Lectures for Future

Semester: SS 20
Lecturers: Univ.-Lekt. Carlos Toledo Mag.art. & Maximilian Muhr, MSc, BSc

Lectures for Future was a lecture series with guest lecturers from various universities and research institutions, most of them part of the Scientists4Future, working on the most pressing societal and ecological challenges and their potential solutions. (Guest lecturers: Alexander Novotny, Forschungsgruppe Bildungslandschaften, Helga Kromp-Kolb, Karin Reisinger, Sarah Nash, Juri Troy, Christoph Geoerg)

At Angewandte, we primarily focus on socio-economic sustainability issues, while also incorporating a few lectures on ecological aspects. Typically, lectures were 90 minutes long (including discussion and/or interactive exercises) and started after the student presentations of Polanyi’s work (see below). As the lectures addressed quite diverse topics, some sessions particularly aimed at clarifying open questions and contextualizing the content against the backdrop of a larger sustainability picture (Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs, Sustainability Science, etc.), thus establishing a “golden thread” for the course.

There are nice comments by famous authors on their own books, such as Lodovico Guicciardini in the 15th century, which are as old as the printed books themselves. Some seminal books contain very creative scribbles by other authors, for example Vladimir Nabokov’s notes on Franz Kafka’s “Methamorphosis”. The discovery of these annotated books is a kind of “archaeology of reading”. “Don’t scribble on books!” they say, but that is exactly what we will do together. Based on our reflections and ideas on sustainability for the future, we wrote a little bit of history. When we talk about the future, it is important to define when (and where) we apply this term. Each of us, therefore, were assigned a chapter of Karl Polanyi’s  important classic  “The Great Transformation” from 1944, which still holds important implications for sustainability. We were asked to comment and scribble on a chapter/section of the book within one week of the semester and share our notes with the rest of the course in a short presentation. At the end of the semester, we had collectively created a beautiful book that contains comments by all students of the course, of which a part was exhibited at Angewandte Festival in June 2020. 


Group Project
Group: Florian Schinnerl, Lisa-M. Weidl
Format: Book Commenting and Presentation
Topic: Collective commenting of the book “The Great Transformation”

Individual project
Format: Paper
Topic 1: The Impossibility of a future scenario
Topic 2: Artistic Reflection on the guest lecture by Juri Troy 
Topic 3: Artistic Reflection on the guest lecture by Helga Kromp-Kolb