Conservation in Australia, Past Present and Future: Preprints from the AICCM National Conference, 19 – 21 October 2011 Canberra
There is an African proverb which says ‘tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today’, a tenet well suited to the conservation profession. The preservation of cultural heritage for future generations is the raison d’etre for conservators and yet the profession has put little effort into considering what those future generations and their world will be like, and consequent ramifications for conservation. Although it is impossible to predict the future, by reviewing trends within social, environmental, technological and economic domains, we can begin to identify future opportunities and constrains our profession may face. Some questions to consider are: How will future generations value cultural heritage and engage with it? Who will control or manage cultural heritage resources? And most importantly for AICCM, what will this mean for the future of the profession?
This paper discusses the use of scenario planning as a means of identifying and preparing for the possible, probably and preferable futures of the conservation profession in light of such change, and proposes that scenario planning can be a valuable tool for conservators as we move our profession forward into an increasingly changeable and complex world.