2030 Communication + Mutua



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2020 - Individual & Group Project

2030 Global Communication
There isn’t one distinct future for humanity, but instead a plethora of potential scenarios that will shape the trajectory of human existence on Earth. The focus of Future Experiences was to research and predict how the Global South could progress in the next 10 years as a result of sustainable development work. A focus of our project was to discuss the possibility of creating a more distributed future where communities acorss the world can develop and influence sustainability.

Sustainable Futures in Africa (SFA) is an interdisciplinary collective that brings together researchers, practitioners and communities of practice that acknowledge the complex nature of sustainability. The network aims to build understanding, research and practice in socio-ecological sustainability in Africa.

The project aim was to design the future experiences of sustainability development work enabled by the changing role of the global south. For part one our group was tasked with looking at the development of sustainable work from the perspective of mobility.

Group:

Eilish McArthur
Indre Strazdaite
Jess Judge

Struan Stewart


‘We live in a time of deep ecological mutation, which scientists now define as the ‘Anthroprocene’. This expression emerged in the 2000s to describe a new geological epochh marked by human activity and its effect on the planet. Having shaped the planet to a point where our own species might not survive in the future, should we once more intervene in the Earth’s system in an attempt to repair this damage?’

- The Future Starts Here, V&A





To begin the process of analysing our domain we created a variety of cards used to explore future trends and speculative predictions for both physical and social mobility. The context of the cards included social, technological, economic, educational, ethical, values, political, legal and ecological factors that could affect mobility in 2030. 

The cards included utopian and dystopian visions of how we predict mobility (in all aspects of the term) to develop in the Global South. Key insights included revolutionary developments to transportation brought about by technological advances. This was prevelant in Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Telsa companies that focus on creating sustainable methods of travelling that cut back substaintially on the time taken to travel between countries, as well as the amount of emissions produced when doing so.

Another direction discovered at this initial stage was the mobility of languages across the globe and the way in which communication would develop in the next 10 years.



For the future world we were interested in creating provoking a conversation with people from both the Global South and the Global North. In order to explore the context of social mobility our group looked at examples of products and projects that immersed people, allowing them to be transported to new places and opening their senses to experience different emotions.


After conducting our research the next stage of our project required investigating ways in which to instigate a conversation between two people, with each person representing either the Global North or the Global South. An initial method of representing this communication disconnect was to create a barrier between both people involved to represent the physical and digital barrier between both parties.

A prominent idea that arose from this exploration process was to use a paper shredder as a metaphorical representation of how communication is distorted between the Global North and South or, alternatively how different languages can merge to create new forms of communication.



As the Mobility group we envisioned a Future World in which environmental pressures have caused people to limit their international travel. Companies and organisations therefore rely even more heavily on efficient digital communication to operate globally. This has made ‘in situ’ collaboration less viable, in some cases resulting in a disconnect in the understanding of different values and cultures around the world.

Our exhibition was a collection of suspended artefacts that represented the future roles we envision within a sustainable world of communication. We decided to suspend everything to reflect that communication is intangible and always in motion, with values and knowledge constantly evolving. The audience was invited to respond to prompts and to input their own perspective (in the form of drawings or words) into the ‘2030 future discussions’. The central net catches these perspectives and the transparent fishing wire reflects the fragility of communication. It is not so much about the responses, rather the process of individual engagement around each of the future roles.

The Community Ambassador

As a way to combat the issue of reduced travel time for global companies, the network of Community Ambassadors have been put in place to represent the needs and values of the people in their community. These communities are not geographical, but rather represent communities across boundaries and borders. They are nominated by members within the community and rotated on a yearly basis. Their role is to generate discussion and ultimately listen to the different members of their community. They will then be able to feed this information to both the Global North associates and different Community Ambassadors within the Global South. This will help to enable self-sufficiency, reduce the risk of creating a dependency, and ensure that different communities have a voice within sustainable development work.

The suspended headphones introduces an audience member to the role of the community ambassador. They are given an example of a community (migrant mothers and caregiving fathers from across the globe), and listen to a series of extracts from members of the community. We wanted to emphasis the importance of listening and making sure every voice is heard.

The Value Navigator

The role of the Value Navigator is to ensure that the multitude of values within communities are not lost due to the effect of the movement of people. They work particularly with communities to develop ways of capturing these 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. Their role is also to enable fluid understanding of these values between different sets of people, recreating immersive experiences, which will help to inspire discussion and conversation, and ensure that the values exchanged are understood.

The Value Compass is a symbolic artefact within sustainable development work in 2030. You may remember how 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 sustainable development work is directed by the values of the Global South.

The Digital Gatekeeper

With increased digital watergates, the amount of information passed between the Global North and the Global South, as well as within the Global South itself, is overwhelming. Digital Gatekeepers have been put in place to help make sense of this data flow within sustainable development work. Regarding particular projects, you will help to gather a synthesised research base, track the life of a project, and help to produce outputs of information across different medias, for different audiences. In some cases it includes analysing data inputs and judging potential biased or fake news.

Each suspended sheet of fibrous paper has a different data set from 2030. These include news reports, social media, data on precision agriculture and weather forecasting, and various reports on the implementation and success of the Sustainable Development Goals.








Mutua

Mutua is a service provider established as a subsidiary of the United Nations in response to Goal 17 of its Sustainable Development Goals. This Goal aims to revitalise partnerships between the Global North and Global South, enhancing the exchange of knowledge and helping to promote trade. Mutua aims to provide technological guidance to a range of stakeholders interested in partnering with people in diverse communities around the globe. The service offers training for ‘Technological Ambassadors’, who can participate in residencies aimed at building knowledge and identifying needs for new technologies in specific contexts. By pairing people and companies from the Global North and Global South, Mutua ensures that technology projects are implemented in ways that are useful and sustainable.





After working in a group to create a model for the sustainable mobility of communication we envisioned for 2030 we individually set about creating our own proposals. I continued with the proposition of having digital gatekeeping roles put in place to assess the flow of digital information between a range of stakeholders. I wanted to pursue this idea further to explore how new technology could be sustainably realised in places that wouldn’t otherwise have access or resources to enable it.

The project aims to promote a more fluid exchange of technological knowledge, not only from the people and companies implementing the technology, but also from those living in the Global South. These people may be able to guide the Global North on how to effectively up-cycle and repurpose technology that might otherwise be deemed obsolete.




In effect Mutua would act as a platform for creating positive, ethical and environmentally friendly change within the domain of both global and local technology use. Through a network of trained Technology Ambassadors, accessible for hire by large organisations, exists the possibility to provide meaningful technological solutions to communities who in turn may share their insights and geographical-specific knowledge to these companies.












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