Chris Vrettos

LYMPIA 2050: THE FUTURES WE WANT

Where do the various exercises (Three Horizons, Future Wheel, etc.) on which the workshop you propose will be based, come from?

A part of the socio-environmental sciences is gradually turning towards “Futures Thinking”, i.e. (participatory) exercises and research on possible scenarios of what the future could look like. This allows participants to first focus on and then co-construct positive visions of the future they themselves want. Such an optimistic vision also contributes to a broader change in our daily lives, giving us a ‘purpose’ or ‘goal’ essentially. It also allows participants to cultivate a systematic thinking that brings together the environment, technology, politics, society, etc., hence deconstructing complexity.

How did your collaboration with this year’s Xarkis Festival come about? What is the purpose of your participation in the festival?

I was invited by founder and creative director Christina Skarpari, recognizing that socio-environmental sustainability is primarily a cultural issue. Through a series of interventions, networking and general consultation, my purpose is to explore the various ways that the Festival can become more inclusive and sustainable.

In what ways do you think communities like Xarkis’ can contribute, if not to overall social reconstruction, at least to establishing a basis for cultivating dialogue, constructive disagreement and systematic thinking?

First of all, through their more direct participation in the public sphere; we must (re)cultivate a pedagogy that requires citizens to be more active. New directives from the European Union stipulate that citizens can now organise themselves into energy communities, and thus become co-producers and co-owners of clean energy projects. This is just one of many practical examples of collective participation. Social groups that have not been represented in the public sphere up until now must also be given the space to demand new policies.