Rather than seek answers to “what is right” externally to ourselves, Moral Imaginations invites a discovery of purpose and morality by directly cultivating imaginative explorations of our moral sense, deepening empathy and igniting prosocial creativity. The potential to build civic movements, local solidarity and networks of action from this place is exciting and under exploration.

Agenda track: 1 Nature – human, 3 Civic imagination, 5 New models of economy & governance
Session type: New experimental models
Interaction level: Some
Movement level: None
Screen need: Possible to use audio only

This discovery is conducted through radical perception shifts and development of connection to humans and non-humans across the past, present and future. Important to our work is building on existing bodies of work such as narrative therapy and associated narrative methodologies, theatre and the arts, deep ecology practices, contemplative practices, futures thinking, and embodied complexity methodologies. Such practices lead participants to experience an expanded sense of meaning and deeper connection to their core values and purpose.

This session will run in two parts. In the first part, we will introduce people to a growing body of work and approach to use powerful imagination exercises with groups to shift perception towards more than human and deep time perspectives. Moral Imaginations is a collective, community and toolkit of approaches that was born out of the pandemic when people were craving an experiential connection to the possibility of better systems and a better society.

During this first part, participants will be able to experience an immersive collective imagination exercise where they connect to future generations. You will need a good internet connection, but video is not necessary, although preferred.

The second part of the session will be hosted as a collective imagining session around the potential for imagination to inform legislation and policy. We hope to attract those with policy-making experience and those who seek to innovate policy. 

Together, we will brainstorm and develop ideas on how the power of imagination could be harnessed to shift policy on the local, national and international level. This will be a participatory exercise and will be co-hosted with partners who are developing such thinking in their own work and projects.

We invite political and social entrepreneurs, civil society leaders, policy-makers community leaders, movement builders, artists, activists, and local change-makers to come join us at this session. Jointly, we can use our imagination to open up new avenues for change.

After the festival, the next step will be to work out how to bridge the potential of imagination with legislation and the development of new and promising policy.

Moral Imaginations is a project that develops, designs and delivers rigorous imagining for moral futures. They develop and work with imagination exercises to develop empathy, meaning, agency, belonging and a connection to what’s important. They label themselves as a “feel thank” – A think tank, but for feelings. Moral Imaginations works to combine rational, strategic approaches to change with approaches that draw on intuition, imagination and the cognitive sciences to work at the level of feeling to affect inner change in people across local communities, organisations and policy.

@moral_imagining, @solarpunk_girl, @liamckavanagh, @lai 

moralimaginations.com, phoebetickell.com 


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

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


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

Fighting climate change with technology and changing consumption behaviour won’t be enough. The pivotal answer may be to finally pursue a world where cultivating better ways of being, for current and future humans, is the goal of social and economic policy. 

Agenda track: 2 Ontological politics, 3 Civic imagination
Session type: New narratives
Interaction level: Most of the time

Movement level: None
Screen need: All the time
Day: Friday 24 September

Any social or political envisioning or policy is constrained by an invisible frame: by the implicit values and views on which it is created, such as its views on the nature of human beings and the good life. Life Itself will be hosting two sessions to work on changing the narrative of what we are capable of as humans and the narrative of wellbeing, and what it means to bring this shift into policy-making.

This second session on Friday is a workshop organised together with Moral Imaginations. In the workshop, participants – using collective imagining methods – will dive into the implications on policy and current possibilities to progress this shift in policy-making.

You can participate in one or both sessions. Attending the conversation on Thursday is not a requirement for participating in the second part on Friday. The first Thursday session is organised together with Prosocial World and the conversation is fuelled by professor David S. Wilson‘s key insights from his wide work on group or multilevel selection in evolution, and applying evolutionary theory to different aspects of humanity, such as studying cultural evolution or group health.

Life Itself is a community of pragmatic utopians, committed to practical action for a radically wiser, healthier world. Life Itself creates co-living hubs, starts businesses, does research and engages in activism to pioneer a wiser culture.

lifeitself.us @forlifeitself 

Moral Imaginations is building a movement of moral imagination: collective imagining to increase radical kinship with the human and more-than-human worlds, present, past and future. They facilitate and develop collective imagining to empower people to create shared imaginings of the future. Phoebe Tickell is co-founder of Moral Imaginations, who believes that we need new stories of what it means to be human.

