Chair on Heritage Futures

Sweden’s intangible cultural heritage


The Nordic Clinker Boat Traditions is Sweden’s only listed UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Nordic clinker boats are small, open, wooden boats between five and ten metres long.

In connection with the Unika historical Kalmar County project, and on invitation of Västervik Museum, Cornelius Holtorf, Leila Papoli-Yazdi, and Emily Hanscam joined up with Kalmar County Museum’s Maja Heuer to talk to Veronica Palm and Olof Nimhed of Västervik Museum about visions of future development linked to the intangible maritime heritage of Nordic clinker boat building.

We were talking, among other topics, about people-centred aspirations connected with local communities, global sustainable development, and uses of heritage, advancing peace, trust and wellbeing among humans. Political desires to increase Gross National Product (GNP) have begun to be superseded by strategies to enhance Gross National Happiness (GNH). But what might that mean in the context of Västervik, the museum, and boat-building?


Prioritise the climate crisis!


Cornelius Holtorf signed with nearly 2,000 Swedish researchers a call to politicians to give more attention to addressing the challenges of climate change. The call was published in Aftonbladet (25 August 2022).

Som forskare och medborgare är vi arga och förtvivlade över den senaste tidens utveckling. Vi ser hur en majoritet av våra politiska partier överger klimatpolitiken och i stället föreslår eller genomför politik som går stick i stäv med Parisavtalet och Sveriges klimat- och miljömål.

Våra politiker måste ta krisen på allvar och leda omställningen till ett framtida samhälle inom planetens gränser. Forskningen visar att en sådan framtid är möjlig.

Sweden holds national elections in a couple of weeks, and the hope is to make an impact on the priorities of the new government!

Heritage management predicted


A new paper by Jeffrey Altschul and Terry Klein in the journal Advances in Archaeological Practice predicts an expansion of heritage management in the US until 2031. Their text is entitled “Forecast for the US CRM Industry and Job Market, 2022–2031” and available in open access. They make the following case:

In the next 10 years, the US cultural resource management (CRM) industry will grow in terms of monies spent on CRM activities and the size of the CRM labor force. Between US fiscal years 2022 and 2031, annual spending on CRM will increase from about $1.46 to $1.85 billion, due in part to growth in the US economy but also to an added $1 billion of CRM activities conducted in response to the newly passed infrastructure bill. The increased spending will lead to the creation of about 11,000 new full-time positions in all CRM fields. Archaeologists will be required to fill more than 8,000 positions, and of these, about 70% will require advanced degrees. Based on current graduation rates, there will be a significant MA/PhD-level job deficit.