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Berlin to go, english edition, 04/2019

  • Text
  • Future
  • Startup
  • Futurium
  • Berlin

TITLE It quickly becomes

TITLE It quickly becomes clear that there is more than one future to discuss at the Futurium. The exhibition catalogue makes it clear: “There are as many conceivable futures as there are people alive on this earth dreaming of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.” The decisions we make today set the course for the future, and this is exactly the idea behind the work at the Futurium, which means that a visit to the exhibition is a journey into a wealth of possibilities. “We don’t present merely one possible future, but instead many exciting approaches, ideas and visions,” says Futurium director Stefan Brandt. “In other words, we show you many different futures.” Indeed, the Futurium is looking to bring people back to the future, as it were. Whether it’s robots, augmented reality, 3D printing, climate engineering, genetic engineering or big data, visitors to the impressive exhibition on the first floor will be able to discover people, nature and technology in the context of exciting future scenarios. Children and senior citizens alike are invited to enjoy interactive exhibits and experiments with many opportunities to tinker and try one’s own hand. Creative workshops at the Futurium Lab also give visitors the opportunity to playfully engage with future technologies and even work on their own new inventions. The Futurium Forum is designed to function as a space for examining future-related issues by bringing together scientists, artists, visionaries and major players. The Futurium is an “Initiative of the Federal Government in cooperation with large scientific Photos: © Jan Windszus, © Ali Ghandtschi, © David von Becker 12

organizations, foundations and companies.” Among the guests at the official opening were Alexander Gerst, Chancellery Minister Prof. Helge Braun (CDU) and Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU). At the event, Karliczek told the Tagesspiegel newspaper that she expects the Futurium to dissolve visitors’ fear of the future. Skepticism about new technologies, she argued, results from the fact that “many people cannot imagine how modern technology can improve our lives.” The Futurium is designed to be an open house for exchange about the future, “a space that really appeals to everyone,” noted the Minister. And many would say that it is already a great success: in its first month, more than 100,000 visitors came to see the exhibitions and enjoy the hands-on offers. “We are very pleased with the response we’ve gotten from visitors,” says director Brandt. “It exceeded all our expectations.” Brandt himself developed a greater respect for the future, too. Since becoming director of the Futurium, he has become more optimistic, but also more critical of the future: “The big question in all areas is ultimately: How do we want to live? We can all provide answers to this question, and each and every one of us can influence the future to a certain degree. We can thus also help to shape the future.” The roof of the Futurium offers a fantastic view of the government district, the bend in the Spree River and the Federal Chancellery. If you look real hard, you might even be able to see into the future. 13

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