@moral_imagining @solarpunk_girl

In 2000, 11% of the global labour force was in Africa, and 25% in China. By 2100, 42% of the global labour force will be in Africa, and only 8% in China. As our future narratives are increasingly orientated towards a technology-driven world, where do all these people figure in? This session led by Chipo Hamukoma investigates the stories we tell ourselves about the future of work and the ones we’d like to be true.

Agenda track: 3 Civic imagination
Session type: New narratives 
Interaction level: Most of the time
Movement level: Some (Warm up at the beginning)
Screen need: Good to have

Our imaginations of the future are largely embedded in the past. New narratives of the future are shaped by climate realities and corporate forecasting. What does it mean to pause and collectively imagine a new world of work that honours the things we know to be true and creates space for more possibilities?

My name is Chipo Hamukoma, Research Manager at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. I’ve worked with governments across Africa solving complex problems in challenging contexts and am now exploring how to get more young Africans engaged in income generating activities. 

I grew interested in understanding the future when I led a project on the Future of African Cities. Which gave a really granular perspective on how to build cities for the future.  My current work is in solving youth unemployment in South Africa and that puts me at the intersection of futures and work. With our narratives about the future as old as they are, there’s a really interesting opportunity for us to introduce contemporary hopes and dreams to the stories we tell about the future.

This festival session will be a collective intelligence exercise in identifying 3–5 core principles to improve the nature of work, created for people who enjoy thinking, complex problems and creating.

From the insights developed in this session we can work towards distilling the fundamental nature of work, focusing on the ideas that will allow for more inclusive advocacy in discussions of the post/inter-Covid future of work.


civic spaces

Can a city offer its citizens different ways of gathering around shared visions, common questions and collective imaginations?

Agenda track: 3 Civic imagination
Session type: New experimental models
Interaction level: Some
Movement level: None
Screen need: Possible to have audio only
Day: Friday 24 September at 10-11.30 UTC | 13-14.30 EEST

We are living through a long political crisis that takes the form of rising authoritarian and racists ideologies as well as the short-termism of so-called “progressive” parties. This crisis makes a good case for the need to reimagine and expand opportunities for participation in collective life. Yet this crisis can hardly be solved by adding more top-down-participation or by trying to renew electoral systems, unless the very infrastructures of democracy and imagination are rebuilt. We need new ways for people to come together to engage, understand, form opinions, and dream. 

The answer might lie in moulding public spaces, one of the few places that algorithms do not control yet, into civic spaces. Civic spaces are spaces that help create a sense of agency, empower people and explore how to release civic capital and public assets. But, most importantly as a process of diversifying urban experience, these spaces can also add a spirit of experimentation and play. Simultaneously, they can develop micropolitics and social action, allowing for the collective development of people’s will in a way that current political structures do not.

We invite civil servants responsible for participation and the built environment as well as urbanists and artists capable of fostering social interaction and civic imagination to join the session, to discuss a new model for organising spatial life in cities. 

This session aims to lead into a meaningful dialogue with cities willing to research and implement the shift from public to civic. 

Gabriella Gómez-Mont is the founder and director of Experimentalista, a novel type of nomadic and creative office specializing in cities, with high-level, transdisciplinary collaborations across the world.  She is the former chief creative officer of Mexico City, and founder of Laboratorio para la Ciudad (2013-2018), the award-winning experimental arm and creative think-tank of the Mexico City government.

Gabriella Gomez-Mont in Linkedin

Photo: Ryan Lash, Creative Commons

Time to practice softness and being present and intentional in your hearing. 

Agenda track: 3 Civic imagination & 4 Heterodox institutions
Session type: New perspectives
Interaction level: Most of the time
Movement: None
Screen need: Needed all the time
Day: Thursday 23 September, 15–16.30 UTC | 18-19.30 EEST

In this session we investigate how to connect and use our observation skills. We try to create a common space and communicate without physical presence by stripping down the daily routines and roles we might hold. You don’t have to bring anything but yourself to this session. We will be guiding you through this experience, so close off all distractions and the let the process talk. 

