Picture: Scholz & Friends
The new thematic focus at Futurium
Democracy – You Can Choose the Future
Democracy is the rule of the people. The idea is more than 2,000 years old. Much has changed over this course of time, including our concept of what constitutes a democratic state. And what does the future have in store? Starting on 16 March 2023, Futurium will be dedicating itself to the futures of democracy. Discover them with us!
Picture: Scholz & Friends
In the exhibition
The exhibition’s opening, and the focus used to draw people in to the theme of democracy, is a light sculpture that playfully invites visitors to think about their own democratic behaviour and the possibilities that exist to help shape democracy itself. At its edges, you can reach the understanding at interactive stations that change can come from yourself. New democratic experiments, ways of thinking and acting can help in this regard. LED lights react to your inputs and breathe life into the curved structure.
In the Thinking Space Human, you can then dive deeply into our democracy. Animated characters show the challenges democracy is facing. In interviews with experts, scientists and activists, you’ll learn how the rule of the people can continue to develop. You can find our new democracy exhibits woven into our permanent exhibition in the Thinking Space Human.
In the Lab
With its interactive exhibits, the Futurium Lab enables you to experience both the future possibilities of digital democracy as well as the risks of new technologies. Four new exhibits await you:
1. How do we move from an opinion of the few to an opinion of the many? With "Data Correlations", Studio Brüll explores how we can influence political decisions with big data. Join in and answer ten questions orally. This way you can become part of a new form of eParticipation.
2. "Opinionator" explores the tension between social media and democracy: Are the methods behind the platforms a threat to us? And how do they influence us? "Opinionator" is a contribution by the collective Tactical Tech.
3. How do elections change when we let children have a say? Or what if nature had a say in the election? Find out with this simulation: as citizens of a small town, you and up to three other players face an important decision every five minutes that will change your town. "Playable Simulations" is an exhibit by Imaginary.
4. In our “Smile to Vote” voting booth, you can find out how your physiognomy influences your voting intentions – or is the very idea pure fiction? “Smile to Vote” is an exhibit by artist Alexander Peterhänsel.
Credit: David von Becker
In our Forum
In our events forum, we invite you – in the spirit of a living democracy – to exchange ideas. Here are a few highlights from the Democracy theme year:
Credits: David von Becker
On an audio expedition
We have developed a new event format for you. Go on a fictional audio expedition to the original sites of our current democracy and immerse yourself in a possible future via headphones: in the time machine you’ll be sent to the year 2046. Your mission? As undercover democracy-testers, you’ll be heading to the government quarter to check out some of the democratic innovations now in place there: for instance, the legal advocate for nature, the veto rights for future generations, and the drawing of lots for democratic representatives. The goal? To find out if these ideas can help us make our democracy more equitable, sustainable and diverse in the future.
Dates April - October 2023
Credit: David von Becker
With us, you can live out your play instincts. As in any democracy, the game has as few rules. Arguing is not only allowed, but even desired: "Krasse Kompromisse – Streiten bis zur Lösung" (Clear Compromises – Arguing till a Solution Is Reached) is a communicative game in which the players take on different roles. As a team – sometimes with and sometimes against each other – you must try to come up with solutions for the really important questions in life. In the end, however, there can only be one solution. Put your ability to compromise to the test!
“Dating Democracy” is a new event series at Futurium. Together with experts and our visitors, our experts and we want to investigate how feelingful Germany’s sociopolitical order actually is and how our feelings about democracy have changed over the last 10, 30, 50, 70 years – and how they’ll continue to do so in the future. Joy, enthusiasm, indignation, trust, disappointment, fear, hope – feelings are ever-present in a democracy. Feelings are present and palpable not only at the kitchen table, but also in public, on the street and in social media. Democracy moves us. But shouldn’t democracy and politics be driven exclusively by reason and facts, instead of being influenced by feelings? Thinking outside the box, we’ll be taking a look at other notions of democracy and also at people’s states of mind in non-democratic states.
With the Future Box
With this Future Box, pupils can deal with questions around the topic of the future of democracy. It will enable them to look critically at specific behaviours, wishes for the future and negative views concerning the topic. Pupils can explore what positive and negative consequences today’s actions and decisions might have on the future of democracy. The Future Box supports teachers in anchoring future-relevant methods and contents in their lessons in the long term. Our Future Box is available at the shop. Find out more on Futurium's educational materials.
In our themed booklet
Between crisis mode and a spirit of awakening: where is democracy headed? The challenges for the political system in Germany to find the right answers in the future have perhaps never been greater. This themed booklet on the futures of democracy is about democracy in progress: what experiences do people in Germany have with our democracy? How do they themselves advocate for co-determination and participation? What are their wishes and desires? We’ve met, among other people, a city-school spokesperson in Frankfurt/Main, a blind musician in Berlin, a former GDR civil rights activist in Leipzig, a local politician of Cameroonian origin who lives in a village near Munich, and a young Muslim woman in Mönchengladbach who is committed to diversity. A journey in ten encounters through Germany. From person to person.
On the net
You can also discover the futures of democracy in the digital world. Should children be allowed to vote? Young reporter Richard discusses this question in our YouTube series "Fast, Forward, Future" ("Zick, Zack, Zukunft").
You will find news and updates on our theme year democracy on our website and social channels. Check it out – we are looking forward to your vote!