Imagining a Better World

We recognize the value of utopian and dystopian narratives for helping people to think about what they are fighting for as well as what they are fighting against.

Founded on worldbuilding practices descended from the realms of science fiction writing and Hollywood film production, this workshop highlights the importance of imagination in civics. Participants move through an exercise of building a future world in which both real and fantastical solutions to social inequality are possible. Working backwards, the participants then break into smaller groups to share insights and build on these imagined worlds to brainstorm character-based narratives of social change set in the shared future world.


After working out their stories, the groups are then given a short amount of time to prepare a performance of their narrative. Encouraging spontaneity and creativity, the group performances give participants an immediate platform for sharing their stories, leading to group dialog and reflection. In the longer version of the workshop, the groups continue to refine and adapt their core stories and visions of the future world by transposing them into a collective media making project.


We also offer several extension options that allow participants to delve deeper into world they have create it and the narratives that animate it.  This workshop offers a hands-on opportunity for participants to experience of the imagination as a step towards understanding how alternative narratives can scaffold participation to achieve systemic change. Supported skills include speculative design thinking, narrative construction, and critical thinking. Extension options then connect to participatory media making practices and related production skills.