Monday, 18 June 2012

Peterborough in Transition_The 2040 Workshop



The "28 YEARS LATER" Workshop

 This article is about the workshop run by Luke Payn from the Blok Collective on the Launch Day of Peterborough In Transition at The Green Backyard on Sat June 9th 2012.

We were asked by Sophie Antonelli if we could run one of our sessions at Peterborough's Transition Town launch. There were several aims of this session; to see what people were thinking about at this point in time, to create a sort of TimeCapsule, a record or document for posterity-something we could look at in 2040, and as a yardstick- we could ask this question again in say three years and compare answers, and lastly to get people thinking about these questions at a personal level and stimulate discussion around the launch of "Transition Peterborough".

Predicting the future is possibly one of the hardest things  for us to do. But hoping, praying, planning, wishing and dreaming about our futures is something we all do everyday. It is also something that business, government, kings, dictators and similar societies and groups do all the time, in fact not just Predicting it, but Forging it, twisiting the future to their will and to their interests.

It is a difficult question to ask, some people do the maths, and clearly the answer is that they may not be alive by then, - highlighting peoples mortality at a celebration event on a (reasonably) sunny day is at times a bit awkward. And of cousre young children can only respond with a sort of cartoon fantasy scenario as the whole idea of being old is really quite alien to any child, they sort of look at you as if say 'what a silly question.'

Their answers though were quite telling in that they were full of optimisim and a sense of fear was absent, although some young boys did start talking about China and how it may be a global dictator.
A young boy wanted to a racing car driver, and young girls wanted to be married with kids to the pop-star of the day. So like everyone else they want a safe, emotionally stable and happy future doing the thing they love and being with the person they fancy, rasing a family.

For Transition Towns thinking about the future is vital as it allows us to build a sense of direction and then working back we can see what needs to be put in place now and in the near future.

Transition Towns and the Transition movement is essentially about preparing for the future as the supply chain and the resources and amenities we take for granted now become unstable, rationed, expensive  or dissappear alltogether. It is about making communities resilient to that change. And communities are made up of individuals. So if individuals in a commnity have a better sense of their possible futures then the community at large can, in theory, start becoming better prepared.

We wanted to bring the question of 'what will life be like in the future?' away from the global perspective and pull it into the daily nitty-gritty, 'what will YOU be doing in 2040?'
What will daily life be like? 

Asking this question many people's first response was,
'do you mean what I think it will be like, or what I want it to be like?"

So the seperation between what people hope for and what they believe will happen is quite prevelent. 
And this really gets to the crux of the matter. 
Most people don't want war, or our forests to be destroyed, or people to have dirty drinking water, or politicians to consistantly betray us-but all these things happen.

so it was hard for people to respond without dividing between "I Predict This..." and "I Hope For This...", or a similar divisions.

I took the main question and split into as many permutations as I could, so people didn't get too stuck on semantics and free up their answers, or inspire different thought paths.
What Might My Life Be Like In 2040?
In 28 Years I Will Be....
In 28 Years we will have...
What Will My Life Be Like In 2040?
In The Year 2040 Peterborough Will Be....
In The Year 2040 There Will Be....

and then going a next layer into the question I asked more precise questions such as;
where will you be working?
what kind of work will be available?
will the world be a better place in 2040?
what sort of new technology is available?
where will you buy your shopping from?
what will be on TV?
what currency will you be using?
what will the Health care system look like?
how will you communicate with friends and family?
how will you vote and Who can you vote for?
what will our schools and colleges look like?
what will the social structure be like?
in the Year 2040 What currency will we be using?

If you have any answers to the above please leave them in the comments box, I'd love to hear your responses!

It is certainly a session that I hope to run again, if you have a group / venue you would like to run this session with please get in touch. -it is a prickly question and at the fat end of the wedge there really is no right or wrong answer. however as you drill into the question some veryinteresting questions arise!

Flying Cars, obviously.....


No comments:

Post a Comment