UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures

Highlights from the 4th year with the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures

This report covers the fourth year for which the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University was originally established in 2017. During the entire year, the team continued to work under the spell of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which meant a drastic cut of travelling and a similarly drastic increase of virtual meetings hosted around the world.

In a keynote at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, Cornelius Holtorf suggested three lessons for a post-corona archaeology:

  1. Let’s take the future seriously and do our best to ensure that archaeology contributes to sustainable development benefitting future generations in concrete ways!

  2. Let’s go beyond the notion of cultural diversity and focus on what people shared and share with each other, promoting trust, solidarity and collaboration between all humans on this planet!

  3. Let’s realise more often the value of culture, cultural heritage and archaeological practice for bringing people together, promoting peace both within any one society and between different societies!

A particular highlight of the year was the publication by Routledge of the book Cultural Heritage and the Future (co-edited by C. Holtorf and A. Högberg, 2021).

At the end of the year, the research group received the excellent news that the Chair has been renewed by UNESCO for another four years.

Please get in touch if you have any comments or suggestions.

Cornelius Holtorf, Professor of Archaeology and holder of the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures

About the UNESCO Chair
The UNESCO Chair Programme addresses pressing challenges in society. The chairs serve as think-tanks and bridge-builders between human communities, civil society, academia, and policy-making, generating innova-tion through research, informing policy decisions and establishing new teaching initiatives. The UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University is one of eight UNESCO Chairs in Sweden and the only one in the area of culture.

Heritage futures are concerned with the roles of heritage in managing the relations between present and futuresocieties, e.g. through anticipation, planning, and prefiguration. Our work is dedicated to developingprofessional strategies that can enhance how heritage shapes the future. We ask questions such as: Which future do we preserve the heritage for? Which heritage will benefit future generations most? How can we build capacity in future thinking (futures literacy) among heritage professionals worldwide?