We are concerned about climate change and rising sea levels. Research and new innovations are helping us fight climate change. We are imagining a future with architecture adapted to rising sea levels. We are projecting cities which will withstand climate change. But in the present, there are parts of the world where people experience floods and drought every year. As we are scraping to fight climate change, it is already a daily part of many lives. In this future narrative, where do these people stand?

Agenda track: 3 Civic imagination, 4 Heterodox institutions
Session type: New narratives 
Interaction level: Most of the time (through conversation and miro board)
Movement level: Some (placard writing: what is your ‘inclusive future’?)
Screen need: Needed all the time

Imagine a new social housing policy where rooftop activities and functions are included to improve social life and cohesion. On the other side, there are dense cities where people have limited open space, so they use rooftops extensively for gardening, playing, drying clothes and gathering. One is structured implication and the other one came from the need. How do these two narratives go side by side?

Many people are relentlessly working towards automation of industries. The garment industry is one example of this. To ease up fast fashion and make the fashion industry more sustainable, people are leaning towards automation. Now think about the female garment worker who works on an hourly salary, earns for her family and is empowered by her economic freedom. What will happen to her in the age of automation? How will she fit into the narrative of future industries?

We like to imagine future narratives, but sometimes we don’t even realise we’re leaving out some parts of the world. This is a call for an inclusive place, to discuss the future we are imagining, who and where in the world we are imagining for and affecting, and how inclusive or exclusive that narrative is. In the end, we only have one world, and our future narratives cannot remain isolated imaginations.

A conscious future narrative is more desirable than an exclusive one. We believe that narrators should declare their perspective, position and context when they are proposing a new future narrative. We must consider inclusiveness, and how we will impact others not included in our narratives. For a sustainable future world, an inclusive narrative is key.

Are you a thinker practicing towards the future? Are you a narrator of the future world? Do you have a story, imagination, vision for the future? The session is inviting people who want to have a conversation, discussion and exchange for an inclusive future. 

With this inclusive narrative we aim to give a conscious nudge to the future thinker. When we talk about the future, we are hoping to consciously think about whose future we mean by this. We hope to build a conscious group or a platform where we express not only the ones we are including but also the one we are not including and why we are doing so. Through more connections and interactions, we want to build an inclusive platform and an inclusive future. 

ALT-TOPIA is a research and design platform/studio for practicing alternative realities through different approaches and scales, from detail to speculative world-building, which can generate innovations and projections for inclusive future wellbeing in the face of converging crises and complex challenges.

Sadia Humayra Mounata is the founder of the practice ALT-TOPIA. She is a speculative architect and researcher living and working in Germany through freelancing and collaboration in different projects, such as: Digital Unforgeting: Future of Archives, the Future of Post-Death, and Empathy Playground

Linkedin: linkedin/sadia humayra
Twitter: @sadia1302
Website: alt-topia.com

A fierce debate rages over the most effective ways to tackle the problems that our use of technology is causing for democracy, equality, and society as a whole. Built into the terms of these debates are a series of unhelpful assumptions that constrict imagination and undermine the perceived viability of truly radical approaches. 

Agenda track: New models of economy & governance
Session type: New narratives 
Interaction level: Some
Movement level: None
Screen need: Good to have
Day: Thursday 23 September

In this session we will interrogate concepts including data privacy, tech for good and the narratives deployed by big tech companies, to explore the individualising and extractive narratives that underlie the way that technology is thought about and discussed today.

Through group discussion we will work together to unpack the common foundations of these approaches, and explore more constructive alternatives, as the basis for practical steps that can help us reimagine our relationship with technology.

This session should be of interest to people working in technology as a founder, funder or policy maker, or anyone looking to improve the impact of technology in the world today.

Milly Shotter is Brand & Communications Manager at Bethnal Green Ventures, Europe’s leading early-stage tech-for-good VC firm. Milly has a background in creative production and communications. 

Daniel Stanley is Founder & CEO of the Future Narratives Lab, a nonprofit initiative that works to analyse societal narratives, design new alternatives, and create strategies to spread them. He has a background in community organising and social psychology, and is Creative Director at strategic communications consultancy Cohere Partners. 

