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DESIGNS ON THE FUTURE

Past Program

OVERVIEW

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” (H. G. Wells)

The first decades of the 21st century have seen a sharp rise in populism, polarization and economic precarity across the world, with governments and societies further stress-tested by the COVID pandemic - fueling comparisons with the run-up to past wars and catastrophes. History finds itself increasingly instrumentalized for political and nationalist agendas, propping up conspiracy theories and myth-making around strong leaders.

Where is history put to good use and where is it downright dangerous? Can historical understanding of past crises, creative leadership and complex interconnections better guide responses to the systemic converging risks we face today? What will the historians and political scientists of 2050 say when they look back at the "perfect storm" of 2020?

Our 2020 Palliser Lecture promises an extraordinary online conversation with one of the world’s most distinguished historians and commentators on international relations and conflict. Please join this interactive debate in our Designs on the Future series with Margaret Macmillan, professor of history at the University of Toronto and former Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford.

This Palliser Lecture was conducted under the auspices of Salzburg Global Seminar - Austria.

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Where is history put to good use and where is it downright dangerous? Can historical understanding of past crises, creative leadership and complex interconnections better guide responses to the systemic converging risks we face today? What will the historians and political scientists of 2050 say when they look back at the "perfect storm" of 2020?