Institutes & Centers

Center for Advanced Studies - News & Events - Futurological Congress - Energy: The Universal Currency

22 September 21

Futurological Congress - Energy: The Universal Currency

Energy connects us all. The 2nd Futurological Congress by the Center for Advanced Studies and Festival Transart allowed this to be experienced through scientific lectures, song and dance performances and video installations.

  • Deutsch
  • English
  • Italiano
Liquid Loft - Dance Company© Eurac Research / Transart | LUCA GUADAGNINI / LINEEMATICHE

When the Polish author Stanisław Lem wrote his science fiction novel "The Futurological Congress" in 1970, he probably did not realise that decades later a format just like this would take place in the small Alpine city of Bolzano. "Energy: The Universal Currency" was the theme of the Futurological Congress on 16 and 17 September 2021 at the NOI Techpark. For the second time, the Center for Advanced Studies of Eurac Research and the Festival Transart invited to this special format, where research and art, technology and culture met.

For more than a generation, climatologists have known what we are facing. In order to prepare for this future, the cooperation and energy of all will be needed, said Roland Psenner, President of Eurac Research, emphasising the interdisciplinary orientation of the Futurological Congress. Indeed, in this edition, the Congress tried to touch on all facets of the topic of energy. In view of the threatening situation in which humanity and planet Earth find themselves, a lot of attention was given to physical energy, global energy consumption and our more than problematic way of economic life. Speakers included Graeme Maxton, environmental economist and former Secretary General of the Club of Rome, Harald Desing, environmental engineer at the Empa – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology in St. Gallen, and Wolfram Sparber, head of the Institute for Renewable Energy at Eurac Research. They all emphasised that the switch to renewable energies is not a utopia of the future, but - for example, through the use of solar energy - is already possible and absolutely necessary today. The technologies are available, what is missing is the will of the big players in politics and business as well as the awareness in our individualised society.

1 - 3
Theo Jansen© Eurac Research / Transart - LUCA GUADAGNINI / LINEEMATICHE
Theo Jansen© Eurac Research / Transart - LUCA GUADAGNINI / LINEEMATICHE
Theo Jansen© Eurac Research / Transart - LUCA GUADAGNINI / LINEEMATICHE

1 - 3
Roland Psenner© Eurac Research / Transart - LUCA GUADAGNINI / LINEEMATICHE
Harald Pechlaner© Eurac Research / Transart - LUCA GUADAGNINI / LINEEMATICHE
Peter Paul Kainrath© Eurac Research / Transart - LUCA GUADAGNINI / LINEEMATICHE

The building industry and urban planning were the focus of Areti Markopoulou's presentation. Existing buildings are responsible for as much as 40 percent of energy consumption in the EU, the architect and urban technologist stressed. She presented various examples of how building and architecture can contribute to a climate-friendly future - among other things, by not only using nature as a model for design, but by planning design with nature.

For mountain guide Michaela Egarter, nature is her immediate workplace. The effects of our current way of life and climate change are clearly noticeable on the mountain, she described in conversation with Harald Pechlaner. The energy we draw from nature must be returned to it with respect, she said. Fabio Pacucci, astrophysicist at Harvard University, already looked beyond our terrestrial borders. He spoke about his research on black holes and their importance as the most efficient energy sources in the universe. In a distant future, they could enable humanity to live on other planets as well, to establish galactic trade and communication relations - provided, of course, that we don't blow ourselves out first.

Small herds of beach animals, so-called Strandbeests, could soon be on the move without any human assistance at all. At least if their creator Theo Jansen has his way. The Dutch artist combines evolutionary bionics and engineering sciences in his fascinating kinetic art objects. At the Futurological Congress, he not only presented his various herds, but also vividly demonstrated the ways in which they come to life.

1 - 3
© Eurac Research / Transart - LUCA GUADAGNINI / LINEEMATICHE
Sibylle Trawöger© Eurac Research - Alessandra Volgger
Fabio Pacucci© Eurac Research - Alessandra Volgger

1 - 4
Harald Desing© Eurac Research - Alessandra Volgger
Panel Discussion: Graeme Maxton, Wolfram Sparber, Michaela Egarter & Harald Pechlaner© Eurac Research - vvm
Areti Markopoulou© Eurac Research - Alessandra Volgger
Daisy Press© Eurac Research - Alessandra Volgger

Back in the here and now, Karin Frick, futurologist and trend researcher at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, spoke about social energy as a driving force for innovation and sustainable development in regions. If our economic conditions are met, we make social decisions. People go where there is something going on, where they meet others who in turn stimulate them with their ideas and from whom they can learn. Frick emphasised that we need a change from competition to cooperation if we want to solve the problems of our time.

