Major Research Project

Seeds of Good Anthropocenes

Theme(s): , ,
Project Leader(s): Dr Rika Preiser, Prof Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs, Dr Laura Pereira

The “Seeds of a Good Anthropocenes” project aims to counterbalance current dystopic visions of the future that may be inhibiting our ability to move towards a positive future for the Earth and humanity, by developing visions of potential “Good Anthropocenes” – positive visions of futures that are socially and ecologically desirable, just, and sustainable.  We expect that any “Good Anthropocene” that emerges will be radically different from the world as people know it today. Yet we also know that these futures will be composed of many elements already in existence, which we call “seeds’, which could combine in unique and surprising ways to create an almost unimaginable future.

The rationale underpinning the projects is that the transformative seeds of alternative good futures already exist in many places around the world. Identifying where these elements of a Good Anthropocene currently occur on the planet, and understanding how and why they occur, can help us envision how people might help these seeds grow into new, positive futures for the Earth and humanity. Seeds are being solicited specifically from different communities of research and practice around the world, and more openly through our blog, to capture a diversity of disciplines, worldviews, values, and regions, even if we cannot hope to represent all the great initiatives out there. The outputs of the project include a database of seeds for analysis, a story-telling blog, scenarios and games, as well as academic and popular articles.

The project is a collaboration led by McGill University in Canada, the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University in Sweden, and the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST) at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and is a FutureEarth funded Fast Track Initiative (2014-2016). For more information and to contribute your own seed initiative, see www.goodanthropocenes.net.

For a fuller picture of the workshop and the visions that were created, please refer to the workshop report and the whiteboard video below.

News: Creating positive futures for southern Africa

News: Pushing boundaries to create positive visions of the future for southern Africa

News: ARThropocene: A Day of Art-Science-Humanities Dialogue to Re-imagine the Anthropocene

News: Short film highlights Food (R)evolution Exhibition’s innovative research activations

Collaborating Institutes