Chair on Heritage Futures

Various activities October – December 2021


Cornelius Holtorf and Helena Rydén took part in the Opening of the Knowledge Cube “Back to the Future” by Cornelia Witthöft, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research, at Linnaeus University, Campus Växjö (4 October 2021)

Cornelius Holtorf presented a digital keynote lecture on “Cultural heritage addressing the needs of future generations?” for 18 attendants of the ILUCIDARE Summer School Alumni meeting held at the Research Institute for European Heritage, International Cultural Centre, Krakow, Poland (5 October 2021)

Cornelius Holtorf held a conversation with Peter Aronsson (Vice-Chancellor at Linnaeus University) on “What does it mean making cultural heritage sustainable?” for 60 participants of a physical and digital conference on Cultural Heritage for a Sustainable Future, Kalmar Castle, Sweden (7 October 2021)

Claudio Pescatore became in October 2021 a Corresponding member of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme’s Sub-Committee on Education and Research (SCEaR). With Jonas Palm, he has now the mandate to develop a paper that describes the problems and needs of giving information on nuclear waste a long-term perspective and the help and context that UNESCO and Memory of the World could give.

Cornelius Holtorf participated together with more than 50 international experts in a virtual seminar on a draft White Paper on “Solutions” in the run-up to the International Co-Sponsored Meeting on Culture, Heritage and Climate Change (14 October 2021).

Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg led a full-day futures workshop in Lund for 17 members of the Network “Kulturmiljö Skåne” (21 October 2021).

Cornelius Holtorf participated in the World Heritage Council meeting for the World Heritage site “Agricultural Landscape Southern Öland” in Mörbylånga (22 October 2021).

Cornelius Holtorf sent short feedback to Sweden’s draft strategy for collaboration with UNESCO 2022-2025 (27 October 2021).

Cornelius Holtorf attended the Inaugural Lecture of Julius Heinicke, incoming chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development, and the following panel discussion featuring Maria Böhmer, President of the German UNESCO-Commission, at the University of Hildesheim, Germany (27 October 2021).

Presentation by Cornelius Holtorf about heritage futures for the Committee for Culture and Leisure at the City Council of Olofström, Sweden (28 October 2021)

Invited presentation by Cornelius Holtorf on the work of the UNESCO Chair and “how to address heritage futures” for ca 120 participants in the 2021 Cultural Heritage Day “The future of cultural heritage” of the Heritage Experience Initiative at the University of Oslo (18 November 2021).  

Cornelius Holtorf attended a World Heritage Colloquium discussing the connections between World Heritage and the Agenda 2030, organised by the Swedish National Heritage Board (19 November 2021).

Cornelius Holtorf participated in the annual meeting of ICOMOS Sweden and reported about activities in the International Scientific Committee on Interpretation and Presentation (ICIP) where he is representing Sweden (22 November 2022).

Cornelius Holtorf took part in two global Foresight Workshops organised by International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) as part of its Foresight Initiative (23 and 26 November 2021).

Cornelius Holtorf gave a presentation on the ICOMOS University Forum Pilot Workshops 2017 and 2019, which he had been involved in co-organising, for more than 50 participants in an international ICOMOS working session on the development of the University Forum (25 November 2021).

Invited Lecture by Cornelius Holtorf on “The UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures and what we do” as part of the UNESCO Chair Lecture Series on Heritage Conservation Methodology, forming part of the International Cultural Heritage Masters at Korean National University of Cultural Heritage, South Korea (30 November 2021).

Kulturarvets digitalisering och framtiden


Jag har läst en mycket väl underbyggt och intressant bok om kulturarvets digitalisering och vad det faktiskt innebär. Konstigt nog är sådana klara analyser fortfarande sälsynta bland alla stora teknologi-drivna initiativ och projekt.