@dajastan @narrativeslab @millyshotter @bg_ventures


bethnalgreenventures.com & futurenarrativeslab.org

The services provided by society should be based on the idea of relationships that strengthen us, not on threatening or controlling relationships. This talk show explores relationships with other-than-human guests.

Agenda track: 2 Ontological politics
Session type: New perspectives
Interaction level: Some
Movement level: None required, but there is a band, so the music might make you dance
Screen need: Possible to use audio only

Day: Friday the 24th of September, late afternoon EEST / CET.

There are four guests on the show:

  • The first guest is an AI with whom we have a dialogue on work and leadership. What are their leadership principles?
  • Next is a conversation between mushrooms and a human on what mushrooms think about human behaviours.
  • The third guest is a brain, with a researcher as their interpreter, trying to figure out what imagination and hope mean in the brain. 
  • The final guest is a system – what does a global intergovernmental organisation think about the future?

As most humans don’t know the language of our guests yet, each one has an interpreter with them. The audience will be able to comment and ask our guests questions. The conversation is accompanied by an eleven-member band. Feel free to dance to the music!

An open-source service platform to inspire great ideas and those behind them to build utopias will also be launched at this show.

The host of the talk show Mikko-Pekka Hanski is a school teacher by education who has worked decades in tech through a company he co-founded. Now he concentrates on imagining new worlds, developing concepts and investing in ideas and people that make life a bit better and easier for us all. He is one of the founding members of Untitled.

“For the idea of the show and who to invite as my talk show guests I have to give credit to two hosts at Untitled Festival 2020: Panthea Lee from Reboot showed us questions that some people have to ask that I don’t ever have to ask. I realised I really need to understand more of the realities of others. Then two flying Siberian squirrels Papana & Norkko organised a panel. Inspired by them, I have invited others than humans in my talk show”, says Mikko-Pekka.

“Things people are working on in the Untitled community blow my mind all the time. Somebody is reimagining democracy, the other working on how to make the world see the missing narratives of the future of work and the 3 million unemployed South African young people aged 15–24 as a force of the future.” 

In the Untitled community Mikko-Pekka, or Hanski, is known for his enthusiasm and readiness to help: “That’s what the whole Untitled is about for me: helping each other do hard but hopeful things.”


A parallel polis is a space of human creativity and agency that connects all citizens to practical solutions to our environmental, social division and well-being crises. In this session you are invited to imagine a parallel polis through architecture that can connect community agency-networks (CANs) locally and internationally and sketch its potential impact.

Agenda track: Ontological politics
Session type: New experimental models
Interaction level: Some
Movement level: Some
Screen need:  Needed all the time 

A parallel polis is constructed out of:

  1. A global system of place-based cosmolocal CANs that bring together
  •       civil society organisations and their clients
  •       social entrepreneurs and all those building the 4th sector economy
  •       those traditionally excluded from mainstream political discourse but who share values with the above
  •       those who may not share these values but live in the locality and take part in its social life
  1. A new media system serving the CAN of CANs.

This parallel polis is fundamentally autonomous, but has the capacity to partner with governments to create improved outcomes for people and the planet. Its main attraction is future-oriented creativity that recognises our collective need for agency, meaning, purpose, freedom and belonging.

We begin this session by looking at the psychosocial needs and resources of the polity to set the tone of the ‘onto-shift’ – a reorientation of people power from homo economicus to homo ludens: every person is a creative, capable of playing our way out of crisis. 

We continue by inviting you to design the architecture that can connect CANs in towns and cities, through regions to an international network of people’s parliaments. What kinds of constitutes can successfully contain people power? What tools and practices can enable relational governance? What sense-making tools can help interpret the diverse desires and imagination of citizens? Where do citizens and people’s assemblies fit in? What tech is useful, what is not? What new currencies can enhance the viability of the CAN of CANs?

In the course of the session we will sketch out how the parallel polis made up of an international CAN of CANs can

  •       transform citizens experience of cosmolocal power
  •       give rise to new system fractals, capable of replicating throughout the world
  •       establish a new political axis, linking the flourishing of people, community and planet (I, We, World)
  •       how that in turn can generate the demand for a wider system shift

We are hoping to attract builders of the parallel polis, including:

  • those who are involved in running and building Commynity Agency Networks (CANs) anywhere in the world
  • those who are already designing the tech capable of creating governance systems for CANs
  • tech designers for the international CAN of CANs
  • tech designers for the new media system
  • cosmolocal media practitioners
  • artists, designers, theatre professionals
  • help to finance the ten-year project

This session is especially beneficial for political and social entrepreneurs, civil society actors, movement builders, artists, educationalists, tech designers, and spiritual activists.

