Future Experience


An interactive exhibit imagining the future of communication within sustainable development work

In collaboration with the SFA (Sustainable Futures Africa)

Eilish McArthur
> Struan Stewart
> Indre Strazdaite

Exhibited at the Lighthouse, Glasgow, Jan 2020

Already, the field of sustainability work is shifting from simply ‘development’, into new forms of community engagement and empowerment, fuelled by new practices that encourage a decolonial and collaborative approach. This installation envisions a Future World in which environmental pressures have caused people to limit their international travel, resulting in organisations relying more heavily on digital communication to operate globally. In response to this, a new collective has been set up within sustainable development work, to establish a balanced connectivity system and ensure that values and knowledge are exchanged fairly across the Globe. This collective is made up of future roles - the Value Navigator, the Digital Gatekeeper, and the Community Ambassador.

The audience is encouraged to step into each of these future roles and provide their own perspectives on key future topics. These words or drawings are passed through a shredder and added to the ‘2030 future discussions’. A collection of future artefacts represent each of the roles - suspended to reflect that communication is intangible and always in motion, with values and knowledge constantly evolving.  A transparent net catches these shredded remnants, with some landing outside to demonstrate that not all information is communicated effectively or as initially intended.

The Community Ambassadors represent communities, such as migrant mothers and caregiving fathers, around the world, listening to their concerns and feeding back to a network of local ambassadors. The Value Navigators work with communities to capture their unique values and preventing a disassociation between people and place. These values can subsequently be used to inform sustainability work to create more effective and thoughtful projects. The Digital Gatekeeper attempts to make sense of vast amounts of data affecting sustainable development work. They produce accurate and trustworthy information for people working on projects, across different medias and for different audiences.

Read more about the project here

Live data stream includes news reports, social media, data on precision agriculture and weather forecasting, and reports on the implementation of the Sustainable Development goals

The Value Compass is a symbolic artefact within SD work in 2030. A traditional compass orientates us geographically and topographically, with a steady indication towards North. Alternatively, the Value Compass is oriented towards the Global South, acting as a symbolic reminder that SD work is directed by the values of the Global South

Participant listening to the role of The Community Ambassador