The Democratic Climate Model is an innovation for climate action at a local level. This model takes a systems approach to pathways towards climate resilience, making explicit the relationship between design, power and social justice, and where inequity and citizen disempowerment weaken governance and climate resilience. 

Agenda track: 5 New models of economy & governance
Session type: New experimental models
Interaction level: Some
Movement level: Some
Screen need: Needed all the time

Our Model aims to foster higher quality democracies and more participatory approaches by sparking conversations with public sector leaders, civil society and communities on more just, inclusive, community-led approaches. It seeks to shift ‘climate innovation’ away from a tech focus, influence governance and policy, and help cities think about what ‘scaling up’ for more durable, longer term change takes.

It is positively framed around four categories of ‘conditions’ we see for climate resilience:

  • diversity of actors
  • participatory culture
  • resourcing
  • subject-matter expertise. 

The Model is developed through our partnership in EIT Climate-KIC for achieving carbon neutrality, which runs across more than 10 EU cities. 

During this workshop session we will showcase the use of our model to date in local contexts and discuss potential levers for overcoming the identified barriers to climate action.

We warmly invite change agents for climate action in their respective fields to this session.

By including different community members (experts across sectors, civil society organisations), we aim to shift the conversation to longer term debates and discussions beyond a project cycle approach. In this way, our model can incorporate a shift to more democratic processes and decision-making on climate action. 

Democratic Society a European international democracy organisation, supporting our cities and residents to ensure that radical climate transformation is a democratic not just a technocratic process. Through democratic design, organisational development and practical participation exercises, they are building long-term resident participation in all the decisions, plans and projects that affect them. 

Twitter: @demsoc

For our collective future, we are trying to steer somewhere between “business as usual” and “degrowth”, envisaging a world where our living standards change remarkably little, but our resource use more than halves, through the “Lean Green Model”. To create this world, nothing can be thrown away or squandered. We will present a model in which physical goods are tied to information infrastructures, which ensure that they are reused, repaired, and resold over, and over, and over again by hundreds of different people before they are recycled.

Agenda track: 5 New models of economy & governance
Session type: New experimental models
Interaction level: Some – lots of discussions
Movement level: None
Screen need: Good to have

This project started from basic research on climate refugees and how to provision physical systems for food, shelter, water and so on as we start to have hundreds of millions of displaced people around the world. There is a deep relevance to these ideas beyond simply reducing our environmental impact.

At Mattereum we have defined and developed an end-to-end ecosystem that brings security and trust to the intersection of distributed commerce and trade of physical assets.

The Mattereum Protocol combines a precise definition of the state and properties of assets in the Mattereum Asset Passport which sets out the unique nature, or non-fungibility, of the asset, together with legally binding mechanisms for dispute resolution. This enables NFTs to be securely linked to the ownership of physical assets for the first time.

The long-term potential of this technology can help untangle the legal grey area that exists between “smart” online contracts and physical contracts.

This capability to extremely securely bind information to matter gives us the ability to take completely new economic models, including shared ownership and complex financialization, and implement them on top of the material goods of the day. Almost any policy objective, from carbon taxes to a shared economy can be implemented: it is the bedrock for all other kinds of political experiments.

We invite circular economy activists and blockchain people asking for more meaning and substance in the blockchain world to this session. Together, we will run through the “lean green” model, and look at some concrete early examples, running on the Ethereum blockchain.

After the festival, we would be very happy to work with anybody working in the circular economy space, and have cheap turnkey systems they could use for prototyping and proof of concept work.

Vinay Gupta is Founder and CEO of Mattereum. He is a leading figure in the blockchain space, having coordinated the release of blockchain platform Ethereum in July 2015. He is also the director of the Hexayurt Project, a 20 year old volunteer effort working in the refugee shelter space. Mattereum is an impact-driven venture capital-backed technology enterprise with a new protocol for digital trade. Mattereum was founded in 2017, and is based in London. The organisation is setting out to change the world by redefining the relationship between physical assets and distributed digital commerce.

