Will We Save the Earth? – Conversations about the Future of Technology and the Planet

An event series by the Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the Suhrkamp Verlag

Korsakow Show, Fotografin: Juliane Henrich

In the face of climate change, dwindling biodiversity and limited natural resources, scientific and technological advances play a central role for diagnosing the problems and surmounting the current crises we now face. Never before have we had such capability to alter our natural habitat. In a new book and event series, leading international scientists and engineers spoke with top-ranking liberal arts scholars, sociologists, economists and cultural producers about the disruptions to our planet and ways to shape a common future in the “Anthropocene” (Paul J. Crutzen), a new world age predominantly influenced by human beings.

In what ways have technologies already altered the Earth? How can we attain new mastery over nature thanks to advances in Earth system sciences, synthetic biology, computational sustainability and energy research? What potential solutions to our current global environmental crisis have researchers in these fields proposed, what kind of futures are they preparing for? What consequences will research on the feasibility and possible secondary effects of large-scale geo-engineering projects have – for example, the proposed release of massive amounts of sulphur-based aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect solar radiation back into space? How can economists, urban planners, sociologists, political scientists, environmental historians, philosophers and writers contribute to the discussion on how to direct the world towards a sustainable future? Countless scenarios depicting limited resources and climate change have condensed into an enormous tale of how the world can be saved from utter doom. It is a story based on empirical data and scientific models, and for the time being, it remains unresolved.


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The new book of interviews by Tobias Hülswitt and Roman Brinzanik “Will We Save the Earth? – Conversations about the Future of Technology and the Planet” followed the volume “Will We Live Forever? - Conversations about the Future of Man and Technology”, in the unseld series released by the Suhrkamp Verlag in 2010. The filmmaker Gunther Kreis produced an interactive film to accompany the book, as he had done for the previous volume, with clips that served as the basis for discussion in a participative event series.

In the event series, the authors spoke with a number of leading scientists, artists and philosophers. The questions, theories and answers in the book were presented in an interactive, multi-media format titled The Korsakow Show, developed by the media artist Florian Thalhofer. In addition to the experts at the event, the discussion included the videotaped opinions and thoughts of the book’s interviewees and other individuals of various professions and segments of the population. The audience members were encouraged to steer the discussion and offer their own thoughts. The event series focused on the central question of how to engage in a relevant, participative and interdisciplinary discussion regarding our future.


Idea, concept, artistic direction: Roman Brinzanik and Tobias Hülswitt
Film director and cameraman: Gunther Kreis
Featuring book and film interviews with: T. C. Boyle (USA), Paul J. Crutzen (NL & D), George Church (USA), Carla P. Gomes (P & USA), Peter Head (GB), Tim Jackson (GB), Paul Leadley (USA & F), Claus Leggewie (D), Thomas Macho (D), Joachim Radkau (D), Stefan Rahmstorf (D), Ferdi Schüth (D), Sybil Seitzinger (S & USA), John Urry (GB).

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Media partners: Deutschlandradio Kultur, DRadio Wissen and der Freitag.


You can receive DRadio Wissen via livestream (dradiowissen.de (external link, opens in a new window)), cable, satellite and the new DAB+ digital radio.

You can receive Deutschlandradio Kultur via shortwave, cable, satellite, livestream (www.dradio.de (external link, opens in a new window)) and digital radio. To find out which frequencies are available in your region, visit www.dradio.de/dkultur/frequenzen (external link, opens in a new window).

Will We Save the Earth? A book of interviews, published by the Suhrkamp Verlag

The Suhrkamp Verlag released a new edition in the unseld series in 2012, titled “Will We Save the Earth?” The scientist Roman Brinzanik and writer Tobias Hülswitt interviewed some of the world’s leading experts who play an influential role in shaping our future, such as the atmospheric chemist and Nobel laureate Paul J. Crutzen, the writer T.C. Boyle, the climate researcher and IPCC lead author Stefan Rahmstorf and the pioneer of synthetic biology George Church.

Link to Suhrkamp Verlag (external link, opens in a new window)


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