Sybille Trawöger, theologian and environmental technologist, also spoke of relationality as the key. People are always in energetic exchange with their environment. What is indispensable for dealing appropriately with the ecological crisis is to look at "intraaction", i.e. not to focus on the poles of subject and object, but on what happens between the poles, between people and people, people and the environment. One has to make the interconnectedness of the human being perceptible in order to be able to react to it.

Walter von Lucadou spoke about reactions and energies of a completely different kind. The physicist and psychologist is considered an expert in researching so-called extrasensory phenomena and deals with the psychological contexts and so-called embodiment disorders that can cause such alleged perceptions.

1 - 3
Liquid Loft - Dance Company© Eurac Research / Transart - LUCA GUADAGNINI / LINEEMATICHE
Liquid Loft - Dance Company© Eurac Research / Transart - LUCA GUADAGNINI / LINEEMATICHE
Liquid Loft - Dance Company© Eurac Research / Transart - LUCA GUADAGNINI / LINEEMATICHE

Artistic energy was unleashed by the dance company Liquid Loft with a performance that burst out of the audience and returned to it like an energetic wave, just like the American vocal artist Daisy Press, whose singing was first streamed live from the Marienberg monastery into the NOI Techpark, but who also performed directly on stage in Bolzano on the second day of the congress. Christoph Grund inspired on the piano. Similar to a silent film, he accompanied the film Mountain & Maiden by Shmuel Hoffman & Anton von Heiseler.

The Futurological Congress, in collaboration with the video artist Stefano Di Buduo and the Stadttheater Ingolstadt, set off an entire firework or light show at the church tower in Lake Reschen. The impressive light installation "Underwater" revived the ghosts of the past and made it clear how deeply this special culture of remembrance still moves the people of Vinschgau/Val Venosta today. The work of art was made possible with the help of the volunteer fire brigades of Graun/Curon Venosta and Reschen/Resia, the municipality of Graun/Curon Renosta, the Reschen/Resia Tourism Association and Oskar Light.

www.futurologicalcongress.it

1 - 4
Underwater - Stefano Di Buduo & Stadttheater Ingolstadt / Futurological Congress© Karlheinz Sollbauer
Underwater - Stefano Di Buduo & Stadttheater Ingolstadt / Futurological Congress© Karlheinz Sollbauer
Underwater - Stefano Di Buduo & Stadttheater Ingolstadt / Futurological Congress© Karlheinz Sollbauer
Underwater - Stefano Di Buduo & Stadttheater Ingolstadt / Futurological Congress© Karlheinz Sollbauer

1 - 4
Underwater - Stefano Di Buduo & Stadttheater Ingolstadt / Futurological Congress© Karlheinz Sollbauer
Underwater - Stefano Di Buduo & Stadttheater Ingolstadt / Futurological Congress© Karlheinz Sollbauer
Underwater - Stefano Di Buduo & Stadttheater Ingolstadt / Futurological Congress© Karlheinz Sollbauer
Underwater - Stefano Di Buduo & Stadttheater Ingolstadt / Futurological Congress© Karlheinz Sollbauer

Video recordings

Energieperspektiven für ein lebensfreundliches Klima - Harald Desing

Black holes: The most efficient energy source in the universe - Fabio Pacucci

Why we need a different mindset, not new technology - Graeme Maxton

Energy and passion: Panel discussion with Graeme Maxton, Wolfram Sparber & Michaela Egarter

Organisation

Eurac Research
Center for Advanced Studies
Drususallee 1 / Viale Druso 1
39100 Bozen / Bolzano
T +39 0471 055 801
advanced.studies@eurac.edu

TRANSART Festival
Dantestraße 28 / Via Dante 28
39100 Bozen / Bolzano
T. +39 0471 673 070 / +39 0471 665 369
info@transart.it

Contact

Michael de Rachewiltz

Ph.D. StudentCenter for Advanced StudiesT 408 550 1740 93+ude.carue@ztliwehcared.leahcim

Maximilian Walder

Junior ResearcherCenter for Advanced StudiesT 934 550 1740 93+ude.carue@redlaw.nailimixam

Elisa Innerhofer

Senior ResearcherCenter for Advanced StudiesT 824 550 1740 93+ude.carue@refohrenni.asile

Other News & Events

1 - 10
Center
Eurac Research logo

Eurac Research is a private research center based in Bolzano (South Tyrol) with researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields who come from all over the globe. Together, through scientific knowledge and research, they share the goal of shaping the future.

What we do

Our research addresses the greatest challenges facing us in the future: people need health, energy, well-functioning political and social systems and an intact environment. These are complex questions, and we are seeking the answers in the interaction between many different disciplines. In so doing, our research work embraces three major themes: regions fit for living in, diversity as a life-enhancing feature, a healthy society.

Great Place To Work
ISO 9001 / 2015
ISO 9001:2015
05771/0
ISO 27001
ISO 27001:2013
00026/0
ORCID Member

In order to give you a better service this site uses cookies. Additionally third party cookies are used. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Privacy Policy