What is the 2051 Munich Climate Conference?

The 2051 Munich Climate Conference is a gathering of scientists, researchers, and scholars concerned about the challenge of anthropogenic climate change. It is conceptualized and organized by a group of researchers and independent artists around the Büro Grandezza theatre collective.

The conference uses a fictional setting to look back from an imagined future – the year 2051 – at today’s knowledge and discourses on climate change.

It will take place on 18-19 September 2021 as a combined online and live event, and be open to the general public.

What is the purpose of this website?

This website is meant to answer questions around the call for papers and the 2051 Munich Climate Conference. If you don’t find answers to your questions about the project here, do not hesitate to contact us: mail[at]munich2051.org.

A conference website will follow in early 2021.

Where can I find the Call for Papers?

You just found it 🙂

Call for Papers

The 2051 Munich Climate Conference

Science fact and speculative fabulation need each other.” (Donna J. Haraway)

Imagine it’s 2051. You are at the “2051 Munich Climate Conference”, an academic symposium organized by “The Department”, a future institution. The conference aims to understand the scientific knowledge and discourses on climate change in the 2020s, when the Paris Agreement came into effect. You present your ground-breaking research that looks back to the time that we experience today. Which themes would you tackle? Which developments and events would you study, and how? Which questions would you pose, and which answers would you give?

This is a thought experiment. If it sets your thinking in motion, you can now apply for participation in the real conference. We, a group of Munich-based researchers and independent artists, invite you to submit your proposal for presentation at our conference. With this project of artistic research, we want to inspire and elaborate new perspectives on the challenges of the present. Specifically, we want to stimulate creative imagination of how climate change and our reactions to it will transform politics, society, culture, nature, and life.

The 2051 Munich Climate Conference takes place on 18-19 September 2021 as a combined online and live event. As a gathering of scientists, researchers, and scholars concerned about the challenge of anthropogenic climate change, the conference is open for a range of disciplinary perspectives – including natural and social sciences as well as the humanities. The sessions will be disciplinary and interdisciplinary, the formats innovative, and the conference will be open to the general public.

We have launched the preparations by interviewing scholars and collecting ideas to create an academic conference of the future. Our conference will work with two different scenarios: On the first day, we assume that the global average temperature has increased by more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. On the second day, we assume the increase has remained below 1.5°C. While the contributions by participants should look back to the 2020s, we ask every participant to frame their contributions with a description of the 2051 world as they imagine it to be. While our artistic team will use these framings to create, by means of theatre, an immersive environment that speaks to our expectations for the future, the work you create and submit will be at the heart of the conference.

The immersive future experience will be created through the use of theatrical pre-enactment, a popular concept in contemporary postdramatic theatre. “Imagined futures” are a common topic in the humanities. With the “2051 Munich Climate Conference” we seek to bring these popular disciplines together in order to spur a new way of thinking creatively and scientifically about climate change.

The conference will take place at the Bellevue di Monaco (bellevuedimonaco.de/english), a socio-cultural centre for refugees located in the heart of Munich. Virtual participation is equally valued. Participants travelling by plane will not be accepted. The conference will strictly follow any COVID-19 prevention guidelines required at the time.

To participate in the “2051 Munich Climate Conference”, please submit an abstract of maximum 300 words until 17 March 2021 to mail@munich2051.org. A committee of scientists and artists will select proposals for presentation at the conference. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 31 March 2021. Presentations need to be submitted until 25 August 2021. We are open to formats other than papers. Please specify the precise nature of your intended contribution in your abstract.

The conference is funded by the cultural department of the municipality of Munich, Germany.

For information on the organizing BÜRO GRANDEZZA theatre collective, please visit buerograndezza.org.

To keep in touch follow us on Twitter: @T2051MCC

You can download the CfP here.

Why is this conference special?

The 2051 Munich Climate Conference is an academic symposium and an art project at the same time. The key differences to common conferences are:

  1. Papers presented at this conference should have an imagined future as their starting point. Since the conference aims to analyse knowledge and discourses of our present, the papers are expected to combine science and speculation, fact and fabulation.
  2. As a future symposium, it is open to the general public. All participants thus face the challenge to present their work in a way that is accessible to the interested non-expert visitor.
  3. A future conference works with formats that are different from todays. We are developing them in close cooperation with scientists, researchers, and scholars and inform participants about the plans well in advance.
  4. Virtual participation is equally valued (we do not accept participants traveling by plane). We are developing ways to give the physical and the virtual room the same relevance.
  5. Artists are creating the conference environment. Expect an immersive and inspiring surrounding.

How can I write a serious paper when my starting point is fictional?

We discussed this question with many scientists, researchers, and scholars before we started the project. Surprisingly, many found the particular perspective the 2051 Munich Climate Conference offers quite attractive.

While ideas about the future can never be 100% accurate, they do not necessarily need to be absolutely fictional. Theory, history, and imagination enable constructing fact-based scenarios about the future. We encourage participants to draw on such resources to bring both creative and robust visions to the conference.

Will expenses for travel and accommodation be covered?

Our funding does not have a budget included to cover travel expenses and accommodation of participants. But our team is still acquiring additional funds. We are optimistic that we will be able to provide support for those in need. If your ability to participate in the conference depends on a coverage of expenses, please let us know.

Why 2051?

A vast part of today’s political planning focusses on the year 2050. In 2051, all this will be history – a good time to look back at today.

Who is Büro Grandezza?

The 2051 MUNICH CLIMATE CONFERENCE is planned and realized by a group of scholars and independent artists around the Büro Grandezza theatre collective.

In our projects, we keep expanding the possibilities of theater. As experts in fiction and drama we seek to enter into other relationships with the world. We create scenes and situations in which art becomes research and the audience becomes part of the work of art.

We are creating art because we believe that we have to face fear, hatred and injustice with the sunniest and liveliest of humankind: our desire to play, our thirst for knowledge, our longing for a different and better world.

Learn more about us on our website.

What is the Bellevue di Monaco?

The Bellevue di Monaco is a residential and cultural centre for refugees and neighbours in the heart of Munich, Germany. The city had planned to tear down the three buildings and it was likely that luxury apartments would have been built. After protests of a civil society movement, a social cooperative was founded. The buildings were renovated and today the Bellevue di Monaco is a vibrant centre. The place shows that building a liveable city for all is possible.

Imprint and Privacy

Imprint / Impressum:

Büro Grandezza e. V. Dachauer Str. 11280636 München mail[at]buerograndezza.org

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