovation


Originally published in Attractions Handbook 2014 issue 1

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