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Foresight Festival 2021 - Focus on energy transition and changing values

How to Future

Future instead of chance: The Foresight Festival is entering its fifth round and invites visionaries from research, film, media, art and society to find answers to the big questions of the future. This year, the focus is on the topics "Energy.Change" and "Values.Change". New at the festival: a network of eight universities, a purely digital programme and two dates.

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On 18 March, in cooperation with Futurium, the focus will be on the energy of the future. On 30 March, the Foresight BMBF conference will focus on visions of values and change.


"The Fridays for Future movement has impressively shown us our responsibility: Global warming is homemade. Biodiversity, weather, but also health instabilities such as pandemics are closely linked to climate protection," says festival director Ilka Bickmann of science2public, explaining the choice of theme. "The way we all deal with energy is essentially connected to how our future and this goal will go on. We help decide that." Future-oriented research and society must work hand in hand here.

Universities on board


In this edition of the Foresight Festival, eight German universities and one research institution are involved in the conception and organisation of the festival. "Researchers, experts and young academics from various disciplines have worked together with students on the topic of foresight and developed appropriate formats for the festival," says Bickmann. The planning phase of the festival is accompanied by a public lecture series that provides insights into current futurology and thus builds "foresight literacy".

In addition to the film competition, the topics "Values.Change" and "Energy.Turnaround" will be worked on concretely in workshops and projects for the participants on 18 March. "The Foresight Festival is thus primarily aimed at a young target audience that wants to learn and experience more about the future," says Bickmann. A designated morning programme is aimed at schools, for example, as an alternative programme to the current restricted school day in times of the pandemic.

Finally, it's off to the couch for the big short film evening with the best ten short films on energy of the future, talks with the researchers and filmmakers, live audience voting and the big awards ceremony. "Basically, of course, everyone who is interested in the future and wants to learn more about how it is being researched and shaped is invited."

Get involved!


Until 14 February 2021, interested visionaries from research and film can participate in the Call for Entries and submit short films or audiovisual projects on the topics of "Values.Change" and "Energy.Change". The spots should be at least 30 seconds and a maximum of 5 minutes long. The main winners will receive prize money of 2000 euros each, the runners-up 1000 euros each. In addition, a live audience winner will be chosen for each category, who will receive a stay on the energy self-sufficient island of Pellworm. More information about the film competition can be found here.

Future Fore... What?


"Why is there a history subject but not a future subject at schools and universities?" With this question, Ilka Bickmann sums up the importance of Future Foresight and Future Literacy. Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the festival serves as a strategic foresight for the next ten to fifteen years: What challenges do societies face? What technological and social changes are we facing? How will our understanding of values change in the future?

University foresight research is dedicated to such questions, and different futures emerge from them. "Foresight literacy brings security in dealing with the future. Especially in uncertain times, dealing with probabilities is a railing, and can help us in designing futures," says Bickmann. "Uncertainty causes fear, and fear is always a bad advisor when it comes to future questions and challenges."