Posts Tagged ‘futures literacy’

Our Common Agenda

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Today I have been contributing to a Real-Time Delphi Study of The Millennium Project on foresight elements of the 2021 UN report Our Common Agenda.

The report makes several suggestions related to foresight. Here are my responses:

A Summit on the Future:

Such a Summit on the Future will draw global attention to foresight and futures thinking generally (much like the Rio Earth summit did).

The Summit on the Future needs to involve more than politicians, lobbyists, expert scientists, and celebrity activists. It should also involve a selection of ordinary people reflecting on their own lives and their cultural practices (I mean cultural in the ethnographic sense describing how people make sense of the world and live their lives accordingly). They will represent the billions of ordinary people.

A UN Futures Lab:

Include the theme of culture and how it may evolve in future decades, e.g. in the context of climate change and resulting migration, urbanisation, longer life expectancy, artificial intelligence, globalism, periodically shifting values. At the moment, culture is ignored in foresight and cultural practitioners ignore foresight themselves – as culture is widely assumed to be timeless (wrongly as we see in hindsight).

A Special Envoy for Future Generations:

Research shows that representatives (proxies) of future generations can sharpen decision-makers’ sensitivity to presentism, i.e. making decisions while assuming that the status quo is timeless and all futures will resemble the present. They can also support long-term thinking in decision-making.

See e.g. Kamijo, Y., Komiya, A., Mifune, N., & Saijo, T. (2017). Negotiating with the future: Incorporating imaginary future generations into negotiations. Sustainability Science, 12(3), 409–420. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-016-0419-8

Otten, M. (2018). Strong external representation of future generations: Legitimate and effective (Unpublished Masters Thesis.) Department of Philosophy, University of Leiden. http://hdl.handle.net/1887/65949 .

Other suggestions:

Introduce Futures as a school subject.

Animation explains: What are Heritage Futures and why do they matter?

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Watch the animation on YouTube!

Cultural heritage reminds us of the past and has present values and uses, but how will future generations benefit from it?

– This short animation explains the need for futures thinking among cultural heritage professionals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe0aMQXzqLI

More information about the Chair https://lnu.se/en/unescochair 

Follow our work: @UnescoChairLNU

 

 

 

Dynamic team! UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures

Monday, May 9th, 2022
UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures, team

UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures, from left: Leila Papoli-Yazdi, Annalisa Bolin, Sarah May, Cornelius Holtorf, Emily Hanscam, Helena Rydén, Anders Högberg.

Missing from the photo: Claudio Pescatore and Ulrika Söderström.

For the first time in two years, the members of the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures assembled in Kalmar 11-14 April 2022, for joint discussions, presentations about completed and on-going work, and for socialising. We finished off with an excursion to the World Heritage City of Karlskrona.

Photocredit Joakim Palmqvist/Linnaeus University

Check out more information on the team here: https://lnu.se/en/unescochair

Travelling to the year 2062

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

“Det är onsdag eftermiddag i mars 2062, på teamet Vård & Välmående på företaget HemFrisk i Kalmarsunds kommun. Veckans team samlas för gemensam genomgång av veckan som kommer. Egentligen är det inget konstigt, så gör de varje vecka. Men denna vecka är det också något nytt på gång, … “

This is the situation to which almost 20 participants travelled this afternoon, to experience a lively discussion about the introduction of a digital Doctor, steered by artifical intelligence. The participants were mostly from the elderly care sector on southern Öland. All enjoyed the role play and found it very educational as the scenario became very real and the complexity of the issues very apparent.

The event was an outcome of the future time travel concept originally initiated by our Chair on Heritage Futures in collaboration with Kalmar County Museum, and a current co-project by the museum and the University’s eHealth institute.

Mångårigt SKB-samarbete med viktiga resultat

Thursday, March 10th, 2022

När regeringen i januari 2022 sa ja till att bygga ett slutförvar för använt kärnbränsle i Forsmark i Östhammars kommun, lyfte flera aktörer frågan om hur informationsbevarande till framtida generationer ska utformas. Många menade att det nu är dags att växla upp forskningen om hur minnespraktiker och informationsöverföring till framtida generation ska organiseras och ske.

Sedan 2011 har jag och Cornelius Holtorf arbetat med dessa frågor. Det har vi bland annat gjort tillsammans med Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB). Med anledning av regeringens beslut blev jag nyfiken på vad SKB uppfattar att vårt arbete tillsammans har givit dem. Sofie Tunbrant är en av våra närmaste samarbetspartners på SKB. Under ett kort samtal med henne frågade jag vad hon ser som viktiga resultat från vårt samarbete.