We started The Alternative UK in 2017 on the day that British MP Jo Cox was murdered. We were clear that the party political system operated through opposition and could not bring people together to face the multiple crises of this time. Across Europe and the US, only 2% of people are members of political parties. Any promising progressive political agenda can easily be hijacked by those who know how to manipulate social media.

After nearly five years of observing the innovation and self-organising outside of the mainstream of socio-political-economic systems we were convinced that the key to transformation was to harness human agency cosmolocally through community agency networks (CANs). These are not formal, bureaucratic organisations directed by authorities, but responsive, creative and ambitious spaces where any and every element of a new socio-political-economic system can gather. They have diverse forms and styles of agency, held together by careful facilitation, capacious narratives and the best of relational tech.

In these spaces, every kind of citizen can experience participation and the chance to create a future they can look forward to. With civil society and social entrepreneurs at the core, their work is not voluntary, but constantly generating community wealth and a growing 4th sector economy.

The session is led by Indra Adnan & Pat Kane


We invite anyone interested in bringing concrete utopias to their communities, whether it is your workplace, housing cooperative, city council, home town, or football team. Session participants will get to experiment with new forms of transformative learning developed in the research project Pedagogy of Concrete Utopias. The research project develops pedagogy that supports learners to design new and even radical solutions and ideas for ecologically sustainable ways of organizing life and activity.

Agenda track: 1 Nature – human, 3 Civic imagination
Session type: New experimental models
Interaction level: Most of the time
Movement level: Some
Screen need: Needed all the time
Day: Thursday 23 September

First, we will briefly introduce the ideas of concrete utopia and life-centric view. A concrete utopia exists between the present moment and a utopian vision. It serves as a stepping stone or bridge towards a more sustainable future, or as a laboratory of the future we want to build.  Life-centric views orient us to widen our circle of care and thought beyond humans.  

The introduction is followed by hands-on work in break-out rooms, where participants will experiment with the tools developed in the research project to envision and build their own concrete utopias. 

We will be closing with a collective discussion of the ideas generated in the breakout rooms, as well as critical reflections on the suitability of the ideas and tools introduced in the sessions for use in different settings. 

Our research project focuses on the public sector, and specifically on educational institutions as platforms for sustainability transformation. However, the session is for anyone interested in bringing concrete utopias to their own communities.

We believe that education can no longer emphasise enculturation into existing cultures that have shown to be unsustainable. There is a need for new ways of living, thinking and consuming. Concrete utopia is an exciting concept that opens up new avenues for radical imagination and experimenting with new ideas in practice. 

We’d hope that the participants will gain insights from the session about how to envision and build possible and impossible futures in different contexts in their work and personal lives. We also hope to get feedback about the applicability of our ideas and tools in different types of settings.

The session is hosted by the research group Pedagogy of Concrete Utopias. The facilitators are:
Antti Rajala, Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher, University of Oulu
Pihla Soinnunmaa, Doctoral researcher, University of Helsinki
Aki Saariaho, Teacher, Otaniemi Upper Secondary School


In this conversation we will be delving into how embracing the social nature of imagination might transform the democratic contract.

Agenda track: 2 Ontological politics, 3 Civic imagination
Session type: New narratives
Interaction level: Some
Movement level: None
Screen need: Needed all the time
Day: Thursday 23 September

Moving beyond the dominant narrative

Today, the dominant narrative in society is that our imagination is failing us. We find ourselves in the state we are in because there is a deficit of imagination, leading us to experience what Roberto Unger termed the ‘dictatorship of no alternatives’. The democratic contract of the 20th century was to hand over our imaginative power to a system of public and private institutions who in turn would provide new solutions, systems, and futures. The promise was bigger, better, forever. The promise was for a single equitable and sustainable future. This promise has not been fulfilled, and instead we face a global failure that appears to be deepening inequality and unsustainability. 