Henrik Summanen beskriver i “Kulturarvets digitalisering” vilka vägar framåt som finns för Sveriges arkiv, bibliotek och museer för att fungera i ett samhälle där användarna är huvudsakligen digitala. Nyckeln, han skriver, är förståelse för vad det digitala i grunden handlar om och på vilka sätt det omförhandlar institutionernas traditionella möten med användaren.

Jag var särskilt intresserad av vad Summanen, efter 20 år av verksamhet inom området, rekommenderar inför framtiden – och blev inte besviken. Bland hans väl underbyggda råd finns följande utmaningar, väl värd att fundera mer om:

  • Den digitala kompetensen handlar om att förstå vart samhället är på väg och hur vi ska anpassa oss till detta, och till framtidens användning.
  • Våra traditionella institutioners struktur är inte optimerad för digital användning. Vi måste optimera för horisontella informationsstrukturer, till skillnad från de traditionella vertikala.
  • Användarperspektivet bör dominera alla insatser och analyser, inte förvaltningsperspektivet.

Long-term insights in New Zealand


According to the New Zealand Public Service Act 2020 (Section 8), departments of New Zealand public service must prepare long-term insights briefings and present them to the appropriate Minister at least once every 3 years. Their purpose is to make available into the public domain information and impartial analysis about medium- and long-term trends, risks, and opportunities that affect or may affect New Zealand and New Zealand society.

There is considerable information and guidance available for this process (here is a good entry point), including the following thoughts:

  • The New Zealand public service has a duty of stewardship, to look ahead and provide advice on future challenges and opportunities.
  • The public service isn’t immune to having immediate and urgent matters crowd out the future. Maintaining a focus on the long term requires appropriate investment and an intentional approach. It requires a public service that values foresight – to think, anticipate and act with the future interests of people in New Zealand front and centre.
  • The Briefings are think pieces on the future, not government policy. The Briefings are an opportunity to enhance public debate on long-term issues and usefully contribute to future decision making – not only by government but also by Māori, business, academia, not-for-profit organisations, and the wider public.’

The public is suggested to be informed like this (among others): 

We need to make sure that New Zealand considers and is ready for the future. The Briefings will help us collectively as a country to think about, and plan for, the future. They will identify and explore the long-term issues that matter for the future wellbeing of people in New Zealand. Each Briefing will explore a different topic.

The future is everyone’s responsibility, affecting us and future generations. Everyone can have their say on what topics the Briefings should cover. The Briefings are not current government policy. The Briefings are to provide information and insights that could be used in the future by anyone. They will help all of us to make decisions about the future.

New Zealand also provides a very useful guidance to existing principles and techniques of futures thinking, containing also links to additional resources elsewhere.

These briefings apply to all departments in the New Zealand public service, including the Ministry for Culture & Heritage. I am very curious to learn more!

Historic cities and the future


Cornelius Holtorf was invited to contribute to an Experts Round Table as part of the World Heritage City Lab – Historic Cities, Climate Change, Water, and Energy convened by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands in the context of the 10th Anniversary of the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) (16-17 December 2021).

In his contribution on 16 December, addressing approx. 90 global participants, he argued for the significance of futures literacy in making strategic decisions on the historic urban landscape, keeping in mind changing social, cultural and economic processes and values, as emphasised in the HUL Recommendations with its strong people-centred approach.

Mondiacult and Our Common Agenda


Cornelius Holtorf was invited to address the regional online consultation for Europe and North America ahead of the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development (Mondiacult) to be held 28-30 September 2022 in Mexico.

Introduced by Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Minister of Culture and Media of Croatia, Cornelius had 3 minutes to address the 100+ high-level participants, including several Ministers of Culture and senior officials from national governments, supranational organizations and NGOs throughout Europe and North America.

As part of a session on Strengthening synergies between culture and education for human-centred development and sustainability, he took the opportunity to advocate for the importance of foresight and futures literacy in the culture and heritage sectors to be better prepared for the challenges of the future, as proposed in the UN Director-General’s recent report on “Our Common Agenda”.

He also pointed to the significance of culture and heritage for promoting an agenda of global solidarity and trust both within and between societies, likewise in line with the UN Director-General’s agenda but in his report unfortunately not linked to culture or heritage.

