Chair on Heritage Futures

Futurium Berlin


Finally I was able to see the Futurium in Berlin. This high-profile government investment is located in the political centre of Berlin, next door to the Ministry of Research and Education of Germany. From the exhibition you have a splendid view of the Parliament, and that is no coincidence.

The content as would be expected – and similar to the equivalent institutions in other countries. It is on the whole a celebration of technology and of political responsibility for the future. It is also about the need to change human behaviour in the name of sustainability addressing some of the difficulties this entails. One of the aims is to influence visitors to do ‘the right thing’.

What is missing, as so often, is a concern with understanding the variability of how human beings make sense of the world, by which values they lead their lives, and what/whom they trust. In my view, such a concern for human culture is needed in any hopeful attempt of governing human societies for the future… Most people (and politicians) lack this view and instead focus on culture in the sense of the arts, as part of the creative industries, the cultural economy, and possibly as belonging to the realm of education.

Various activities April – June 2022


Cornelius Holtorf responded to the “Call for inputs to a report on cultural rights and sustainable development” by the UN’s Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Alexandra Xanthaki (9 April 2022).

Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg participated in the second meeting of the Expert Group on Awareness Preservation (EGAP) within the project on Information, Data and Knowledge Management (IDKM) at the Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD), held in Gmunden, Austria (26-28 April 2022). They held presentations on “Futures Literacy” and “Heritage Processes” respectively.

Cornelius Holtorf met Vanessa Valentino who is supporting the Demand Generation Alliance (DGA), an international food alliance which is is seeking to shift society-wide preferences towards nutritious and sustainable food by leveraging socio-cultural strategies (5 May 2022).

Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg attended the online workshop on The Time and Temporalities of Nuclear Waste, arranged by Thomas Keating, Linköping University (10 May 2022).

Cornelius Holtorf presented a lecture on “Towards an Archaeology of the Future” for an audience of more than 200 Doctoral students and researchers at the University of Warsaw’s Doctoral School of Humanities, Poland (18 May 2022).

Cornelius Holtorf participated in a workshop “Beyond Dystopia” at Linnaeus University Campus Växjö led by author Mats Söderlund and dedicated to forming a collaborative project involving a digital platform exploring climate change in relation to culture and the arts (19 May 2022).

Cornelius Holtorf reviewed a draft Guidebook on World Heritage Interpretation initiated by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO and offered detailed comments and suggestions for improvement in a coming revision (17 June 2022).