But what if the story of a deficit imagination was not the whole story, indeed, what if there was a different story?

  • What if we recognised that our imagination is in abundance, rather than in deficit? 
  • What if our imagination, rather than failing to provide new futures, is in power and producing and maintaining the existing?
  • What if we revealed the collective & social nature of imaginative power, rather than seeing the subject who owns the imaginative power as the individual? 
  • What if by acknowledging this imaginative power, we also acknowledged that the capacity to apply it to imagining new futures is unequally distributed? 

Viewing our democratic contract through the prism of social imagination 

These questions arise when we hold the perspective that our imagination is social. During our session we will be crystallising this perspective and demonstrating how it provides us with a powerful set of prisms to view our current world through; opening up new possibilities; new ways of seeing, new ways of doing and new ways of being.  

During our session, we want to explore together what these prisms might reveal is possible, and what might already be emerging, as a set of shifts towards a different democratic contract; the asks and the offers within the exchange of power and representation between citizens and the state. 

Towards a Generative Democracy?

Core to this will be exploring a proposal for a shift towards a more generative form of democracy that mobilises the power of our social imagination to renovate our democratic processes, whilst fostering our collective capacity to imagine and realise new futures. We are currently working with a range of partners across Europe – from foundations, networks to local governments – to further explore and develop this proposal for a more generative democracy.

The dominant deficit narrative of imagination can be corrosive and inhibitive to the energy, creativity and will that are necessary for organisations, systems and societies to realise radical change. By revealing the power of our social imagination and acknowledging the imaginative power we already hold, helps to shift this deficit narrative, to one of abundance, possibility and hope. Join our session if you recognise the need to shift this narrative and want to explore the possibilities for our democratic contract when we gaze through the prisms of social imagination.

Following the festival, we would like to host an ongoing group of people who would like to explore this proposal together. Our aim is to build a community of people who can collectively explore and develop this proposal, shaping the agenda and pioneering the change through a practice grounded in people and the places they live. 

Paola Pierri is Head of Design and Research at Democratic Society where she is exploring ways to strengthen and re-imagine democracy. She has worked as a practitioner and in academia across Europe, teaching and researching democratic innovation and participatory design. She is now based in Berlin. She has a Doctorate in Design Anthropology, on the topic of creative democracy and the role of imagination and social imaginaries. Paola believes that ​​imagining a different future is the first step towards mobilising people to make that future possible in the present. 

Jo Harrington has been working to support social innovation programmes in governments across the world for the past 15 years. He was a programme lead and lecturer in Design at Goldsmiths College London, a partner at the Innovation Unit in the UK, and currently lives in Sweden, working across Europe. During Jo’s experience, he has witnessed both the inhibitive nature of a colonial imagination and the possibilities when this imagination is revealed and mobilised for more pluraliversal futures. 

@demsoc @paolapierri 





Transitions are fundamental changes in culture, structure, and practices in societal systems. They involve a ‘creation vs destruction’ duality that is inherent and crucial to the process of generating new alternative practices and structures. Simultaneously, we need to be questioning, destabilizing, and breaking down existing unsustainable practices and structures to make place for the new. We will apply our approach collectively to the food transition, which is aiming for a food system that is nature-positive. There are some major questions we seek to answer: are we already see transition patterns, what needs to grow or be transformed and what needs to stop in order for this process to work?

Agenda track: 5 New models of economy & governance
Session type: New Perspectives
Interaction level: Some
Movement level: None
Screen need: Needed all the time

The X-curve is a visual tool that underlines transition dynamics. It is based on scientific insights into the ways in which complex systems fundamentally change in nature. It provides a starting point to explore the transition dynamics present in each domain. Working with the X-curve is an intuitive and flexible way to create shared transition narratives and understanding of complex societal challenges in heterogeneous groups and empower people to change

In this session, we will introduce the transition perspective and jointly be exploring this tool to understand how it can be utilised to support transitions in society.

We invite anyone to join us who is interested in systemic change, and understanding how we can break down the old and build in a sustainable and systematic manner.

The goal of this session is to provide participants a tool that they can use themselves to hopefully accelerate transformative changes in their own context, as well as that it will help DRIFT to improve the tool. By collectively discussing the food transition as an example, we hope to establish new connections as well as more engagement with this theme.