Preparing for UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development (Mondiacult) 2022 in Mexico

  • Preparing The UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development (Mondiacult) will be held in Mexico from September 28-30, 2022
  • Online Consultation on the 13 December 2021 (Cornelius Holtorf, Professor of Archaeology and holder of the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University on the Strengthening synergies between culture and
    education for human-centred development and sustainabilityMore information: https://www.gob.mx/sre/prensa/unesco-unanimously-approves-holding-mondiacult-2022-in-mexico?idiom=en

The Nordic Ministers of Culture approved the following Declaration: https://www.norden.org/en/declaration/art-and-culture-promoters-sustainable-development

Meeting with UNESCO, ICOMOS, IPCC on culture and climate change


Cornelius Holtorf, UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures

6-10 December 2021, Cornelius Holtorf Professor of Archaeology and holder of the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University, will participate in a unique meeting between United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). The idea is to strengthen synergies between culture and climate change science.

The meeting will bring together over one hundred experts from 45 countries across all regions and will bring research, expertise, and insights from wide disciplines. The meeting aims to establish a scientific merit to integrate cultural dimensions in climate action through three key areas: (1) vulnerability and understanding risks, (2) intangible cultural heritage, diverse knowledge systems and climate change, and (3) the role of cultural and natural heritage for climate action. The meeting will also include public-facing events, details of which can be found on the project website.

This meeting is an opportunity to showcase the significance of culture in relation to climate change. The way in which cultural heritage is discussed in relation to climate change has become much more sophisticated and relevant, no longer mainly about heritage ending up under rising water levels, says Cornelius Holtorf. This is a result of a dedicated effort by many people and initiatives.

Culture shapes how people make sense and therefore act in the world. Often, what people consider important in their lives is connected to cultural patterns derived from the past – their cultural heritage. Culture and cultural heritage are the key to assist present and future generations in adapting to changing circumstances, together.

More about the Chair:


UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures is a member of the Climate Heritage Network.

More information about the meeting 6-10 December 2021:


Forskningsprojekt om framtidsperspektiv hos ungdomar i utsatt stadsdel


Linnéuniversitetet och Växjö kommun samarbetar i ett forskningsprojekt som startar våren 2022. Projektet kommer att studera framtidsperspektiv hos ungdomar som är bosatta i den utsatta stadsdelen Araby i Växjö.

Araby är en stadsdel med stor mångfald, men som också räknas som särskilt utsatt av polisen på grund av hög arbetslöshet och kriminalitet. Syftet med projektet är att stärka banden mellan ungdomar i Araby, kommunala organisationer och offentliga kulturarvsaktörer. Forskningen kommer att ge konkreta och praktiska förslag till kulturaktörer i utvecklingen och förmedlingen av kulturarv i en miljö som präglas av stor mångfald. Det övergripande syftet är att ge kulturaktörer i Växjö kommun bättre redskap för att skapa delaktighet, och på så vis bidra till den sociala sammanhållningen.

Tanken är att resultatet från detta projekt kommer att vara till nytta för kulturaktörer utanför Växjö, som ett inspirerande exempel.

Partners och roller:
Projektet fokuserar på samverkan med flera aktörer. Fältarbetet kommer att bedrivas av Gustav Wollentz från Nordiskt centrum för kulturarvspedagogik, som är samarbetspartner med Centrum för tillämpat kulturarv vid Linnéuniversitetet. Under första året kommer intervjuer och fältarbete genomföras i Araby för att samla in perspektiv. Under andra året kommer fokus ligga på hur resultaten från fältarbetet år 1 kan hjälpa offentliga kulturarvsaktörer att skapa delaktighet och mångfald.

Ökat framtidsmedvetande kommer sannolikt att bli alltmer betydelsefullt inom kulturarvssektorn och i samhället i stort, och är viktigt för att kunna möta de utmaningar som samhället står inför.