Elbphilharmonie Offstage #07 – Talking about the future

We talk about the future! With Dirk Peitz – head of the culture department at Zeit Online.

In the second round of the Elbphilharmonie podcast »Offstage«, we take a look at the future. Our guest is journalist Dirk Peitz, head of the culture department at Zeit Online. In the last few months he has been exploring what people expect the future to be like – and what stories they are spreading. We asked him to share with us what current debates and narratives reveal about our future.

Please note: This podcast is only available in German.


How do we talk about the future? At the start of the second offstage round »Visions of the future«, we try to get to the bottom of this central question. Especially during the lockdown, the present seemed to some people to be frozen; talking and thinking about the future suddenly became more important.

In addition to discussing the pandemic, we also talk about other big players in our visions of the future. We ask whether today's technology companies from Silicon Valley have us completely under their control – or can art and culture help us forge a better future? And what do Beethoven and Wagner have to do with all this?

This episode was recorded in June 2021.

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Who determines the future?

In his book »Fernblick: Wie wir uns die Zukunft erzählen« our guest Dirk Peitz travels to the West Coast to meet the tech giants of the USA who, he says, have created »today's pop culture« with their apps and end devices. We ask: will these companies decide what out future looks like? And are art and culture still relevant in our world?

We also speak about so-called »life extension« - looking at one's own body as a technical system that needs to be kept fit for eternity. Would would the people in this scene have to say about the immortal music of Beethoven or Mozart?

Dirk Peitz
Dirk Peitz © Daniel Dittus

About Dirk Peitz

Dirk Peitz is head of the culture department at Zeit Online. He made his debut as a book author in 2020 with »Fernblick – Wie wir uns die Zukunft erzählen«. Here he embarks on a documentary trip from Silicon Valley in late 2010s to Berlin during the pandemic to find out what stories we are telling each other about the future and which of them will endure.

Text: Julian Conrad, last updated: 15 Nov 2021

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