 

Här är Sofie Tunbrants svar:

Under dessa lite mer än tio år har vårt samarbete bidragit på många sätt och jag vill speciellt lyfta fram två aspekter: ni har breddat våra perspektiv och ni har gett oss nya kontakter och därmed möjligheter att introducera frågan i flera sammanhang.

Ni har tagit med SKB in i många nya konstellationer där vi fått tillfälle att arbeta tillsammans inom områden och med personer som vi inte kände sedan tidigare. Ett av många exempel är att ni öppnat upp för oss att brett möta forskarvärlden, så vi har kunnat inleda samarbete med forskare och forskningsmiljöer. Ett fint exempel är vår medverkan i projektet Heritage Futures vid UCL, där vi blev inbjudna som partner. Ett annat exempel är tillfällen då vi kunnat mötas i gränslandet mellan forskning och konstnärlig gestaltning för att diskutera gemensamma frågor, som när ni arrangerade en workshop med rundabordssamtal i samarbete med kuratorn Ele Carpenter och Malmö Konstmuseum i anslutning till utställningen Perpetual Uncertainty.

Sammantaget har detta fått effekter hos oss på SKB. Vi har fått ett omfattande nätverk, som vi inte kunnat få till på egen hand. Det har hjälpt oss att utvecklas i våra sätt att se på och förstå frågan om informationsöverföring. Vi har också kunnat skapa en mer fördjupad kunskap om vad komplexiteten i frågan handlar om. På så sätt har vårt samarbete gett oss många nya insikter, kunskaper och möjligheter.

Ni har också tagit med SKB i nationella och internationella konstellationer som vi inte kunnat delta i utan vårt samarbete. Det gör att SKB har kunnat berätta om sitt arbete med informationsbevarande i nya sammanhang. Ett exempel är konferensen Information and Memory for Future Decision-Making i Stockholm 2019. Här kunde vi under tre dagars seminarier och diskussioner arbeta med frågan tillsammans med representanter från bland annat kommuner, miljöorganisationer och myndigheter.

Genom våra samarbeten har SKB kunnat introducera frågan om informationsbevarande i anslutning till slutförvaren med radioaktivt avfall i en mångfald av sammanhang. Det finns flera aktörer som arbetar med informationsbevarande på lång sikt, men som inte tidigare kopplat sitt arbete till SKB:s slutförvar. Att fler personer och aktörer känner till och reflekterar över frågan gör att den hålls levande. Det är avgörande för att samhället ska kunna arbeta med de lösningar som krävs för att framtiden ska ha de kunskaper och verktyg de behöver.

av Anders Högberg

Prof Anders Högberg UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures

Professor Anders Högberg UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures

 

Heritage Futures, webplats HÄR

Perpetual Uncertainty, info HÄR

Information and Memory for Future Decision-Making, rapport HÄR

Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten har nyligen publicerat en rapport där vårt arbete lyfts fram, den nås HÄR

Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

Nicklas Larsen at Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies did an interview with me exploring the concepts of heritage futures and futures literacy, about decolonisation, and about digitalisation.

My conclusion at the end:

The point is to promote and provoke thinking in different ways. That we become aware of our baggage, the things we take for granted because we were born at a particular time and place. Many people have difficulties with that, as they feel passionate about certain traditions that are considered so important that they seemingly need to continue forever. But they might not, at least not in the way they are perceived today, and another strategy may be asked for in the future. To me, futures literacy is that kind of liberating skill where you increasingly become aware of these limitations in your thinking.

 

Designing the Future of the Past

Thursday, February 17th, 2022

Cornelius Holtorf was invited as a keynote speaker and presented on “Futures Literacy: How to Bring World Heritage Up To Date” for more than 20 participants in the international Doctoral student seminar entitled Designing the Future of the Past held at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy (17-18 February 2022). – His first trip after the pandemic to meet colleagues and students abroad!

The agenda of the seminar was very exciting indeed. It involved to present

the contemporary discourse in the conservation field across the emerging theories of Critical Heritage Studies, Counterpreservation, Curated Decay, Negative Legacies, and Ruination. Such novel theories challenge an unquestioned relationship between design practice and preservation, considering the past as an active force for shaping the future, and opening new options for intervention (or not) on preexistences.

International UNESCO Chairs Forum on the Futures of Higher Education

Monday, January 24th, 2022

24 January

Today, I have been attending International UNESCO Chairs Forum on the Futures of Higher Education. The event was livestreamed on Facebook.

Italy and UNESCO at The Italian Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai, set up the session on a digital arena jointly. It lasted two hours and included a keynote by Mr. Francesc Pedro, Director, UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Futures of Higher Education: Global trends, opportunities and challenges. Two panels followed; 1) Skills for Work and Life and 2) Digitalization and Connectivity. At the end, the Italian UNESCO Chairs for Sustainability made a declaration. Finally, Ms. Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO (live from Paris) thanked everyone for participating and made some closing remarks about the role of the UNESCO Chairs as knowledge bases and the importance of relating to change.

