Practical Utopias with Margaret Atwood

The Doomsday Clock, set by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is now at 100 seconds to midnight. The clock is meant to be an indication of how close humanity is to self-destruction. ⏳ πŸ•°

It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it seems like dystopia is always just around the corner. It takes a practical optimist like Margaret Atwood to fan the right kinds of flames ( like creativity and compassion ) that put out the wrong kinds of flames ( like forest fires and climate change). πŸ”₯ 🌟

I'm honoured to have been a Founding Fellow in Practical Utopias: An Exploration of the Possible led by Margaret Atwood on Disco. It was an incredible journey working with our brilliant and kind group of dreamers from around the world to create our very own practical utopia - Rhizome-Up and share our dreams of a better world with Margaret! 🌏 πŸš€

Over 8 weeks, working together with a team of 15 multi-disciplinary co-creators from across Europe and Africa and led by Maragaret Atwood, we envisioned, designed and detailed our very own practical utopia called 'Rhizome-Up'. The utopia was based on shared values of interconnectedness, sharing and education.

Each week, we worked in small groups of 4-5 people to design one key aspect of our utopia such as food, clothing, education, government, arts and culture, human remains, gender and communication.

Our utopias were translated into illustrations by our team's artist and converted into an eco-friendly NFT on the Tezos Blockchain. The narratives that we co-created and wrote over the course of the eight weeks will be published as an anthology.

Through the course of the fellowship, I contributed

  • A postcard from the future, speculating about what residents of Rhizome-up might eat and how they might grow and manage their food.

  • A written narrative about how the residents of Rhizome-Up might dispose of human remains in a dignified and eco-friendly way

  • Designing aspects of the social world of Rhizome up including a Ministry for Gender Equity and a Citizens Committee to regulate censorship, media and fake news.

  • Cost of Lunch explorations, mood boards and team discussions contributing to the design of our utopia.

  • An official song for our utopia, written to demonstrate the arts and culture of the city, capturing the ethos of interconnectedness and set to music.