Unboxed: Collective Futures

Unboxed: Collective Futures

A global exploration of the potential for collective imagination and creative collaboration to shape better futures for people and planet.

What is UNBOXED?

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of creativity, taking place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and online in 2022.

It aims to celebrate the power of people coming together to imagine and design better futures and will feature 10 awe-inspiring flagship installations as well as an exciting calendar of events and pop-up experiences across the UK.

Why is the RSA partnering with UNBOXED?

We are working with UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK to deliver a research project called ‘Collective Futures’. It will examine the power of collaboration between people from different backgrounds, perspectives and areas of expertise, aiming to discover ways collective imagination can help us build better futures for people and planet. This will take place between March and November 2022, and will involve participants from across the globe – including our diverse Fellowship of 30,000 change makers.

How will it work?

We will explore, learn from and share work from individuals, communities and organisations worldwide.

We will look for examples from around the world that help us understand different ways collective imagination can help us build better futures for people and planet.
We’ll be focusing on examples that are collective, futures focused and for people and planet:

  • COLLECTIVE: where marginalised groups collaborate across diverse backgrounds, experiences, and mindsets, to change something that affects their own lives and places.    
  • FUTURES FOCUSED: where the grounds for collaboration and participation is to creatively plan, design, imagine or envision desired long-term futures.   
  • FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET: practices that recognise that social and ecological challenges are interconnected, and strive to create better futures for all life on earth.

We know there are many different examples of creative collaborative working in different contexts. We are keen to gather examples in the following areas:

  • IN COMMUNITIES: from those who live in and care for a place, who are participating and collaborating to create better futures for both people and planet.
  • THROUGH LEARNING: from those in an educational context (formal or informal), who are participating and collaborating to create better futures for both people and planet.
  • AT WORK: from those within an organisation, who shapes jobs, services, and industries and who are participating and collaborating to create better futures for both people and planet.  

What’s next and how can I get involved?

There will be many opportunities to get involved with our ‘Collective Futures’ project.

As part of our exploration, we’ll launch open calls, plan events, discussions and meet-ups to which we'll invite the global audience.

UNBOXED: Collective Futures

Register for updates

Complete our short form to hear about opportunities to get involved and learn about project updates

Phase one: open call

In March 2022 we held an ‘open call’ which invited people from around the world to submit examples of what they are doing which helps to shape better futures for people and planet.

Phase two: collaboration

We will bring together a group to share insights and learnings. We’ll closely work together to run workshops and to understand the best ways to document and share the wonderful examples we’ve collected. Our current plan is to pull all our findings into a helpful guide which we hope will continue to inspire and support communities, organisations and practitioners now, and for many years to come.

Phase three: sharing and testing

We will share and test the guide. We will stimulate discussion through a series of hybrid creative conversations taking place over the summer. These will be open to our Fellowship and beyond - local and global. We will welcome anyone with an interest and curiosity to bring Collective Futures approaches into their work.

Afterwards, we’ll embed feedback into the final version of our Collective Futures guide which we will publish for all to use.

Updates from the project team

Get in touch

We would like to encourage anyone who would like to contact the team with ideas or thoughts, to email us.