Futures Literacy Summit

09:06 by Cornelius Holtorf

During the past week, Cornelius Holtorf attended the digital Futures Literacy Summit, organised by UNESCO (8-12 December 2020). Among the highlights for him were six events in particular:

  1. An encounter with The Museum of Future History, directed by experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats. Among the projects of the museum is a biodegradable time capsule intended to express perceptions of the future and to decompose before that future arrives (see the template provided here).
  2. An extended conversation he had with Jerome Glenn, Co-founder and CEO of The Millennium Project, and Elizabeth Florescu and Mara Di Berardo, two other representatives of the same project, about heritage futures, nuclear waste and other global challenges, world heritage and the role of culture in the world.
  3. A recorded lecture and open discussion with futurist Peter Bishop on how to prepare students for the future.
  4. An exploration of the informative OECD Strategic Foresight Unit, featuring among others a policy response document on COVID-19 and the cultural and creative sectors
  5. A statement by Gabriela Ramos, Assistent Director General for Social & Human Sciences at UNESCO, in which she expressed that “[b]eing futures literate alters how we see ourselves and our role in the world. We gain confidence in our ability to be agile and embrace transformation. …  The way we ‘build’ the world around us changes. Now is the time to embrace a different, more open and diverse, more democratic approach to ‘using-the-future’. It is time for all of us to become more futures literate.”
  6. A statement by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in which he emphasised that “Futures Literacy enhances our ability to sense, and make sense of, our ever-changing world. It helps us to prepare for an uncertain future …” He also said that he was looking forward “to the contributions that Futures Literacy will make as we strive to build a peaceful, prosperous world for all on a healthy planet.”
Cornelius Holtorf
In 2017, Linnaeus University in Kalmar, Sweden, was awarded a UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures. This is one of eight Chairs in Sweden, and the only one within the cultural sector. Cornelius Holtorf, holder of the UNESCO Chair, alongside his team, will continue to generate ideas through this forum.

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