Change Hive

Click to visit : Arts Council England

Our System Change HIVE is a creative engine room to explore and communicate brighter, zero carbon futures through art. Check it out at:

Our flagship project for 2019, the HIVE was an innovative collaboration between Swarm Dynamics, experts in sustainable development and systems change at STEPS Centre, Brighton University School of Media and the VR lab at Wired Sussex. 14 emerging artists and communicators participated in a participatory learning and creation experiment we co-designed with experts and artist mentors, for arts based enquiry to explore and translate complex issues about solutions into art driven communications to audiences.

A highlight of the project was a creative collaboration with the Virtual Reality lab at Wired Sussex (part of Digital Catapult) resulting in an immersive VR experience as one part of the creative outputs.  We were proud to work with experts in sustainability transformations from ESRC STEPS Centre, Professor Julie Doyle (communications, arts) from School of Media at Brighton University, and Digital Catapult Resident Wired Sussex (VR technologist Andy Baker) who all helped make the project a success. We are grateful for grant support from Arts Council England and the Chalk Cliff Trust. Read the press release here or see photos from the exhibition at

After a successful launch at Brighton Digital Festival in late 2019, we are now in the touring phase for the informative exhibition – Hidden Paths.  Featuring visual art, a short film, the Virtual Reality simulation, soundart and writing, Hidden Paths has already been shown at Change Fest Warwick Arts Centre. UPDATE:  The rest of the tour currently on hold due to COVID-19.

Hive participants exploring virtual reality
Our participants at work in the VR lab. Photo: @bozkurtidil

Update November 2020: our Project Learnings Report has now been published. To see it, click here: Hive Project Learnings Report

About the pilot – creative factory

This project was an evolution of the interdisciplinary Creative Factory we co-designed and ran with ‘Place To B’ during UNCOP21 in Paris back in 2016 when Swarm just began under its former name of Forever Swarm, before we became a charity.  The Creative Factory was a co-creation and interdisciplinary learning space involving artists, experts, game designers, campaigners and journalists. We piloted a new way of working, combining creatives with topical and communications experts to unlock creativity, think differently about more effective climate communications, creative campaign strategies, our vision of system change, and generate open source, prototyped ideas for effective creative campaigns. Many campaigners described the creative factory as ‘transformational’ for their climate work.

The photo gallery below contains a snapshot of old photos of the exciting daily life in our Creative Factory, as well as a few from the more recent System Change Hive, check back soon when we expand these galleries with recent work.

Photo Gallery


If you are an organisation seeking our help as creative catalyst to think differently about your environmental campaign strategies, to deliver creative workshops or educational events about communicating rapid transition, or for inspirational guest talks involving creatives, please use the contact form below and address your query to David.


If you are an artist, creative, or change maker generally interested in joining the Swarm collective or finding out more about what we do and would like to do, please fill in the below mail form below and one of our team will get back to you in a week or two. Alternatively, follow and ping us on facebook or twitter.


If you are able to support our unique work embedding the arts within system change and sustainable futures, please help us keep going in the aftermath of COVID19 with a small donation, which you can make securely through our page on the Charities Aid Foundation – please click here