Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £35.99 £24.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

Territorializing the Future

Christina Fredengren illustrates how past deep time interventions have shaped the present and present deep time interventions will shape the future.
The trees in this forest are extremely straight. They are oaks that are perfect for ship building. That is the reason why some 300 000 trees were planted in this forest 190 years ago. They were meant for the Swedish navy. In 1975, about 144 years later- -the Swedish marines were informed that their trees were ready for harvesting. However, time had run ahead of them, and of course, nowadays, war ships are built of metal. These trees have been turned into a living cultural heritage. However, these trees are very good to think with, to think about the long-term with. I would like to point out three aspects of this.
First of all, it can tell us about the extremely long time- -between cause and effect in certain actions, here with a time span on up to nearly 200 years. Secondly, that we need to imagine different types of futures. And thirdly, that the future might not at all turn out as we expect it to. Instead, we need to expect the unexpected.

Oaks were planted in 1831 on Visingsö in Lake Vättern, Sweden. They were intended to be used for shipbuilding. However, 144 years later, when the trees were ready for harvesting, ships were built of metal not wood and the trees were no longer needed for their original purpose. In this video, Christina Fredengren, reflects on these oak trees and their story as symbolic of the extremely long time between cause and effect of our actions as well as the need for us to imagine different types of futures and to expect the unexpected.

This article is from the free online

Taking on the Climate Crisis with Social Change

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now