Co-Creating Circular Futures

Unfolding climate crisis, loss of biodiversity, mounting trash heaps, dwindling resources: our common home is in a deep crisis. Research tells us what we need to do for building a sustainable society: limit the con-sumption of resources to the carrying capacity of the planet, circulate materials in the technosphere and power sustainable material cycles with renewable energy. This will allow safeguarding the potential for future generations. However, these conditions, pathways and constraints are not very tangible, intuitive or aspira-tional for most people. Envisioning how we may live, interact, collaborate, move around and work within a sustainable circular economy is not a question science can or should answer. Still it is important to have a vision of the desirable future.
Empa-TSL is co-creating circular visions together with highly talented schoolchildren, age 8 to 12, supported and guided by PHSG (University of Teacher Education St. Gallen) as well as a designer/illustrator. While sci-entists derive their visions and conclusions mainly from observations of the present and simulations of pos-sible futures, children can contribute creative new visions unrestricted by old worldviews. Children are the decision makers of tomorrow. With their imagination and openness, they can better envision what is a desir-able future to them.
The results of this co-creation process will be preserved in the form of the illustrated children's book Circular Futures. This book will be further developed into a curriculum unit by PHSG, stimulating interest in the sus-tainable circular economy for both pupils and teachers.



Heinz Böni
Technology & Society Laboratory
Lerchenfeldstrasse 5
9014 St. Gallen
Tel. +41 58 765 78 58

Back to projects