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America’s First Digital President & What Lies Ahead at the Obama Presidential Center


March 18, 2024

During his time in office, President Obama achieved numerous "firsts." He was the first contemporary president to enact large-scale health care reform through the Affordable Care Act, and he was the first president to publicly endorse same-sex marriage. 

But one of the most enduring aspects of President’s Obama’s legacy was as America's first digital president. President Obama took office during the burgeoning digital media era, and his campaign and administration used innovative forms of technology to connect with millions of people, uniting a variety of audiences around a common goal: building a strong democracy in the face of change. 

That’s why it’s only fitting that the Obama Presidential Center—currently under construction on Chicago’s South Side—will feature cutting-edge digital experiences that will serve as an important part of our work to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world. 

The Museum at the Center will include immersive films and projections, digital art installations, soundscapes, and interactive digital programs — all in the service of promoting action from the Foundation’s global community. 

One signature element of the Presidential Center Museum will be Power of Words, a four-story canvas for filmic storytelling, art, and sound. Power of Words helps us understand the potency of  words and language as important tools that inspire, empower, and connect people in their pursuit of social progress.  Get a behind the scenes look at the production of our Power of Words prototype.

An image of the construction site of the Power of Words display at the Obama Presidential Center Museum. In the image four people stand around a table looking at a blueprint of the Power of Words display located on the table. Three of the people in the picture are facing opposite the camera. All have a range of light to deep skin tones. One person in the picture is talking and pointing to a specific point in the blueprint. This person has on glasses, has a white goatee and beard, and is wearing a dark red sweater. Behind the four people is a white wall. On the ceiling of the location are black steel rods with spotlighting.
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