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? 

UNESCO FUTURES LITERACY PROMPT CARD

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.