Twitter: @Mattereum

Sophia Wekesa
Imagine if this world would work so that instead of helping the underprivileged and marginalized to integrate into society and pushing for inclusion, we would focus on helping the privileged to face their uncomfortable feelings and let go of their unfair and unjust advantages. Social change is emotional work – through empathy and accountability we can move from saviourism to community participation.
Dancer and expert Sophia Wekesa will guide us on this rocky path on how to have a conversation with one’s internal oppressor, who is not just oppressing other people, but limiting ourselves and us as a society, asking “Why is this happening to me?”.
Discussion on social change is often focused on intellectual and academic conversations, but real change can only happen when we do the uncomfortable emotional work. After all, people describe their relations to social injustice and their own privileges with words about feelings and emotions. The avoidance of difficult conversations comes from avoiding the difficult feelings of shame, guilt, sorrow and fear.
In 2021 we often hear how people fear being called out or cancelled, more than they fear oppression. Conversations about empathy often lack building a safe space for others to express their insecurities about their own toxic and oppressive behaviours. This allows for taking responsibility for ourselves being problematic and working on it.
While all of the above are valid questions to reflect, I do believe they should be reflected together. We need accountability and empathy to make change. And we need to shift the conversation from intellect to healing and emotional work. This session is for anyone ready or curious to connect with their uncomfortable feelings in order to move social progress forward. Don’t be afraid, Sophia will make sure we also release them before we leave the session.
The transformation into more sustainable, fair and joyful societies won’t be complete in our lifetime. So the work cannot be motivated by personal glory or left to saviour-like leader figures. Collective change means that everyone takes responsibility and asks: “How can I be the best possible ancestor for future generations?” This session and Untitled festival are good places to start, if you haven’t yet.
Sophia Wekesa is a dancer, actor and expert on culture sensitive and antiracist youth work.
Photo by Caroline Suinner

In this playful event we share the struggles of living up to our values and ideals. Dr. Untitled is the first part of a series of events consisting of online performances, one-on-one sessions with members of the Untitled Alliance and a grand offline finale at Untitled Festival 2022. 

Agenda track: Heterodox Institutions
Session type: New perspectives
Interaction: Some interaction but mostly just lean back
Movement: None
Screen: Have your audio on but having your video on is strictly forbidden for participants! Video and audio is used by the performers, so have your screen available.
Day: Friday 24 September 11.30-12.45 UTC |14.30-15.45 EEST

In our experiment we want to understand how individuals – who are part of the Untitled Alliance – manage to translate the goals and ideals of their daily work into their private life. Do you advocate a basic universal income but don’t know how to deal with your kids’ pocket money? Do you implement national citizens assemblies but cannot decide on the family vacation?  Are you a vegan eating meat in your dreams? Do you have occasionally brief moments of feeling like a hypocrite? Then this is the right session for you. In full anonymity we share cases about such dissonances. 

The presented cases – your cases – will be discussed by our peer-to-peer support network. At the same time each case will be fed into an immature human AI system called “Åsa and Max” that is particularly responsive to so called intention-behavior discrepancies. Our system – while still in its infancy – will unapologetically try to produce recommendations for each case. It nevertheless needs to be trained by providing feedback on the presented recommendations. 

This session is intended for professional “re-imagineers” who work day in and out on the transformation of society. 

Join us in trying to apply big picture ideas on a very small scale.

Disclaimer: This session requires no imagination.

As a next step we would like to schedule one-on-one sessions with individual members of the Untitled Alliance. In those sessions we would like to go deeper into some of the dissonances that will be introduced during the launch performance.

The Concept and facilitation of this session is organised by Ceyda Berk-Söderblom, Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, and MiklagardArts is responsible for its production. Actors Max Bremer and Åsa Nybo feature in the session as well.,

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, 


Our liberal democracies have traditionally based their legitimacy on a stance of near-omniscience and self-righteousness. Unfortunately, in a world of high uncertainty and continuous crisis, such a position leads to political stalemate. This impedes our society’s ability to change at a time of great transformational need.

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

Many of our governmental processes work against solving long-term solutions to the global and complex challenges we face. They are remnants of a bygone era of linear predictability. Humble Governance is a new stance adapted to the 21st century. which could fully unleash the still hindered energy of governments, politicians and civil servants to actively solve these issues.

Humble Governance is a new but tested approach that fosters political and societal trust despite political disagreement, and enables ambitious reforms under current conditions of uncertainty.

Using a current real-life case from the US State of Colorado, we invite you to jointly explore what innovative solutions, benefits for citizens, and challenges can come from humility.

Together, we hope to be able to develop first-hand understanding of this new governance paradigm and ideas on how to share, implement and adapt it globally.

The session is hosted by Demos Helsinki, and based on work co-developed with RadicalxChange.

Vincent Lassalle has been a practitioner, a consultant and a writer on organisational innovation and societal change for over a decade. He is the author of Bridge Builders: Learning from those ushering the future of society, a personal essay following a year-long international study on post-industrial transition.

João Sigora is works on Governance Innovation at Demos Helsinki. The core of his everyday work involves experimenting with new approaches to governance and building public servants’ capacity for reimagining and co-creating desired futures.

Demos Helsinki is a globally operating, independent think tank. We conduct research, offer consultancy services, and reimagine and experiment futures with a global alliance, Untitled.

RadicalxChange (RxC) is a global movement for next-generation political economies, founded by Glen Weyl in 2018. We’re committed to advancing plurality, equality, community, and decentralization through upgrading democracy, markets, the data economy, the commons, and identity. The RadicalxChange Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the RxC movement, to building community, and to education about democratic innovation. RxC connects people from all walks of life – ranging from social scientists and technologists to artists and activists. 

@DemosHelsinki, @RadxChange,

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 &

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