The stories we tell become the futures
we inhabit. To create better futures,
we need different stories.

Description
I have been part of the creation of several futuring workshops - especially during the COVID lockdowns of 2020. These workshops have used speculative techniques and methods to move people to action around climate-justice, interrogating knowledge-sharing spaces, and imagining futures built on joy.

Time
Ongoing

Team
Various

Tags
facilitation, workshops, speculative design, futuring, storytelling, narrative, performance

Futuring Workshops

What are different ways that workshops can inspire participants to speculate and future? How might these workshops activate community values, explore climate-justice, and disrupt habitualized thinking by centering futures built of joy? 

View some previous workshops:

UNESCO Futures Literacy Summit

Workshop Length: 2 hours

Faraoyść (fah-row-she-tchi) - a neologism that describes the feeling of realizing that something oppressive might be coming to an end, which provides a glimpse into a liberated, joyful future.

This workshop tested a speculative method from Massira Futures Lab. Participants gathered their individual pasts and translated them into co-designed futures that centered collective joy.

Our series of interactive exercises lead to a facilitated conversation that fostered a knowledge-sharing space. This method drew on our research into the geopolitics of language and culture, and their roles in futuring, and builds on the work of emergent strategy, adrienne maree brown, Audre Lorde, and Elise Boulding.

The workshop was presented at the 2020 UNESCO Futures Literacy Summit in partnership with Parsons School of Design

The original advertisement for the Faraoysc article showing how the word is formed from three words: Farah (Arabic), Joy (English), and Radosc (Polish)

Climate-Just Futures

Workshop Length: 3 hours

This workshop asked theatre makers from frontline communities in Washington, DC and New Orleans, LA to develop strategies for a post-climate crisis world.

We developed a set of parameters for participants that were rooted in climate justice principles, and then challenged participants to imagine new ways of making theatre. This workshop was in partnership with Groundwater Arts and No Dream Deferred NOLA, and presented by theatreWashington in DC.

Prompt Cards for participants of the climate-justice workshop. The card reads your brief: our community would like to have some summer programming that will center intergenerational stories from our communities. We will provide $0 at the basement of a local community member. Your proposal must outline: what is your relationship to land and water, what was your process to get to this point, and what is your plan to build relationships with our community. Bring back a proposal of what you want to do and a budget of what you plan to spend your resources on. this image is beige, with a blue, orange, and yellow circle in both the upper and lower right hand cornersPrompt Cards for participants of the climate-justice workshop. The card reads your brief: our community would like to have some summer programming that will center intergenerational stories from our communities. We will provide $8,000 at the city park. Your proposal must outline: what is your relationship to land and water, what was your process to get to this point, and what is your plan to build relationships with our community. Bring back a proposal of what you want to do and a budget of what you plan to spend your resources on. this image is beige, with green and yellow leaves along the right hand border
WORKSHOP STILL
ad advertisement for the This is Not a Drill: Theatre & a climate-just future workshop. the image shows the logos for each presenting company, plus a digital collage of a young black person surrounded by leaves and water, with the galaxy filling their head and birds flying behind them, in front of a bullseye patterns

The Un-Conference

Workshop Length: 3.5 hours / 2 sessions

Conferences and symposia are intended to be exciting spaces of knowledge-sharing and relationship-building across a field. Yet, in practice, these are rife with gatekeeping, hierarchy-jockeying, superficiality, and soul numbing boredom. What if instead, we reimagined a space of knowledge sharing that dismantles power dynamics and the norms of this forum?

In this two-part workshop, we investigated the power dynamics inherent in knowledge-sharing spaces and imagined how we might disrupt these. We designed new spaces and performed the characters who inhabit this speculative world, as we enact an un-conference.

The workshop was part of the Performance Education Studio Event at Parsons School of Design

The stories we tell become the futures we inhabit. To create better futures, we need different stories.

Description
I have been part of the creation of several futuring workshops - especially during the COVID lockdowns of 2020. These workshops have used speculative techniques and methods to move people to action around climate-justice, interrogating knowledge-sharing spaces, and imagining futures built on joy.

Time
Ongoing

Team
Various

Tags
facilitation, workshops, speculative design, futuring, storytelling, narrative, performance

Futuring Workshops

What are different ways that workshops can inspire participants to speculate and future? How might these workshops activate community values, explore climate-justice, and disrupt habitualized thinking by centering futures built of joy? 

