a utopian research method

About Utopoly

Method and game:

Utopoly is utopia in practice, a method to imagine better worlds and explore them through playing a game. It starts with a Future Workshop to critique current situations and then through a journey of co-discovery and playful imagination, utopian values, ideas, and desires become features of the game. It creates a generative space where alternative formations of the future are discussed, played with, and encountered.

What it uses:

Utopoly releases our innate creative potential and qualities of cooperation and altruism. It uses the creative capacity of play and playfulness to question the present, generate future possibilities, explore alternatives, and imagine ourselves otherwise. Rules, ideologies, and cultural norms are open to question and change through imagination, improvisation, and hopeful narratives of the future. Alternative values and currencies are offered as a reminder that different economies exist and are possible - economies which are sustainable, reciprocal, and regenerative.

What it does:

Utopoly produces utopia – both temporarily during the method and in the future as individual transformation. This utopia is about ‘willful’ engagement, rather than ‘wishful’ thinking, it is produced through creative imagination, where expectations for a better world are encouraged. It is anticipatory and hopeful – a direction of travel not a final destination. Before playing the game there is a process of co-construction where hopes, needs and desires are explored though discussion. These conversations, together with thoughts, actions, and aesthetics encountered during Utopoly produce new knowledge and understandings. Stories are told of the past, present and future which can be beneficially self-fulfilling and help bring a new world into being.

Who it’s for:

Utopoly is for everyone hopeful for a better world – it is also applicable within specific communities and organisations where it is used to explore and imagine future policy, novel ways of working and institutional change. It is useful in fields and communities such as: innovation, social design, narrative studies, policy research, social activism, educationalists, progressive changemakers, visionaries, futurists, social justice movements amongst others.

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