‘In the world there is a great demand for post-disciplinary work. Why? Because the crisis that we are facing is a social, economic and governance crisis – it is a mixed crisis. I don’t think you can separate it out. We need engineers who sometimes write poems, poets who understand issues of energy and geologists who can read literature.‘
– Marco Armiero
To restate the problem I outlined at the beginning of this report: at present the Australian public is not empowered to come to engage with or contribute toward the complex issues facing us as a nation. With that in mind, my goal is to work toward:
A broader and deeper engagement for Australians with questions of Australia’s future and the system-wide challenges we face.
I believe Experiential Futures and Systems Gaming can offer a deeper and broader contribution than they currently do, and I would like to see both fields supported to develop in these areas.
- Increased Depth: Developing the form
Experiential Futures and Systems Gaming are emerging forms of practice, and there are many ways in which it can be refined and extended. So far, there have been virtually no spaces where practitioners can share insights, test new ideas and properly explore the range of this work.
I propose that a summit, conference or workshop event be held to bring together practitioners from Experiential Futures, Systems Gaming and the respective science and arts fields that contribute toward them, to share ideas, theories and develop new ideas through play. In addition, I suggest funds be held in reserve to seed-fund potential collaborative projects that emerge from this event.
- Increased Breadth: Expanding the application
In Australia, I believe there is an opportunity to employ Experiential Futures and Systems Gaming in developing programs, events and activities for diverse communities. I think these practices may be uniquely able to engage communities and individuals who are not engaged by more traditional consultation or forum type events.
In order to learn how to apply these tools outside of the arts and science sectors where they have developed, I propose that Experiential Futures and Systems Gaming practitioners begin engaging with skilled community facilitators and participating in community consultation exercises. This will afford the opportunities to learn appropriate facilitation skills, as well as contributing activities from their fields as components of existing community engagement programs.
- Other Recommendations
Introducing new programs to support these emerging fields should not neglect existing science and arts organisations that are currently bringing science and arts practitioners together and making those connections.
Any support for Australian science-art projects must also take into account the high rate of failure in new interdisciplinary work and the necessity for a large number of projects to be supported in order to ensure an acceptable number of successes.