A vision of a radical change towards a sustainable future: Speculated and applied

In order to stay within planetary boundaries, it is said that we should change our societies in radical ways. In this paper, we propose and design an alternative future state, acknowledging such a radical change. Embodied as individual climate goals, we take a Speculative Research through Design approach, thereby positioning participants in such a radically different future system.

To shape this speculative system, we engaged experts through interviews and a future vision and backcasting workshop. We translated this vision of a radical change towards a sustainable future, into the concept Spilltime, in which a carbon budget is central. It consists of a CO2e pulse, a CO2e coach, an ambient interface and a CO2e reflection offering detailed information. Utilizing wearable technology, video tracking and a Wizard of Oz approach, we embedded the Spilltime concept in the lives of six participants. Thereby, we were able to provide high resolution real time CO2e feedback in relation to the activities the six participants engaged in.

With this Speculative Research through Design approach, we managed to embody experiences of (radical) future states and enter a deeply reflective space to uncover stories of opportunity and despair around a carbon literacy.