This project’s full title is The Rough Guide to Zero-Carbon Skåne: worldbuilding, placemaking and prototyping decarbonised lifestyles. The following is the abstract from the funding application which secured the MSCA fellowship funding:
The Swedish government has committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. But while climate models can suggest future environmental conditions, and while sustainability transitions research can suggest pathways of sociotechnical reconfiguration, little research has yet engaged with the social and cultural meanings of lives to be lived in the climate-changed and decarbonised society described in the policy.
In addressing this research gap, this action will pioneer a new paradigm in environmental politics, while breaking down the barriers between research and science communications. By drawing on the worldbuilding techniques of science fiction, it will disseminate cutting-edge futures from climate modelling and sustainability transitions research in an accessible, engaging format. By deploying the practices of creative participatory placemaking, it will enrol citizens from locations around southern Sweden into a process of co-designing and narrating visions of life in a decarbonised sociotechnical regime. And by taking up rhetorical strategies from design fiction and transitions design, it will combine the science-based worldbuilding with the citizen narratives of futurity in order to create an artefact from a co-created future: a speculative travel guide to a decarbonised Skåne.
With communication at its core, this action will demonstrate a novel methodology for social engagement with climate policy which can be replicated in other contexts, through an innovative and interdisciplinary combination of theories and methods. Impact is promised through its intervention in the theory and practice of environmental politics, and through an ambitious strategy for communicating and publicising the project both within the academy and without. It also provides a comprehensive package of training and development for the fellow, resulting in a position of maturity, independence and visibility in an emerging field of urgent relevance to science and policymaking alike.