My impression of the day was:

Topics discussed were very interesting, especially the part with focus on futures literacy (Panel 1) with Professor Loes Damhoff, UNESCO Chair in Futures Literacy, The Netherlands, Dr. Ziad Said, UNESCO Chair on TVET and Sustainable Development, Qatar, Dr. Willy Ngaka, UNITWIN Network on Literacies, Green Skilling, and Capacity Development for Sustainable Communities in Africa, Uganda:

The moderator Giorgia Ferraro at The Italian Pavilion introduced Professor Loes Damhoff, UNESCO Chair on Futures Literacy, The Netherlands who started with this:

The future does not exist.

The future exists only in our imagination.

Our images of the future that we create have a profound impact on what we do in the present.

How do we prepare ourselves for something that does not exist?

What kind of skills for work and life do we need?

A short summary of the main points by Professor Loes Damhoff: We know three things:

  1. Change is constant
  2. Uncertainty is an aspect of life
  3. Complexity is a part of life

We cannot eliminate uncertainty and complexity. We might need to rethink how we relate to change.

One way to do that is futures literacy. This capability helps you to imagine multiple futures. We use the futures as lenses to look upon what we are doing in the present.

Professor Loes Damhoff concluded: When we plan and prepare for something that is going to happen, we can identify the assumptions that we have, and this means that we can open up for novelty and the unexpected. This is a new mindset for managers, policymakers and students.

We all anticipate – it is global! We need to become future thinkers on all levels of society to meet global challenges!

 

Professor Loes Damhoff, UNESCO Chair on Futures Literacy, The Netherlands.

 

I expected more interaction and found out that it was a digital stage that you could listen to and watch. However, the topics were very interesting and it was interesting to see and hear UNESCO Chairs from all over the world! The whole session was recorded and is available here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFEZIC6Ur3s

 

Helena Rydén, Ass. UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University

Long-term insights in New Zealand

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

According to the New Zealand Public Service Act 2020 (Section 8), departments of New Zealand public service must prepare long-term insights briefings and present them to the appropriate Minister at least once every 3 years. Their purpose is to make available into the public domain information and impartial analysis about medium- and long-term trends, risks, and opportunities that affect or may affect New Zealand and New Zealand society.

There is considerable information and guidance available for this process (here is a good entry point), including the following thoughts:

  • The New Zealand public service has a duty of stewardship, to look ahead and provide advice on future challenges and opportunities.
  • The public service isn’t immune to having immediate and urgent matters crowd out the future. Maintaining a focus on the long term requires appropriate investment and an intentional approach. It requires a public service that values foresight – to think, anticipate and act with the future interests of people in New Zealand front and centre.
  • The Briefings are think pieces on the future, not government policy. The Briefings are an opportunity to enhance public debate on long-term issues and usefully contribute to future decision making – not only by government but also by Māori, business, academia, not-for-profit organisations, and the wider public.’

The public is suggested to be informed like this (among others): 

We need to make sure that New Zealand considers and is ready for the future. The Briefings will help us collectively as a country to think about, and plan for, the future. They will identify and explore the long-term issues that matter for the future wellbeing of people in New Zealand. Each Briefing will explore a different topic.

The future is everyone’s responsibility, affecting us and future generations. Everyone can have their say on what topics the Briefings should cover. The Briefings are not current government policy. The Briefings are to provide information and insights that could be used in the future by anyone. They will help all of us to make decisions about the future.

New Zealand also provides a very useful guidance to existing principles and techniques of futures thinking, containing also links to additional resources elsewhere.

These briefings apply to all departments in the New Zealand public service, including the Ministry for Culture & Heritage. I am very curious to learn more!

Mondiacult and Our Common Agenda

Monday, December 13th, 2021

Cornelius Holtorf was invited to address the regional online consultation for Europe and North America ahead of the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development (Mondiacult) to be held 28-30 September 2022 in Mexico.


Introduced by Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Minister of Culture and Media of Croatia, Cornelius had 3 minutes to address the 100+ high-level participants, including several Ministers of Culture and senior officials from national governments, supranational organizations and NGOs throughout Europe and North America.


As part of a session on Strengthening synergies between culture and education for human-centred development and sustainability, he took the opportunity to advocate for the importance of foresight and futures literacy in the culture and heritage sectors to be better prepared for the challenges of the future, as proposed in the UN Director-General’s recent report on “Our Common Agenda”.

He also pointed to the significance of culture and heritage for promoting an agenda of global solidarity and trust both within and between societies, likewise in line with the UN Director-General’s agenda but in his report unfortunately not linked to culture or heritage.