Hundreds of year five and six students were transported to 2050, as part of the Vivid Ideas Program.

UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute transported 300 Sydney based year five and six students into the year 2050 as part of the Vivid Ideas Festival. The show, titled 'Way Finders: The Future is in Your Hands', was sponsored by DGFI as part of the Future Communities Impact theme, which seeks to educate and support communities through the energy transition, in order to secure a healthy planet for humankind. 

Way Finders transported the audience to 2050 to provide a sneak peek into future technologies, and to encourage kids to share a postcard from the futureon how people can make choices to ensure that they would create a better, more sustainable future for themselves, their peers, family and the planet. 

With support and input from the Institutes researchers, DGFI enlisted a team comprising mathematics education researcher Dr Laura Tuohilampi, PhD student and science educator Luke Steller, and independent First Nations artist Neville Williams Boney, to write and perform a unique interactive, immersive and educational experience.


Learning outcomes

The time travel concept was underpinned by three learning outcomes that taught the audience three key principles: 

Be A Prosumer. Well produce and consume energy in the future, and so demonstrated examples on how we might share energy and lower overall consumption.

Be in The Loop: Sustainability is a team effort, and when all of us make small, sustainable choices every day, our collective impact is much larger than our individual impact alone.

Shape Your Digital Footprint: All our actions create data, but we have to be careful about how we share this data. This data, when used responsibly, can also be used to make society more efficient and safer.


More decarbonisation programs to come

The Vivid Wayfinders performance served as a concept for future educational programs to be produced by the Institute. The topics of decarbonisation and the urgency around the energy transition to renewables are rightfully grabbing daily headlines.

The Institute aims to empower future generations and their communities about the opportunities this transition will bring, along with educating regional and remote communities about how to navigate the vast opportunities presented by the transition in generations to come.

The success of the Vivid performance showed us that there is a unique way to educate and empower kids and their teachers in an uplifting and fun way” said Sharon Swift, Manager of DGFI.

Luke, Neville and Laura really are a dream team, with a special combination of First Nationsknowledge and the STEM education know-how to amplify complex concepts to a wide audience. Together with generous donors and UNSW support, we hope to develop a comprehensive community outreach program to ensure all young Australians can feel positive and empowered about the future”.