Meme storytelling for sustainability futures

The Memes for Future Scenarios Workshop was a pilot conducted by Seong and hosted by me for an academic community on sustainable futures. We had a little bit of meme theory in the beginning with some examples followed by a fictional scenario of sustainability in the future.

The year is 2025. The world has reached a collapse in agricultural systems due to a high influx of ‘zombie’ pests that are highly resistant to all known pesticides. While scientists work day and night to find a suitable pesticide for this invasion, the pests are rapidly crossing continents and borders in every way possible. The pests have affected nearly 30% of all agricultural output in farms. The worst hit farms are those using high levels of heavy machinery, synthetic fertilisers, “old-school” pesticides, low crop rotation and low biodiversity in their regions. The pests also carry a deadly parasite that is causing a heavy decline in livestock population, causing the meat industry to collapse.

Politicians around the world are calling for a total halt of industrial agriculture and an immediate shift to other forms of agriculture that are nature inclusive, i.e. agroecology. There is an uprising of farmers, agriculture lobbies run by the likes of Monsanto, meatheads, and international food traders. There is a severe shortage of cash crops like cotton, causing clothing prices to skyrocket.

Tribal communities around the world warn of an imminent collapse of human society. They see one solution only: restoring the biodiversity of the world to out-compete the zombie pests. The world eagerly awaits a solution from their leaders, who are running helter-skelter to find short term solutions. There is an eminent need for a long term, strategic vision to solve this issue.

The United Nations has fallen, and been replaced with Disharmonious Nations. Will the members of the Supreme Council find a way to guide the world through these difficult times? Can they communicate messages of their vision in a quick and effective manner and transform human systems?

This was supposed to be a prompt to think about a possible future and communicate that via memes. Here's what we came up with:

To view the memes in high resolution, click here. I dont have the funds to export it in high res as it is a paid feature lol.

It was so fun and we are thinking of developing this idea further and training environmental activists in counter-memeing to counter right wing groups that spread false information regarding climate change. I would love to hear your thoughts on what we can do with this sort of workshop and possible collaborate!

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