Derk Loorbach is director of DRIFT and Professor of Socio-economic Transitions at the Faculty of Social Science, both at Erasmus University RotterdamFemke Coops is a master student in Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology and a graduate intern at DRIFT. Mayte Beekman is working as a quartermaster at the Design Impact Transition (DIT) Platform, an Erasmus University initiative aimed at enhancing the transformative societal impact of the university by using a design approach. Derk, Femke and Mayte work together on bringing together design and transitions and transforming the role of research for societal transitions.

Twitter: @drk75
Website: drift.eur.nl

In order to take on the challenges of our time, we need to get better at making decisions as groups. At RadicalxChange, we are developing tools for group decision-making that can help identify stakeholders or impacted persons, facilitate liquid networks of trust, surface shared values or ideas, and steer groups toward consensus rather than disagreement. We have brought some of those tools together in an end-to-end decision-making platform we call RxC Voice.

Agenda track: 5 New models of economy & governance
Session type: New experimental models
Interaction level: Some
Movement level: None
Screen need: Needed all the time

We believe that inclusive, productive deliberation is paramount to a healthy democracy. In order to make this possible for large groups (e.g. cities) and digital communities (e.g. blockchain communities), we need to design digital platforms on which group members can engage in conversations that move toward consensus rather than divisive argument.

In this session, we will discuss the components that make a successful decision-making process. We will also be running interactive demos with innovative democratic tools and share findings and anecdotes from experiments with governments, social movements, blockchain communities, and more. Finally, we will be discussing next steps for the RxC Voice project and democratic innovation and imagining radical futures of deliberative democracy and community self-governance.

This session is for anyone interested in exploring tools for more successful deliberation at scale, digital democracy, or decentralized decision-making. If you think we need to update the platforms on which groups discuss important decisions and issues for healthier democracy, then you will enjoy discussing this project with us.

We hope that our session will inspire you to experiment with new democratic tools such as RxC Voice, Pol.is, and Quadratic Voting. These tools have already impacted the way that many groups deliberate and make decisions, including governments, DAOs, corporate boards, social movements, and more. We hope you will contact us if you would like to pilot RxC Voice with your group, collaborate with us on the project, or fund our efforts.

When our deliberative tools fail to surface the shared values of a group, democracy suffers and lapses into authoritarianism or plutocracy. We hope you will join us in rethinking the ways that constituencies express their wants and needs to each other and to their leadership.

RadicalxChange (RxC) is a global movement for next-generation political economies. It advances plurality, equality, community, and decentralization through upgrades of democracy, markets, the data economy, the commons, and identity.

Alex Randaccio is a Project Developer at RadicalxChange, leading development of RxC’s suite of experimental governance tools. Jennifer Lyn Morone is RadicalxChange Foundation’s CEO and a multidisciplinary visual artist, activist, and filmmaker. Her work focuses on the human experience with technology, economics, politics, and identity, and the moral and ethical issues that arise from such systems. Her interests lie in exploring ways of creating social justice and equal distribution of the future.

Twitter: @RadxChange
Website: radicalxchange.org

Good hair day gathering

A sense of belonging in the communities that surround you is an elemental human need. In this session we are imagining community care as a practice for belonging. 

Agenda track:  3 Civic imagination, 2 Ontological politics & 4 Heterodox institutions
Session type: New narratives
Interaction level: Most of the time
Movement: None
Screen need: Possible to use audio only

Belonging and even just existing in a marginalized body can be challenging or even dangerous. Safer spaces, working on “from us to us” principles for marginalized people are still quite rare. Exclusion has a large effect on society and individuals. 

Care is a concept that we are familiar with. Community care and healing as a tool for communities to survive and thrive in spite of discrimination and racism is more unknown. Community care and belonging have transformative potential as they do not focus on the individual but the community around the individuals. 

Good Hair Day celebrates afro hair and Afro-Finns’ wellbeing through hope and joy, and will serve as a case study of community care and community organizing for this session. Good Hair Day uses community care as a form on anti-discrimination and antiracism focusing on the community needs and wants. I myself have been for long intrigued by belonging and the sense of belonging and explored the topic through a personal and academic interest. The community organizing work through Good Hair Day has only deepened the interest.

