Occasionally, I find myself doing things which will be a "a present to my future self". Small things which will make my future self's life that little bit easier. Which, now that I think a bit harder about it , can also be translated to this project. The aim here, with what we are doing is really to create a present to our future selves, our future children, our future planet...
With this in mind, I would like to tell you about another ritual on board Sea Dragon. Aside from writing blog posts and washing our sins away as we cross the equator, we take it in turn to lead the evening "discussions". Which offer the chance for each crew member to take to the floor (cockpit) and raise a topic for discussion, spark a debate, or simply pose a question to the group. The topics opened for discussion varied vastly throughout the trip, from geopolitics to solid waste management and one of my particular favourites " Pathogens in modern microbial life forms and their impact on the future" courtesy of my dear friend Barbara Drigo.
Now the concept of future problem solving is something I have been aware of for a while. The idea being that students are faced with "future scenarios" and asked to dissect the scenarios for potential problems, the students are then asked to analyse these problems and their solutions are judged in a competition. I had also come across a project by artist Adelita Husni-Bey entitled "postcards from a desert island", a film documenting a 3 week workshop at the École Vitruve, a self-run primary school in Paris. The workshop asked pupils to build a desert island in their school hall, and encouraged them to begin "grappling with some of the key principles and unresolved problems of self-governance, such as: imagining a life without institutions, questions of punishment and the struggle for power" (Gasworks)
With all of this in mind, and a desire to shake up the Sea Dragon ladies and challenge them to re-imagine life "without institutions, questions of punishment and the struggle for power" I chose to ask the girls to work together in their watch teams over 24 hrs to come up with a design for their own "future Island". There were no constraints, the groups could elect to focus on any part of their future island, and as a result of this the outcomes were very varied. With re-imagined ideas of everything from housing, to welfare systems and sources of energy and income. Some examples include the use of fusion-energy provided by a volcano as a saleable asset to the community, collectively owned rammed earth housing with is returned to the community on its owner's death and redistributed to those who need it rather than allowing inherited property.
Overall the workshop would have benefited from a few more constraints, or simply the chance to explore visually the ideas generated in order to begin to dissect some of the concepts. However, I do hope that it sparked some new found ideas about ways of moving forward with daily life on some level, be it small or large.