• We were on the guest faculty for Schumacher College’s post graduate short course – Changing the Frame – the art and science of communicating transition, in 2020 and invited back again in 2021Led by David Holyoake with assistance from our Brighton artist rep, Alex Stuart-Hutcheson. In addition to transmitting learnings about communicating system change and ecologically sustainable futures, on the final day we stepped students through a story boarding process in teams – applying communications principles and foregrounding aspects of alternative economics and decarbonisation to create a plausible story of transformation to new, environmentally sustainable system with care at their heart.
  • Facilitation and teaching at University of Brighton School of Media for the (non-course accredited) programme System Change Hive, we ran from February to October in 2019. Delivered by Oxana Lopatina and David Holyoake and external experts.
  • Guest lecture for Schumacher College/Dartington ‘Earth Talks’ series 1 in 2020, about transition narrative post COVID-19, towards alternative systems and environmentally sustainable futures, online live event with Swarms’ David Holyoake. Youtube recording below.
  • Guest speakers for Degrowth Talks (ecological economics) UK creative online webinar in June 2020, also featuring Rob Hopkins (Founder Transition Town movement) and others.

We sometimes involve artists and creatives in these events, to assist with story boarding, or simply to help lubricate our process of radical dreaming — informed re-imagining of the possibilities of daily life in new, zero carbon systems based on well-being for all. Below are a few of the artists in our circles engaging with this in their own creative practice.

Radical Dreaming 

This is infinitely rich creative territory for creative artists, and mounts a significant challenge to the ongoing fashion for irony and art for arts sake. These ideas raise fascinating challenges for creatives – what value changes and mind shifts need to occur? What will a day in a life be like? What new aesthetics emerge in response to the realization the old progress myths are broken? How can art and/or agit-prop art persuade and provoke positive change?

Below are the outlines of 3 novels or graphic novels  Swarm artists are already undertaking on their own.  Each of these are good examples of ‘radical dreaming’ or speculative fiction elaborating life within carbon constrained world, and we eagerly await their completion.


Suburb of Paris, 2050 : Sienne, 16 years old, and his brother Vincent, 14 years old, live together with their mother, Jeanne, a poor but passionate scientist specialized in tree studying. To survive, the family has to collect plastic in abandoned houses, left by rich people who now all live in Cities centers after the Great Collapse : not enough gas and not enough renewable energies to run the world economy. Storms, drought and floods are happening all the time and the scientific community has just discovered that most part of the trees are sick. Just before dying, Sienne’s mother gives her daughter a mission that could save both the trees and the human people. The young girl has to find a grand-mother she never met and a mysterious community she’s never heard of, hidden somewhere in the south of France.

Sister and brother leave an old but loved house with their mother’s ashes gathered in a jam pot. They start a dangerous trip accross France. Step by step, they discover a new emerging society underneath the ashes of the old world, a powerful network of people who fight for their ideas, a new way to live in symbiosis with Earth. Most of all, they experience an incredible connexion to the living that fill their souls with joy, strength and hope.

This novel project won the “Centre National du Livre” Novel scholarship

“MOKATORI” graphic novel project by CAMILLE BISSUEL 

Alternative futures in a warming world… 

“MOKATORI” graphic novel project by CAMILLE BISSUEL


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