Back to the working worlds of the future


Visions of the world of tomorrow are an astonishingly timeless topic. While current visions of the future deal with artificial intelligence, self-driving cars and smart everyday objects, those of half a century ago were concerned with assembly line production, robots and the social consequences of automation. Comparing earlier and modern visions not only makes it clear where visions are right or wrong, but also which hopes and fears seemed particularly important in a particular decade and continue to do so.

"Back to the working worlds of the future" uses film interviews to compare the future development of working worlds with the past development of these working worlds and earlier visions of the future. This will be discussed with citizens in an intergenerational dialog in four cities in Germany. Oral history interviews will be used to involve senior citizens in particular in the discussion on the Year of Science, a group that is otherwise rarely reached by science communication. To start the dialog, short documentary films will outline visions of the future of work in the past and today. Two generations in particular will be considered: that of the grandparents and that of the grandchildren.

These different yet related statements will be combined with visions, forecasts and analyses by futurologists and labor researchers. How do they see the working worlds of the future? What comparisons do they make with the past? In line with the guiding principle of intergenerational dialogue, senior centers, universities and youth centers in particular are to be won as partners for the public events, the so-called "workshops". Finally, the various short films with the interviews, archive material and impressions of the workshops will be compiled into an overall documentary film that bundles the insights from the project and passes them on. This film will be presented at a closing event and will then be distributed at film festivals and as part of a planned media partnership.

The project "Back to the Working Worlds of the Future" is a cooperation between the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the University of Halle and the science2public association, is taking place as part of the Science Year 2018 "Working Worlds of the Future" and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

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