Chair on Heritage Futures

Various activities October – December 2023


Cornelius Holtorf attended a zoom seminar on Hur kan vi framtidssäkra vår verksamhet? organised by the Museum of Västernorrland in Härnosand (3 October 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf took part in a lunch sponsored by the Friends of Sandbyborg at Linnaeus University’s training excavation site of Gamla Skogsby, followed by participating in a discussion panel to discuss ‘future archaeology’ in relation to the ongoing excavations (4 October 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf took part in the annual meeting of the Academic Advisory Board of the Leibniz Centre for Archaeology (LEIZA) in Mainz, Germany. He also contributed to the Board’s retreat held one day later near Mainz (14-15 October 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf, Anders Högberg, Sarah May, Emily Hanscam, and Helena Rydén discussed their present priorities with colleagues at Malmö University interested in learning more about the work of the Chair with a view towards future collaboration (17 October 2023).

Anders Högberg presented a paper on “Participatory futures making and heritage processes” (co-authored with Gustav Wollentz) for colleagues at Malmö University (17 October 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf lectured for three hours on “Cultural and heritage tourism – making choices for the future” for 3 students taking the advanced-level course on Tourism and Sustainability in the Anthropocene 15 credits in Tourism and Recreation Studies at Linnaeus University, Kalmar (24 October 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf co-run a full-day workshop in Stockholm with 12 national heritage experts attending, forming part of a project on cultural heritage compensation for the Swedish Transport Adminstration (25 October 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf presented a talk entitled “Varför hantering av kärnavfall behöver kunskap om kultur” for almost 30 attendants of the Culture Breakfast organised by the Municipality of Kalmar (14 November 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf was interviewed about Heritage Futures for TV station Dubai One in Dubai, UAE (27 November 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf signed the “Global Call to Put Cultural Heritage, Arts and Creative Sectors at the Heart of Climate Action.” This is a global call to the UNFCCC to include cultural heritage, the arts and creative sectors in climate policy, at the time of COP28 held in December 2023 in Dubai.

Cornelius Holtorf attended of the Resilience Hub programme at COP 28, held in Dubai, the following sessions

  • Preserving Our Legacy: Climate resilience for culture and heritage, hosted by the Climate Heritage Network (CHN) and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)  (3 December 2023)
  • How Creativity Can Build Resilient Communities (9 December 2023)

Cornelius Holtorf, Anders Högberg, and Ulrika Söderström attended a lecture by Marcy Rockman on “The Radical Importance of Now in Linking Archaeology and Climate Change” organised by the Swedigarch project (6 December 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf, Anders Högberg, and Gustav Wollentz contributed to an informal meeting of a small group of international specialists in heritage and foresight convened by Alison Heritage of ICCROM (8 December 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf participated in a meeting of ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Interpretation and Presentation (ICIP) to discuss future strategy addressing contemporary conflicts (13 December 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf took part in the virtual informal consultations on the UN Summit of the Future arranged by the Co-facilitators of the preparatory process, the Permanent Representatives to the United Nations of Germany and Namibia (13 December 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf lectured for a class of undergraduate students in Archaeology on “Archaeology, Climate, and Sustainability” (15 December 2023).

Cornelius Holtorf lectured for a class of undergraduate students in Cultural Policy on “Global Cultural Policy” (19 December 2023).

Pact for the future


Our Chair made a written submission today for the UN Pact for the Future, to be drafted this spring and due to be accepted next September at the UN Summit of the Future.The full submission is available online (https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/sof-unesco-chair-heritage-futures-input-zero-draft-pact-for-future.pdf). It stated among others:

The Pact of the Future’s Chapeau should explicitly recognise the cultural condition of humanity.

“Climate change, world peace, artificial intelligence and other major challenges facing present and future generations are affected by, and affect, the way human beings, as members of specific communities, live their lives and make sense of the world, of themselves, and of each other. This is the important realm of human culture—going far beyond the attention sometimes given to cultural rights, indigenous cultures, the cultural and creative sector, and culture-driven development.

“To date, the cultural condition of humanity has seldom been harnessed, or comprehensively addressed, in global policy documents. This should change with the Pact for the Future, defining the world’s agenda for the future.

“Culture guides people’s goals, the values and ideas that govern their behaviour, and how they communicate and to whom. Culture and cultural heritage inform human trust, felt loyalties and senses of belonging, whether that is to specific places, to specific communities, to higher beings, or to their own species.

Understanding culture is a key capacity for increasing human well-being in the future. Culture must be guiding all actions inspired by the Pact for the Future. We welcome a UN Special Envoy for Future Generations and an Inter­governmental Forum for Future Generations which must have a strong mandate to work with culture and adequate cultural expertise in their teams of experts.

“Culture, including cultural heritage, is located at the intersection of past legacies and tomorrow’s possibilities. It changes – and needs to change – as the world changes: different futures imply new ways of being human and new narratives about the human past. Culture is therefore a key competence to be included explicitly when humanity unites to address the challenges for the world in a global Pact for the Future and in a Post-2030 Agenda.”

Keynote lecture on Heritage Futures and Futures Literacy


On Wednesday 13 December 2023, Anders Högberg was invited by University of Ferrara to give a keynote lecture on the topic “Heritage Futures and Futures Literacy. New roles for heritage in managing the relations between present and future societies”.

The keynote was presented at the Kaleidoscope of Sustainability, 5th Annual Kick-off Symposium of the PhD programme Environmental Sustainability and Wellbeing. It is a program that focuses on the research and training of young scholars interested in a multidisciplinary approach to sustainability and wellbeing. It is an impressive inter-disciplinary research school set-up be the University of Ferrara in co-operation with a wide range of universities from around the globe. It attracts PhD-students from the Humanities, Social Science, Economics, Law, Architecture, Urban Planning, Engineering, Chemical Sciences, and Biomedical Sciences.

Anders Högberg

Anders Högberg, Professor of Archaeology UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures


World Futures Day 4 December UNESCO


Cornelius Holtorf and Helena Rydén celebrated UNESCO World Futures Day 2023 #FuturesDay at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, by joining the global conversation on futures and foresight: Building Inclusive Societies through Futures Literacy & Foresight.


The event was well attended, both in Paris and online.

WFD Paris 2023

World Futures Day in Paris, UNESCO 2023. The day ended with experimental future-oriented approaches, by Pedro De Senna, Cornelius Holtorf and Laura Watts. You can see the recording here https://webcast.unesco.org/events/2023-12-WFD/ (starts at ca 3:23:00). 

WFD 2023 Paris

Linnaeus University made an impact!