Posts Tagged ‘futures literacy’

Lärarutbildning och skola i framtiden

Friday, August 27th, 2021

Cornelius Holtorf deltog i ett panelsamtal om lärarutbildning och skola som filmades och publicerades i samband med invigning av Universitetskajen Kalmar, 27 augusti 2021.

Panelen samtalar om lärarutbildningen och skolans dåtid, nutid och framtid. Vad kommer vara den viktigaste frågan för lärarutbildningen i framtiden och varför?

Review of Deep time reckoning

Sunday, June 13th, 2021

My review of Vincent Ialenti’s (2020) Deep time reckoning: how future thinking can help Earth now, MIT Press, has now been published in the journal Time and Mind.
Open access for the first 50 who click here!

UN Initiative “We the Peoples”

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Cornelius Holtorf took part in the “We the Peoples” digital consultation of the United Nations. 

Building on the UN75 global conversation, the consultation invites stakeholders from different sectors to develop practical recommendations to: accelerate delivery of the commitments made in the UN75 Declaration, together with the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement; and to respond to new and emerging challenges.

He made two specific contributions:

Addressing Challenge 1: How can decision-making take more account of the future?, he suggested to “Enhance the capacity for futures thinking (futures literacy) among decision-makers.” 

Much decision-making about the present assumes unexamined that conditions will remain the same in the future. But based on all past human experience, this is not going to be the case. We can improve people’s ability to imagine alternative futures and design new strategies to act in the present in order to bring about novel futures.

Addressing Challenge 5: How can we build trust between people and institutions?, he suggested that “We need to learn more about people’s cultural meanings and values as they determine trust in society.”

Trust between people and institutions is an outcome of specific cultural meanings and values. It is easier to trust people and institutions that make sense in what they do and whose values you share.
Strangely, the realm of culture is vastly underappreciated in society, maybe because ethnology and social/cultural anthropology are very small subjects and not many decision-makers have much understanding of how human culture works.

Futures Literacy and Nuclear Waste

Monday, May 10th, 2021

Anders Högberg presented at the first capacity-building workshop of the Expert Group on Awareness Presentation, which is part of the Nuclear Energy Agency’s Working Party on Information, Data and Knowledge Management at the OECD. Even Cornelius Holtorf participated.

The session, held on 10 May 2021, was dedicated to Futures Literacy and featured even a keynote lecture by Richard Sandford (UCL) who concluded with the following slide:

During the session, the 37 participants began to realise how they were using the future in various ways to inform specific actions and started to examine their own anticipatory assumptions regarding long-term communication of nuclear waste disposal sites. They also started to understand that the uncertainty of the future is not something that can or must be controlled but that it is instead important to learn how to embrace uncertainty in our present in order to reduce future uncertainty.

A next step is acquiring the capability of how to imagine alternative futures, and so the discussion will continue…

International Science Festival Gothenburg

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

We took part with two outreach projects in the 2021 International Science Festival in Gothenburg, one of Europe’s leading popular science events and the only one of its kind in Sweden.

Understanding future recipients of our messages

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

The first regular meeting of the Expert Group on Awareness Preservation, which is part of the Working Party on Information, Data and Knowledge Management at the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency, took place 7-8 April 2021.

Its Chair, Martin Kunze, emphasised that the group will continue the previous work of the NEA on Records, Knowledge and Memory but shift the emphasis from designing and transmitting messages on nuclear waste deposits to understanding its future recipients. 

Both Cornelius Holtorf and Anders Högberg contributed with presentations. Cornelius outlined a necessary shift of thinking from preserving objects to anticipating social processes and embracing change, based on current thinking in Heritage Studies. Anders introduced related ideas about futures consciousness and futures literacy, emphasising the need to avoid imposing our own ideas onto the future and to try and accommodate decisions made in future presents.

Futures Literacy Summit

Sunday, December 13th, 2020

During the past week, Cornelius Holtorf attended the digital Futures Literacy Summit, organised by UNESCO (8-12 December 2020). Among the highlights for him were six events in particular:

  1. An encounter with The Museum of Future History, directed by experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats. Among the projects of the museum is a biodegradable time capsule intended to express perceptions of the future and to decompose before that future arrives (see the template provided here).
  2. An extended conversation he had with Jerome Glenn, Co-founder and CEO of The Millennium Project, and Elizabeth Florescu and Mara Di Berardo, two other representatives of the same project, about heritage futures, nuclear waste and other global challenges, world heritage and the role of culture in the world.
  3. A recorded lecture and open discussion with futurist Peter Bishop on how to prepare students for the future.
  4. An exploration of the informative OECD Strategic Foresight Unit, featuring among others a policy response document on COVID-19 and the cultural and creative sectors
  5. A statement by Gabriela Ramos, Assistent Director General for Social & Human Sciences at UNESCO, in which she expressed that “[b]eing futures literate alters how we see ourselves and our role in the world. We gain confidence in our ability to be agile and embrace transformation. …  The way we ‘build’ the world around us changes. Now is the time to embrace a different, more open and diverse, more democratic approach to ‘using-the-future’. It is time for all of us to become more futures literate.”
  6. A statement by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in which he emphasised that “Futures Literacy enhances our ability to sense, and make sense of, our ever-changing world. It helps us to prepare for an uncertain future …” He also said that he was looking forward “to the contributions that Futures Literacy will make as we strive to build a peaceful, prosperous world for all on a healthy planet.”

Heritage futures question the status quo

Sunday, November 29th, 2020

When I present key ideas associated with our work on heritage futures, promoting futures-thinking among heritage professionals, some colleagues say that this is nothing new. Here are a few examples illustrating what I mean when I say that we must go beyond the status quo in heritage thinking. I cite below several statements from a recent document on European heritage policy, and how we differ from the heritage futures perspective.

Status quo: Whether we like it or not, we are all intrinsically connected to our past.

Heritage futures: More than anything else, we are all necessarily tied up with on-going processes in our present and their impacts on the future.

Status quo: Europe’s cultural heritage is the direct result of our ancestors’ deeds, efforts and decisions.

Heritage futures: Europe’s current ‘cultural heritage’ has been constructed over the past couple of centuries by intellectuals, politicians, business people, and various kinds of cultural activists and influencers. 

Status quo: It is time to acknowledge that this shared heritage, this sense of togetherness, is the real foundation on which Europe is built.

Heritage futures: It is time to acknowledge that Europe has been built on a notion of heritage that is increasingly associated with divisions in society.

Status quo: Europe’s cultural heritage … shows us how our lives are connected to a long line of generations coming before and after us.

Heritage futures: Cultural heritage must be re-imagined now to create a viable foundation for future societies, both in Europe and globally.

Status quo: Our cultural heritage holds up a mirror to who we were, who we are and who we aspire to be, and helps us to interpret our past successes and failures.

Heritage futures: Futures literacy in the heritage sector can facilitate necessary changes in society and in how we see ourselves, in order to meet global challenges of the future.

 

 

An Archaeology for the Future

Sunday, May 31st, 2020

Archaeology is the study of the past in the present. But can it deal with the future too?

  • Which future(s) are archaeologists working for?
  • Which archaeological heritage will benefit future generations most?
  • How can archaeologists build capacity in futures thinking? 

Some thoughts on these issues have now been published by Cornelius Holtorf in Post-Classical Archaeologies vol 10. By reviewing some recent and current projects conducted at Linnaeus University in Sweden he shows that it is possible to engage actively and constructively with the future and consider benefits of archaeology for future societies.