Posts Tagged ‘future’

Workshop on futures thinking

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023

In a join effort of developing our picture book WOW! further, Pernilla Frid and Cornelius Holtorf held today an experimental workshop on futures thinking with the staff of the Dept of External Relations at Linnaeus University.

The 20 participants got engaged in various discussions, both in plenary and in groups, on how they relate to the future and what action towards (any aspect of) the future they would propose to take…

Kan vara en bild av 7 personer, personer som står och inomhus

Heritage Futures and Museums

Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Cornelius Holtorf was interviewed by Mario Giognorio, PhD student at the School of International Studies in Trento, Italy, on “Heritage Futures: Museums, communities, and the future that is already here.

He had been visiting Trento in November 2022 to give public lectures and seminars for the students participating in the Challenge Hitchhikers’ guides, virtual Charons, and the future of cultural objects, organized by Francesca Odella (Department of Sociology) and promoted by the University of Trento’s School of Innovation and the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU).

Is the future a luxury?

Wednesday, December 21st, 2022

Sarah May writes: I keep hearing people suggest they don’t have time for the future. Or that other people don’t have time for the future.  I hear the classist suggestion that people who are struggling in the present, working hard, don’t think of the future. Some of the strongest futures thinking comes from people who are marginalised, because they need it. It’s the wealthy who can afford not to think of the future, or to do so poorly.

Read more in her new blog entry here.

Looking back at World Futures Day

Tuesday, December 13th, 2022

Cornelius Holtorf attended the proceedings of the first UNESCO World Futures Day at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 2 December 2022.

The full day programme featured a meet and great session for some 30 UNESCO Chairs and other foresight experts associated with the Futures Literacy Network at UNESCO, a panel chaired by Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences, and a reception, among others.

Among the highlights were the following quotes used during the day: 

“The Future is not the goal but only an excuse, a means, to think better for the world”, Gabriela Ramos, ADG for SSH

“We live for the future, that’s where the action is”, Patrick Noack, Director Dubai Future Foundation, UAE

“I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present.” “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”, Mahatma Gandhi, India

“Focus on it being a world worth saving rather than try saving the world”, Geci Karuri-Sebina, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa



Futurium Berlin

Thursday, July 14th, 2022

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.


Thursday, February 24th, 2022

I ett spännande samarbete mellan Unescoprofessuren vid Linnéuniversitetet och Kalmar läns museum utvecklades för några år sedan en koncept för framtidsresor.

Här är en ny podcast som berättar om de senaste framgånger av den idén!

Fortsättning följer…

Kärnavfallsfrågan i media

Thursday, January 27th, 2022

Idag tar den Svenska regeringen beslutet om slutförvar för kärnavfall.

I det sammanhanget blev Cornelius Holtorf flera gånger de senaste dagarna intervjuat om långtidsminne av slutförvaret och kärnavfall. Anders Högberg intervjuades i Svenska Dagbladet.

Radio P4 Kalmar (27 jan 22): Så ska man kommunicera med svenskarna 100 000 år i framtiden

Radio P1 Studio Ett (26 jan 22): Hur ska slutförvaringen kommuniceras till eftervärlden?

TT 24 & 29 jan 22: Minibladet, Norrländska Socialdemokraten, Södermanlands Nyheter, Mariestads-Tidningen (2 feb 2022), Ny Teknik, Nya Wermlands-Tidningen, Nerikes Allehanda, Katrineholms Kuriren, Motala & Vadstena Tidning, Enköpings-Posten (31 jan 22), Aftonbladet, Dagens Näringsliv, E55, Helsingborgs Dagblad Premium, MSN, Sydsvenskan Premium, Göteborgs-Posten, Norran, Piteå-Tidningen, Vestmanlands Läs Tidning, Barometern (29 jan 22), Gefle Dagblad (27 jan 22), Västerbottens kuriren, Folkbladet Västerbotten (26 jan 22), Sydsvenska dagbladet (25 & 29 jan 22), Skånska dagbladet (24 jan 22), Nyheter 24 (24 & 29 jan 22). Hur pratar vi kärnavfall med framtiden?

Svenska Dagbladet (29 jan 22): Frågan om slutförvaret: Ska framtiden varnas?

Upsala Nya Tidning (3 feb 22)

Sveriges radio (5 Feb 2022), Juniornyheterna Special: Hur pratar man med framtiden?

What is the point of time capsules?

Friday, January 1st, 2021

Jason Feifer recorded an interesting podcast on “How to Communicate With the Future” (45 min). Feifer is sceptical about time capsules and other such endeavours to send messages to the future. Among others, the podcast contains an interview with Jon Lomberg, designer of the Voyager Golden Record launched in 1977. 

Feifer argues that time capsules are not much good for what they purport to achieve and mostly a way of helping ourselves finding meaning and patterns in our own present. What we should do instead of constructing time capsules and other messages to the future is to build a better world today so that future generations do not need to receive any additional information because they already have what they need from us.

Wow! The Future is calling!

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

After years of thinking, drawing, writing, editing and re-editing, illustrator Pernilla Frid and archaeologist Cornelius Holtorf published a unique children’s book (which is really for adults).

Wow! The Future is calling! is a picture book coming out of Cornelius Holtorf’s longstanding research at the interface of heritage and the future. When illustrator Pernilla Frid was invited to apply her skills, she was immediately attracted to work in this context and with innovative concepts. The point is to convey the variety and richness in which we can engage with the future. The book gives many examples, both in the way the main characters act, representing three different ways of relating to the future, and in the many details, which surround them.

Copyright © 2021. Text & illustrations: Pernilla Frid & Cornelius Holtorf. All rights reserved. Contact: pernillafrid926@gmail.com, cornelius.holtorf@lnu.se

The need to remember COVID-19

Saturday, May 2nd, 2020

Neuroscientist and futurist Anders Sandberg has published an interesting argument about our moral duty to remember the lesson of COVID-19 for the benefit of future generations:

The Covid-19 pandemic … is a wake-up call. … [H]istorically we have adapted to trauma rather well. Maybe too well – we have a moral reason to ensure that we do not forget the harsh lessons we are learning now. 

What kind of lessons do we need to learn? The basic ones are what strategies work and do not work, whether in epidemiological strategy, social life or how to handle the experience personally. 

According to Sandberg, part of the solution may be the construction of monumental memorials:

In the end, we better build some hard-to-ignore monuments to the people who died or performed heroically, to shore up our collective memory. Li Wenliang may be a good symbolic martyr to remember (especially the key lesson about openness being necessary for a rapid response).

It is to a large degree a real moral choice whether Covid-19 becomes a warning shot that teaches us useful things for the time when a truly dangerous pathogen emerges (or is made) or just a massive distraction that is soon conveniently forgotten… until it is too late. Given the stakes, it matters to remember well.

But what does it matter “to remember well”, I would ask? No detailed message remains understandable and meaningful across generations, unless it is regularly being updated and translated into a new context.

The best message to transmit to the future may therefore be a meta-message:

  1. Keep the experts on essential issues!
  2. Listen to them!
  3. Vote for politicians who put human wellbeing first! 

I wonder who may be the right martyr to be memorialised for that message to be carried forward…