View some previous workshops:

UNESCO Futures Literacy Summit

Workshop Length: 2 hours

Faraoyść (fah-row-she-tchi) - a neologism that describes the feeling of realizing that something oppressive might be coming to an end, which provides a glimpse into a liberated, joyful future.

This workshop tested a speculative method from Massira Futures Lab. Participants gathered their individual pasts and translated them into co-designed futures that centered collective joy.

Our series of interactive exercises lead to a facilitated conversation that fostered a knowledge-sharing space. This method drew on our research into the geopolitics of language and culture, and their roles in futuring, and builds on the work of emergent strategy, adrienne maree brown, Audre Lorde, and Elise Boulding.

The workshop was presented at the 2020 UNESCO Futures Literacy Summit in partnership with Parsons School of Design

The original advertisement for the Faraoysc article showing how the word is formed from three words: Farah (Arabic), Joy (English), and Radosc (Polish)

Climate-Just Futures

Workshop Length: 3 hours

This workshop asked theatre makers from frontline communities in Washington, DC and New Orleans, LA to develop strategies for a post-climate crisis world.

We developed a set of parameters for participants that were rooted in climate justice principles, and then challenged participants to imagine new ways of making theatre. This workshop was in partnership with Groundwater Arts and No Dream Deferred NOLA, and presented by theatreWashington in DC.

Prompt Cards for participants of the climate-justice workshop. The card reads your brief: our community would like to have some summer programming that will center intergenerational stories from our communities. We will provide $0 at the basement of a local community member. Your proposal must outline: what is your relationship to land and water, what was your process to get to this point, and what is your plan to build relationships with our community. Bring back a proposal of what you want to do and a budget of what you plan to spend your resources on. this image is beige, with a blue, orange, and yellow circle in both the upper and lower right hand cornersPrompt Cards for participants of the climate-justice workshop. The card reads your brief: our community would like to have some summer programming that will center intergenerational stories from our communities. We will provide $8,000 at the city park. Your proposal must outline: what is your relationship to land and water, what was your process to get to this point, and what is your plan to build relationships with our community. Bring back a proposal of what you want to do and a budget of what you plan to spend your resources on. this image is beige, with green and yellow leaves along the right hand border
WORKSHOP STILL
ad advertisement for the This is Not a Drill: Theatre & a climate-just future workshop. the image shows the logos for each presenting company, plus a digital collage of a young black person surrounded by leaves and water, with the galaxy filling their head and birds flying behind them, in front of a bullseye patterns

The Un-Conference

Workshop Length: 3.5 hours / 2 sessions

Conferences and symposia are intended to be exciting spaces of knowledge-sharing and relationship-building across a field. Yet, in practice, these are rife with gatekeeping, hierarchy-jockeying, superficiality, and soul numbing boredom. What if instead, we reimagined a space of knowledge sharing that dismantles power dynamics and the norms of this forum?

In this two-part workshop, we investigated the power dynamics inherent in knowledge-sharing spaces and imagined how we might disrupt these. We designed new spaces and performed the characters who inhabit this speculative world, as we enact an un-conference.

The workshop was part of the Performance Education Studio Event at Parsons School of Design

Speculative Future Imaginings with TONYC

Could using speculative design and Theatre of the Oppressed methodologies in a transdisciplinary approach, make imagining just futures feel more attainable and real? What if it is done by those who are rarely, if ever, asked to be a part of futuring and speculation? What might those worlds be like?

Description
This project used speculative design tools, along with Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, to imagine new worlds, and then create speculative legislation to build a bridge. It was done in partnership with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC (TONYC)

Time
April-May2020

Team
Anna Lathrop,Liz Morgan, Sulu Leo Nimm, and the TONYC Rapid Response Team

Tags
speculative design, policy design, futuring,
Theatre of the Oppressed

FUTURES TOOLS USED IN WORKSHOP

I partnered with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC’s Rapid Response Troupe to explore these questions. We used a combination of poem writing, speculative design tools, and speculative legislation crafting to build an image, and bridge, to a more just world.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our rehearsal process took place over Google Hangout. There were multiple obstacles with using the platform, however the limitations of the platform pushed us to deepen our verbal expressiveness and individual reflection in the work. Each actor was tasked with writing near-future poetry, followed by discussion to pull out common themes. We then crafted legislative policies that were aimed at building a bridge from our current world to the future one detailed in our poems and wheels.

