Future Talks

Climate X Change

Genoveva Kriechbaum, The World / The Heart of Europe, 2018

Over the past five years, KUNST HAUS WIEN has committed itself to a clear programmatic orientation: As the first Green Museum, it negotiates environmental and sustainability issues within the art discourse. Understanding a museum as a producer of values, which as a public institution has to convey a socio-political attitude, KUNST HAUS WIEN is engaged within the Museums for Future movement.

As a place of lively debate, KUNST HAUS WIEN offers a forum for the fields of art, science and activism and invites discussion. Interdisciplinary Future Talks are dedicated to the demands of the Fridays for Future movement to discuss the most important issues related to the climate crisis and to reflect on innovative strategies for the future. The audience is invited to contribute on the spot or to ask questions in advance, which will then be incorporated into the discussion.

Moderator: Michael Huber, Kurier
An event in co-operation with the daily newspaper Kurier.

Next Talk

Water Protection & Hydropower
Friday, 16 April 2021, 6 pm

  • Paul Ablinger, Managing Director Small Hydropower Austria
  • Ulrich Eichelmann, Managing Director Riverwatch 
  • Regina Hügli, Künstlerin
  • Herwig Turk, Artist 
  • Ivo Wakounig, Fridays for Future activist

Hydropower is one of the most important and most used renewable energy sources. At the same time, hydropower plants represent massive interventions in ecosystems and entail socio-economic consequences. The protection of water bodies plays a central role in preserving our water resources and natural habitats, which are severely threatened by the climate crisis. Only about one third of Austria's flowing waters are in good or very good ecological condition. What steps are needed to ensure long-term protection of flowing waters? How is an energy transition in harmony with water protection possible? 

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Past Talks

Friday, 15 January 2021, 6 pm

  • Dominik Schmitz, Centre for Global Change & Sustainability, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
  • Karin Hiltgartner, Institute of Spatial Planning, Vienna University of Technology
  • Klaus Schafler, artist
  • Michael Spiekermann,  Fridays for Future activist

Coal, natural gas and oil are still the world’s most important sources of energy. Their combustion releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that are the main causative factors of global warming. Added to that are ‘large-scale fossil fuel construction projects’ such as motorways and airports. Not only does their construction consume vast amounts of resources and release CO2, their operation also contributes to a much diminished use of climate-friendly infrastructure facilities. The only realistic way to reduce emissions and therefore preserve the Earth from climate collapse is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energies and reduce our global energy consumption. So where do we currently stand within that process? What steps do we need to take, and how can a fair and equitable transition actually work on a global level?

Thursday, 19 November 2020, 6 pm
Digital Talk

The discussion is part of Vienna Art Week

  • Sigrid Stagl, Professor of Ecological Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • Stefan P. Schleicher, economist, Wegener Centre for Climate and Global Change, University of Graz
  • Oliver Ressler, artist
  • Klara Butz, Fridays for Future activist

Technical Co-host of the event: Austrian Ecolabel

The combination of liberal democracy and capitalist market economy aimed at achieving a ritualised sustained growth massively impacting our ecosystems and the climate. Climate conferences are becoming rituals that disappoint on an annual basis, failing to bring about any sustainable change. And while individual measures designed to reduce our ecological footprint are important, what we really need is a complete rethink of our economic system. How can a systemic change channelled more towards an eco-social tax reform succeed? What sort of incentives should society and the economy be offered in order to find and implement sustainable solutions? Can climate protection and a ‘healthy’ economic system go hand in hand?

Friday, 16 October 2020, 6 pm

  • Michaela Krömer, lawyer for climate and constitutional law
  • Angela Köppl, economist for climate and environement, WIFO 
  • Michael Goldgruber, artist
  • Franziska Marhold, Fridays for Future activist

The climate crisis is posing an ever increasing threat to fundamental human rights. Extreme weather events, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, floods and droughts are robbing people around the world of their livelihoods. Legislation that protects our climate and our future is therefore needed in order to achieve the 1.5 °C goal and the aims of the Paris Agreement. What strategies are needed to provide a legal basis for climate protection at both the global and the national level? Might a definition and recognition of the rights of nature be a way out of the climate crisis?

Friday, 28 August 2020, 6 pm

  • Konrad Fiedler, biodiversity researcher, University of Vienna
  • Claudius Schulze, artist
  • Katharina Schneider, Fridays for Future activist, Department for Botanics and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna

There is a close interaction between climate change and the loss of biodiversity: higher temperatures, the fluctuating availability of water, and altered development phases in fauna and flora all contribute to the loss of biodiversity. Biodiversity plays an important role in many climate-relevant processes (e.g. binding and releasing CO2, the water cycle or the absorption of solar radiation); indeed, the decline in biodiversity is contributing factor to global warming. This interaction is extremely worrying as, sooner or later, it leads to ecosystem collapse. So how important is this issue in the current debates on the climate crisis? What sort of measures do we need in order to prioritise the conservation and boosting of biodiversity?

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