Speculative storytelling for positive, diverse futures
Live online event with Q&A
Monday June 28th, 7-9pm
Stories are how we make sense of the world and help to shape our collective future. In this online event we will explore future science and speculative fiction narratives using a framework based on the Peek game. Watch as a group of experts from different backgrounds play together to create collaborative story worlds by combining fictional individuals, organisations and classic storytelling elements. They will explore themes of economics and collaborative ownership; sustainability and the changing environment; AI, automation, and labour issues; human-animal relations; religion, family, friendship, and how technology is forever changing them. Together, they will invent compelling and personal narratives of the “everyday future” that are often missing from academic research.
Malaika Cunningham, ArtsAdmin and CUSP
Matt Ward, Goldsmiths, Department of Design
Will Davies, Goldsmiths, Department of Politics and CUSP
Kate Devlin, Kings College London
Evan Raskob (host and designer of PEEK), Goldsmiths, Department of Computing
This event is jointly hosted by PERC and CUSP
The Peek game is designed to help people think about the near future. It provides a glimpse of a future world shaped by people, entities, events, facts and feelings. Using these storytelling elements, players report on their visions of what the future could be, trying to be both convincing and also creative and entertaining. It was recently featured in the SpeculativeEdu project’s blog and upcoming book on speculative design projects for education.
Peek was originally inspired by Evan Raskob’s experiences teaching speculative futuring and future design at the Royal College of Art in London. Future thinking workshops use frameworks like scenario planning to come up with realistic stories that can help decide future policy, inspire new designs for products and services, and help us prepare for uncertainty.
These storytelling methods have been used by experts to think through the important issues of our time, and beyond. One problem is that they can take days to properly explore the complexities of current and future events. The challenge was to help people even start to understand the complexity of both the present and the future through storytelling, over a single session.
Structured storytelling games, designed with specific research and pre-loaded with story elements, might be another solution. This event explores how one such framework, Peek, might be used by experts to start some meaningful conversations about the near future. Hopefully, these conversations will help start wider dialogues about what the future can and will be, and inspire the next generation of structured storytelling systems.