Finally, the question I had gone into this process with - does this process make a just future feel more real and attainable - was answered. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic was source of significant, acute anxiety, the group response was that the process had been therapeutic, useful, and created a feeling of ownership and urgency regarding the future. I believe there is further research to be done in experimenting with the blending of speculative design, justice work, and Theatre of the Oppressed, as well as its applicability in the fields of reconciliation, conflict resolution, and restorative justice.

"So we got to think of ways that how we, within this community that's within a society can make change...- Mersadez George
Process shot from rehearsal on Google Hangout

Download the Zine

Download the Addendum

SELECTION FROM A PARTICIPANT'S POEM
SELECTION FROM THE ZINE - WITH CUT OUT CHARACTERS

Futuring Workshops

What are different ways that workshops can inspire participants to speculate and future? How might these workshops activate community values, explore climate-justice, and disrupt habitualized thinking by centering futures built of joy?

Description
I have been part of the creation of several futuring workshops - especially during the COVID lockdowns of 2020. These workshops have used speculative techniques and methods to move people to action around climate-justice, interrogating knowledge-sharing spaces, and imagining futures built on joy.

Time
Ongoing

Team
Various

Tags
facilitation, workshops, speculative design, futuring, storytelling, narrative, performance

Speculative design - and speculative participation in workshops - open up the possibilities for those futures to exist.

View some previous workshops:

UNESCO Futures Literacy Summit

Workshop Length: 2 hours

Faraoyść (fah-row-she-tchi) - a neologism that describes the feeling of realizing that something oppressive might be coming to an end, which provides a glimpse into a liberated, joyful future.

This workshop tested a speculative method from Massira Futures Lab. Participants gathered their individual pasts and translated them into co-designed futures that centered collective joy.

Our series of interactive exercises lead to a facilitated conversation that fostered a knowledge-sharing space. This method drew on our research into the geopolitics of language and culture, and their roles in futuring, and builds on the work of emergent strategy, adrienne maree brown, Audre Lorde, and Elise Boulding.

The workshop was presented at the 2020 UNESCO Futures Literacy Summit in partnership with Parsons School of Design

The original advertisement for the Faraoysc article showing how the word is formed from three words: Farah (Arabic), Joy (English), and Radosc (Polish)

Climate-Just Futures

Workshop Length: 3 hours

This workshop asked theatre makers from frontline communities in Washington, DC and New Orleans, LA to develop strategies for a post-climate crisis world.

We developed a set of parameters for participants that were rooted in climate justice principles, and then challenged participants to imagine new ways of making theatre. This workshop was in partnership with Groundwater Arts and No Dream Deferred NOLA, and presented by theatreWashington in DC.

Prompt Cards for participants of the climate-justice workshop. The card reads your brief: our community would like to have some summer programming that will center intergenerational stories from our communities. We will provide $0 at the basement of a local community member. Your proposal must outline: what is your relationship to land and water, what was your process to get to this point, and what is your plan to build relationships with our community. Bring back a proposal of what you want to do and a budget of what you plan to spend your resources on. this image is beige, with a blue, orange, and yellow circle in both the upper and lower right hand cornersPrompt Cards for participants of the climate-justice workshop. The card reads your brief: our community would like to have some summer programming that will center intergenerational stories from our communities. We will provide $8,000 at the city park. Your proposal must outline: what is your relationship to land and water, what was your process to get to this point, and what is your plan to build relationships with our community. Bring back a proposal of what you want to do and a budget of what you plan to spend your resources on. this image is beige, with green and yellow leaves along the right hand borderad advertisement for the This is Not a Drill: Theatre & a climate-just future workshop. the image shows the logos for each presenting company, plus a digital collage of a young black person surrounded by leaves and water, with the galaxy filling their head and birds flying behind them, in front of a bullseye patterns

The Un-Conference

Workshop Length: 3.5 hours / 2 sessions

Conferences and symposia are intended to be exciting spaces of knowledge-sharing and relationship-building across a field. Yet, in practice, these are rife with gatekeeping, hierarchy-jockeying, superficiality, and soul numbing boredom. What if instead, we reimagined a space of knowledge sharing that dismantles power dynamics and the norms of this forum?

In this two-part workshop, we investigated the power dynamics inherent in knowledge-sharing spaces and imagined how we might disrupt these. We designed new spaces and performed the characters who inhabit this speculative world, as we enact an un-conference.

The workshop was part of the Performance Education Studio Event at Parsons School of Design