Chair on Heritage Futures

Getty Scholarship


January through March, Cornelius Holtorf spends in Los Angeles, USA as a Getty Conservation Guest Scholar.

During this time he is concerned with a project entitled “Heritage in Transformation”. His main question is this: if the future will be (and must be) changing in relation, among others, to the climate crisis, what does that mean for how the past and cultural heritage will be changing and have to change?

A new study published: Anticipating Futures for Heritage


The heritage sector has up until now seldom engaged with Strategic Foresight to better prepare for – and proactively face – different futures. This makes a new study just published by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) significant as an example that could potentially inspire other heritage actors to venture on their own Foresight journeys. 

In 2021, ICCROM, as part of its Foresight Initiative, employed Strategic Foresight to anticipate different futures for the heritage sector globally. This was done to increase resilience in the face of a changing world and outline possible opportunities for action. Gustav Wollentz, from the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures, is one of the authors of the study, together with Alison Heritage and Amy Iwasaki. Cornelius Holtorf contributed as an expert advisor. 

To undertake this work, ICCROM launched a horizon scan study, which is an established method within Strategic Foresight, to gather intelligence about possible macro-environmental changes that might affect cultural heritage in the future. The project engaged an interdisciplinary team of 18 researchers and two advisors from different world regions who collectively generated over 60 research reports looking out over a 15-year horizon. The findings are categorized according to the PESTE-Framework: Political, Environmental, Societal, Technological and Economic.

The publication is available Open Access from here: https://www.iccrom.org/publication/anticipating-futures-heritage