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The Possibilities of Community and Connection in a Post-Climate Collapse World

By Ana Dasgupta | Elizabeth Graff | Amy Zasadzinski | Emery Donovan

May 11, 2023

What could a balanced climate change future look like

How will it feel to live in a climate change future? What new social systems will emerge as climate migration becomes more of a reality in the United States? What possibilities are obfuscated by pervasive dystopian narratives about climate change?

To explore these questions, we created an immersive scenario set in a possible climate change future. The scenario takes place 300 seasons after ‘The Great Turning’ of 2050, when we imagine that U.S. society would have just experienced catastrophic social collapse due to compounding climate disasters. In this imagined future, the former United States is now known as Clovaland and due to climate change, there are very few areas in Clovaland where it’s safe to live year round. As a result, most Americans are now members of nomadic communities who travel from place to place throughout the year.

Our scenario immersed 25 participants in a 30 minute graduation ceremony of one of these nomadic groups and explored how ritual, strong individual relationships and human adaptability can exist within the larger context of environmental devastation. Participants reflected that being immersed in this speculative future made them think about climate change in a more nuanced, somatic and possibility-oriented way.

Project Details

  • Class: Designing Futures
  • Instructor: Laura Forlano