Programme Session Details 2024

2070: Can you help solve problems of the future?

Corresponding Author: Tina Burton

All authors: Nina Kramer

Length: 60 minutes
Location: Gallery Room 2


This activity has come from a project called New Canterbury Tales, began as a collaboration between Anglia Ruskin University and Avans University in Breda, Holland on undergraduate programs. It now has more partners outside of education as it has expanded.
The project explores what life might be like in 2070, for citizens who live in what is now called New Canterbury in Northern Scotland. There are a series of stories that give some indication about a variety of characters who live there (written by Nina Kramer, my project partner in Breda) which are available on the website below.
One of the stories is written about Catriona who is and elder and involved with the hearings.
The citizens of this future city solve problems in a non-punitive way, and instead of a courtroom, have citizen hold hearings to discuss their issues.

These hearings have been developed into a role-playing game, where participants adopt a character from a future city based on the stories. Participants will be given information about the character they will play, with some background information about the city along with what the hearing is about. They then explore the issues: there is some guidance in case things get too heated, or too quiet, but it is democratic and self-directed for the most part.

The idea of the project is that if we can begin to consider future lives, it may help in coping and understanding the present time we live in and perhaps plan for an optimist future. Two themes are currently being explored; living with nature and compassionate communities. One of these themes will form the basis of the hearing.

The project is ongoing, and we have been using playful learning and non-hierarchical classroom ideas as part of it. The hearing has been run for students, staff, the public, online and in person, in the UK and in Holland, over a dozen times so far and we hope that it might inspire others to use role play to develop storytelling, ideation and collaboration.
For this project, we found that using the idea of role playing and creating a lusory space helped explore storytelling in a deeper and more authentic way, and that everyone involved in the project became more confident and engaged with the project.
Sharing this activity will hopefully attract discussion and help to demonstrate in a concrete way how we approach teaching.

References, web links and other resources:

Here is our first online hearing
Here is the website for the whole project