Conference: Preserving the Future

Preserving the Future: Sustainability of Language, Culture and Nature

15 – 17 April 2010

The Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages at the University of Iceland and will take place in Reykjavík, 15 – 17 April 2010. It will celebrate the eightieth birthday of Madame Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, former President of Iceland and UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Languages. The conference will be comprised of parallel sessions organized by the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute in addition to plenary and CFP sessions.

The aim of the conference is to examine and discuss how the relevance and interaction of languages, the natural environment, and intangible cultural heritages can ensure the development and prosperity of future generations. Language will include the foreign and the native, regional and international, but with the ever-varying attitudes as to which are taught, which are translated, which are becoming extinct; Culture is used in its broadest sense to cover history, customs, traditions and folklore, both past and present; Nature can imply both the beauty, vitality and uniqueness of a specific locality, of a region, or the global environment.

In all instances we need to explore how a viable interaction between language, culture and/or nature can help create and sustain a sense of identity and continuity in a world increasingly confronted with rapid environmental and social change.

Among keynote speakers were:

  • Martti Ahtisaari, Former President of the Republic of Finland
  • Professor Bernard Comrie, Director of the Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig
  • Professor Claire Kramsch, Director of the Berkeley Language Center, University of California, Berkeley

For further information, please visit the conference website:, or contact the organisers of the conference:

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