We welcome everyone who works with or is interested in communities, marginalized communities or wants to reflect on the changing concepts of community, communality and belonging in this world in flux. The session gives you the means to build community care practices in your own work, as well as the connections enabling these practices.

Akunna Onwen (@akunnaon) | TwitterAkunna Onwen is an expert working on issues of equality and equity. Currently Onwen is working for the Anti-Racist Forum of Finland as a project manager developing a hate crime online reporting tool and a network around it.

Good Hair Day collective is an antiracist movement that tackles racism with joy and hope and Afro-Finnish community care.

goodhairday.fi  @akunnaon


Good Hair Day group by Sam Boateng

At the theatre by Jussi Helsten Helsinki Marketing

Casino Égalité is a dream of strengthening solidarity and sharing within the cultural scene. By celebrating chance and the luck of the draw, the idea is to give art and artists space(s) in which to be unexpected and uncontrolled. Sortition could be a way of governing such spaces to strengthen the feeling of equality, where responsibility and possibility go hand-in-hand. This session contains deliberation, gambling and redistributing.

Agenda track: 4 Heterodox institutions
Session type: New experimental models
Interaction level: Some
Movement level: None
Screen need: Good to have
Day: Friday 24 September

The initiative, which goes under the working title Casino Égalité, aims to create a new cultural oasis for the independent theatre scene in Helsinki and to work as an experiment of an alternative way of governing, tackling the challenges of meritocracy, hierarchy and lobbyism. 

This venture has two exceptional features it wants to experiment on: governance by rotation of responsibility and sharing of resources between institutional and independent players. The goal of both is to allow for greater diversity of approaches in performance arts.

The field of performing arts is often not really lacking infrastructure nor material resources required for production. The problem is rather that the resource distribution is asymmetrical, leaving out the ever growing pool of theatre freelancers. There is a substantial workforce of artists hungering for the opportunity to create and present their art, but they have very limited possibilities to do so. Access to resources is regulated by a set of opaque requirements difficult to decode and held aback by rigid structures. Getting the chance to produce one’s work is often not a question of skills or passion, nor even the luck of the draw.

The whole venture of Casino Égalité is based on exactly that – the luck of the draw, namely; governing by sortition. From selecting the productions of the upcoming season to the curation of additional programmes; to appointing administrative and technical staff; all is based on the rotation of responsibility, selected through sortition. This means that the topics and aesthetics of the productions and additional programming are liberated from conformism to trends and cronyism. It also means that the artists and ensembles creating these have no pressure to have impressive résumés or charming personalities.

Instead, the pool of professionals engaged in the (serious) play of Casino Égalité all have equal responsibility for managing the venture, and equal possibility to produce and realise their artistic work, regardless of status, merit or charisma.

By practicing sortition as the principal modus operandi, which is not a new invention as a democratic practice (see previous examples here or here), this cultural oasis would on a broader spectrum function also as a laboratory for an alternative way of governance that tackles the challenges of meritocracy, hierarchy, bias and lobbyism. These phenomena undermine both diversity in the arts, as well as from a broader societal point of view threaten belief in change through elections and representative democracy.

This session is for everyone who enjoys culture and arts, indeterminacy and gambling, art practitioners, institutions and funders. The aim is to gather unexpected perspectives and connections to further develop the initiative. Also, the session hopefully awakes the pleasures of sharing and gambling and gives a glimpse of the possibility of sustainability without austerity to the participants.

Rasmus Slätis is a Finnish theatre maker engaged in acting, teaching theatre and trying to make spaces of freedom for artists and art. Having been based in Berlin the past decade he has recently returned to his hometown, Helsinki.

Twitter:  @rabbeson
Website: www.rasmusslatis.com

Some links on sortition as a democratic practice:
Voting undermines the will of the people. It’s time to replace it with sortition.

The Irish citizens assembly chooses representatives by lottery not election.

What if We Selected our Leaders by Lottery? Democracy by Sortition, Liberal Elections and Communist Revolutionaries

Brett Henning: What if we replaced politicians with randomly selected people?

Photo by Jussi Helsten, Helsinki Marketing