When Monday’s presentation “Philately: A Bright Future” was announced the other day, the title caused some sarcastic comments, perhaps rightly so. In most discussions on the future of philately, the outcome is always familiar: extremely discouraging. The reason? References to the distant past when there was vitality, an abundance of mail, societies, shops etc., while on the other hand, today, there is absolutely nothing, less a boundless desert.

The phenomenon is not exclusively ours. It is universal and, incredible as it may seem, timeless. There are reports that as early as the end of the 19th century voices were heard about the “…gloomy future of philately”!

Changes in our lives, habits, and attitudes have inevitably caused changes in philately. Fortunately for us, today there are competitive advantages compared to the very distant past (production of printed materials, videos, web pages, etc. with minimal cost and excellent quality of illustrations), but also incredible tools (communication, online buying and selling, teleconferences, social networks, etc.) that we could never even imagine.

If we take advantage of them, then yes, we’ll have a right to optimism; if not, …bad luck.