Purpose of the Smithsonian Institution

Quite simply the mission that the Smithsonian Institute stood back for about 165 years ago still holds true till today. James Smithson wanted "the increased diffusion of knowledge", and for the past 165 years the Board of Regents and Secretary of the Smithsonian have kept this as their daily mission.

Their focus is the fulfillment of four grand challenges of Institution's strategic plan. These four challenges are Valuing World Cultures, Unlocking the Universe's Mysteries, Sustaining and Understanding a Biodiverse Planet and Understanding the American Experience.

They believe they can help shape the future if they can preserve their heritage, discover new knowledge and share all their resources with the rest of the world. These are strict values that are followed by everyone related to the Smithsonian. Discovery is a value they preserve that pushes the organization to explore and bring about new knowledge that allows for better ways of doing business.

Creativity that will instill work with innovation, imagination and excellence to deliver the quality services and products in all endeavors and diversity that capitalizes on the richness created by the inherent differences is followed by the Smithsonian. Integrity that says they must carry out all of their work with accountability and responsibility. The institution makes sure what they do is for the benefit of the stakeholders and the public.

The Institution has prioritized its activities like the broadening of access where it is digitizing collections, improving the experience of the visitor and exploring new technologies. The institute aims to cross over new boundaries by establishing a consortium around the individual four grand challenges that are followed.

The institution is continually strengthening its collection to support new initiatives and provide better organizational services in order to better deliver their mission and establish performance indicators to be a continual barometer for measuring progress towards goals. The institution believes that they can help give to the next generation what was given to them and therefore preserving the heritage is the only way it is possible.


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