Narratopias: Full project description

“If we want to transform society, we must learn to tell – and listen to – a new set of stories about the world we want to create.” – Ashoka

“We need new narratives to bring people together to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable world at a time when, as Greta Thunberg said, ‘our house is on fire’.” – World Economic Forum

“We urgently need new narratives to imagine the impossible.” – Green Economy Coalition

“Climate change is a failure of the imagination.” – Naomi Klein


… From all sides, the same call emerges: “We need new narratives”, to make imaginable, and therefore possible the transformations that we need in order to live together on this planet.

Narratopias is a collaborative and open project to organize, on a global scale, a collective response to this call for new narratives. An invitation to embark on a collective search for alternative, transformative narratives, and turn them into the seeds of concrete changes.

This project will develop in two chapters. First, we will collect existing “new narratives” from all over the world. Then, we will connect, facilitate and support initiatives that both enrich the diversity of narratives, and use them to empower individuals and communities to think up or effect transformations.

NARRATIVES, WHAT FOR?

… To trace the path for collective responses to our contemporary “dead ends” (ecologi- cal, social, economic…), and inspire transformative action;
… To set ourselves free from fatalism, collapseism, presentism, «No Futures», and more generally, the feeling that we can only endure the future with more or less grace;
… To make «shifts» on the scale of societies conceivable, and to transform what today appears as losses (“less” consumption, travel…) into ferments (“more” connection, involvement, creation…);
… To include everyone in imagining alternative futures, and empower ever more people to effect change;
… To enhance public dialogue, either by bringing people together around narratives, or by producing fruitful disagreements, and in both cases, refocusing energies around intentions rather than problems.

HOW CAN YOU BE PART OF NARRATOPIAS?
1. Contribute to the collective Library of Transformative Narratives

→ Objective: 300+ “new narratives” by April 30, 2021

The project will start by building a collective library of transformative narratives, from all over the world, and open to all languages and means of expressions.
These Narratives can be presented in stories, utopias, images or videos, games, design fictions… They can be about the future, the present or even the past, so long as they intend to enable or facilitate transformative action or effect a reconstruction of some sort, at any scale (from local community to the Planet). They can be your own work, or references that you find fertile and inspiring; Original or pre-existing works; Based on pure imagination or on existing initiatives and experiences.
What would belong to the Library? While these criteria will evolve and be redefined together as we go, the main ones are: sustainability (meaning: there is a future, although it may not be a utopia), fertility (something can grow out of this narrative), and openness (there is room for positive disagreements).

2. Help us prepare for the following steps

→ Objective: in April 2021, launch a first batch of initiatives with an initial group of partners

Along with individuals and organizations willing to take part in the next stages of Narratopias, together we will build:

  • An “Atlas” of transformative narratives: representations, mapping, analyzing the form or content of the collected narratives in order to draw out commonalities and diffe- rences, insights and tensions.
  • An “Agora” for discussing, confronting, connecting, and continuing these narratives, testing new forms of collective dialog or projection.
  • A “Lab” for testing the transformative power of narratives on the ground; for sharing existing or ongoing experiences, initiatives, tools and methods; and for incubating new projects.

Come build Narratopias with us!
Email us at: narratopias@plurality-university.org