The Kultursymposium Weimar is a series of events organised by the Goethe-Institut in which an international group of experts, artists and speakers from a range of disciplines discuss the social issues that are affecting us globally.
In an interdisciplinary programme of lectures, discussions, participative events and artistic interventions, a wide range of subjects are examined from a number of different perspectives. For three days, more than 300 participants from all over the world come together at the Kultursymposium Weimar, including representatives from science, culture, politics, business, journalism and publishing. The first Kultursymposium Weimar took place in 2016 on the subject of The Sharing Game - Exchange in Culture and Society. The second edition from 19 to 21 of June 2019 was entitled Recalculating the Route.
Kultursymposium Weimar 2019 focused on four thematic areas. The subjects reflect current and future global challenges that are interrelated in various ways. Kultursymposium Weimar explored the four emphases from different perspectives, making the links between them visible:
Across the ages and cultures, humankind has been forced to navigate unfamiliar terrain, to master unexpected challenges and to develop responses to changing situations. The technological and social possibilities have become greater than ever before. All the same, there is a sense of insecurity regarding the normative foundations that can allow for our successful orientation in future: truths once held to be certain are crumbling, the lines separating fact and fiction are blurring, and we are increasingly overwhelmed by the mere quantity of information streaming towards us every day. How can we avoid losing our way in an increasingly complex world?
The prospect of artificial intelligence has impacts on our human self-conception. Already today, forms on non-conscious intelligence are being developed to diagnose illnesses, play chess, control weapons, or to drive cars better than human beings can. Artificial intelligence is even making forays into realms supposedly limited to human beings, like the arts. Algorithms are now able to estimate the personality and temperament of a person more precisely than work colleagues, friends, family members, or partners can. It is foreseeable that intelligent algorithms will someday know us better than we know ourselves. But how do we remain the authors of our lives?
We are currently experiencing a world that has gotten out of control. Politically speaking, the compass is being readjusted. Increasing nationalisms threaten the project of European unity. Identitarian positions are promising a return to the supposedly safe harbors of cultural tradition and homogeneity. Populist politics on both the left to right are achieving success around the globe. These developments have massive impacts on international collaboration, but also on the cultural policy of the countries affected. Are we experiencing a political transformation towards a new age of national self-interest?
The economy around the world is also marked by permanent change and disruption. At an increasing speed, existing business models, products, and services are being altered and displaced. Companies face the challenge of constant renewal and innovation. They not only need to respond to changing customer expectations and legal requirements, but also have to fulfill their responsibility to their employees and to society. New corporate forms and workday worlds are presenting themselves. How will the economy operate in the years to come?