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Positive future visions for cultural heritage in Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

January 2024

The Norwegian team recently held a workshop for creating positive future visions for cultural heritage and cultural landscapes in the Nordhordland region, using the interactive Seeds of Good Anthropocenes (SoGA) method.

The SoGA method was developed by researchers at the Stockholm Resilience Centre ( In SOGA workshops, participants are asked to envision a realistic and optimistic vision of what the world can be, and to identify existing “seeds” (initiatives, projects, networks, etc.) in the region that can be upscaled to reach their vision for the future. In the CULTIVATE version of this method, the vision was set to 2034 and related to the local context for cultural heritage and cultural landscapes of the project’s biosphere reserves.

In Nordhordland, different stakeholders within cultural heritage, agriculture, municipalities, and business from all municipalities in the BR were invited to attend the workshop. We had 14 participants from four municipalities, and we completed the workshop in four separate groups. Inger Måren and Silje Östman from the CULTIVATE team, and Kari Natland and Kjersti Isdal from the Biosphere team were there to guide the groups through the exercises.

The groups were very productive and engaged, and we struggled to stay within our time frame because there was so much to discuss! They produced four different future visions, although there was a clear focus on preserving cultural landscapes and traditional food production system, utilizing existing resources sustainably, and reusing and recycling old materials. Maybe all of these visions will be realized in the next ten years!

  • A future for the proud farmer who distributes their products locally and maintains the cultural landscapes.

  • From consumption to utilization: Using knowledge from the past to live sustainably with existing resources in our landscapes. Consumerism is abandoned.

  • Backwards is the new forward: Preserved, re-visualised and sustainable.

  • 2034: Nordhordland is a region that protects and utilises resources in a sustainable way.


We are looking forward to comparing the Norwegian outcomes of this workshop to those of Scotland, Estonia and Czechia.

By Silje Östman

photo credit: Katja Malmborg

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