The session is for those who want to recenter after a long day with human-to-human interaction, and for anyone who is willing to listen. If we listen but do not hear each other, we cannot work intersectionally. In today’s world being present is active work that we need to practice. When the focus is to listen, rather than to concentrate on oneself: What could emerge from that? What kind of connections could evolve?

Pehmee aka The Soft is a collective from Helsinki, Finland. The collective members, artists and media workers are Caroline Suinner and Meriam Trabelsi, but you can also call us incurable rnb-babez_91. Our mission is to create space for the representation of marginalized bodies in media and fashion. The collective curates, hosts and creates content on several different media platforms, such as podcasts, radio, video and social media. The Pehmee collective also offers consultations for universities, seminars and international companies. They have also designed festival concepts, journalistic content, and safer spaces for movement amongst other events.



Jarenko and Heikkila in colourful clothes

In Western cultures people have been indoctrinated to believe that rationality ought to govern the body, mind and emotions. This tradition originates from Plato, who glorified the rational and laid ground for the supremacy and social status of those who suppress their feelings, obey the results of their deductive rationalizations and keep with a restrained and controlled appearance. This narrative is still dominant in the West: look around at those we call successful and influential, and you see people of restraint. 

Karoliina Jarenko and Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä want to challenge that. 

Agenda track: 3 Civic imagination
Session type: New perspectives
Interaction level: Most of the time
Movement level: Some / a lot
Screen need: Needed all the time
Day: Friday 24 September

In order to reimagine the future, we must be able to crush and reboot the social preset and we invite you on that journey with us. The session brings forward arguments as to why showing emotions and joy in our cultural webs of meanings is needed. 

The session is open to curious and playful people who look forward to exploring new breakthroughs in personal development, leadership, and creating impact.

The custodians of this session, Karoliina Jarenko and Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä have both been educated and acculturated into the Western academic, intellectual and rationality-centered thinking. They know its strengths and shortcomings. Life has also introduced them to communities that live in a more immediate and creative manner and have experienced their transformational power personally and documented it scientifically.

The next step following this session at the festival session is to establish a band that has absolutely no musical skills and start a revolution by expressing ourselves a bit more humanly. 

Karoliina Jarenko is an author, organizational consultant, keynote speaker, co-founder and former CEO of the Academy of Philosophy Helsinki. She is now working on a concept for creating 21st century learning organizations. Karoliina calls herself ”the HandyMandy of Future Worklife” and is known for her energetic and earthly delivery. 

Dr. Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä is a scholar-activist, who co-builds new openings and aims to bridge science and practice, especially through arts. From his social preset, Dr. Heikkilä’s disciplinary approaches are entrepreneurship and organisation science and he is a Royal Society (UK) Newton Fellow, and a visiting scholar at Stanford and Harvard University. He has published in leading academic journals such as the Academy of Management Discoveries, Journal of World Business and Environment and Planning A

jukkapekka.com & www.karoliinajarenko.fi

We want to explore the hypothesis that life can be a party. Indeed some parties – for example rave parties – are already much more than just a party. In this session we explore mix of dance and rave techniques with a psychoanalytical approach of free association. In other words, you are welcome to be seduced by music, get lifted by dance and to speak whatever comes out of your mouth about what kind of role parties could and should have.

Agenda track: 2 Ontological politics, 3 Civic imagination
Session type: New perspectives
Interaction level: Some
Movement level: A lot
Screen need: Good to have

This session is for all the people interested in bringing joy and leaving ego to struggle for social change. 

We think partying could be so much more than escapism or revitalization for work. We are certain that social change should be a joyful thing, rather than waiting for the joy to come after the struggle.

 The session aims to build a loose community of dancers and organisers that can take the lessons into practice – to the coming Untitled festivals and beyond. 

Expanding the rave is hosted by BodyTalk, an activist-performance group working to join together moving to a repetitive beat, imagining the unimaginable and pushing for social change.