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*** DEADLINE to nominate teams EXTENDED UNTIL MAY 10th, 2022 ***

April 18, 2022 – Unity Technologies and Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab are excited to announce a new partnership called WORLDING, an initiative to advance thought and practice at the intersection of visual storytelling, climate change, XR, and land use decision-making. The initiative is accepting nominations of teams to participate in the one-week virtual research and development workshop in the fall of 2022.

Nominations are accepted until the

We are looking for participation from 4-5 teams from different perspectives.  At a minimum, each team should consist of a storyteller and a land use planner or placemaker. Experience with XR technology may be helpful but is not required for consideration.


During the workshop, the teams will have a unique opportunity to develop their projects researchers and makers from ODL and CoCr, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) and Unity team members, along with special guests from the field, to explore how they use (or could use) realtime 3D technology to imagine, plan and co-create future worlds within real-life communities. The workshop will include a custom-curated program specifically developed for the teams. The experience of engaging with other projects working in different sectors and fields of practice creates an environment where new pathways for action are seeded, and transformational ideas can blossom. Each team will receive a small honorarium.


The cohort will be carefully selected to include a diverse spectrum of disciplines, worldviews and approaches, from documentary, journalism, to games; from professionalized urban planning to community-based placemaking; from AI-driven climate science to projects informed by Indigenous Epistemology, Afrofuturism and frameworks for disability justice. The workshop will also serve as a testing ground for curriculum development for graduate level planning classes.

All projects which meet the guidance below are welcome to be nominated from anywhere in the world (including self-nominations). We encourage applications from teams that include: Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian individuals; individuals who are part of racial, ethnic, or religious minority groups; women; gender non-conforming individuals; LGBTQI+ individuals; individuals living with a disability; and other individuals whose authorship has historically been undersupported or underrepresented within the fields of documentary, planning, and technology. 


There is no required training, educational degree, or years of experience to be nominated. We anticipate that the workshop will be most beneficial to teams that already have a problem statement and ideas on how they want to explore the intersection of placemaking, worldbuilding, storytelling, and land use.

The teams will need to make themselves available for a design process that will include  several ideation and planning sessions during the spring and summer of 2022, resulting in an intensive 5 days of virtual encounters in Fall 2022 (Sept 26  – October 7, 2022). The workshop will make an effort to accommodate candidates from any time zone, but core programming will take place within regular working hours in ET/PT time.


Nominations are accepted until May 1, 2022. The cohort will be selected by the project organizers based on information provided in the form and potentially subsequent follow up discussion. We will only reach out to projects under consideration. 


The act of co-creating XR worlds can be a powerful tool in both storytelling and placemaking. It not only sparks the collective imagination, but can also propel land use planning into direct action, especially with specific, local and urgent climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. This, at any rate, is our hypothesis, and we would like to investigate this co-creative approach to technology-assisted future-versioning by drawing together place-makers, community members, and artists/creators to visualize sustainable worlds and explore how we could use realtime 3D technologies to render them possible in real life.

Please nominate yourself or any team here.


Unity Technologies is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating immersive realtime 3D (RT3D) content.We believe the world is a better place with more creators in it – and creativity can and should come from anyone, anywhere. We focus the power of our talent, technology, and grants to empower anyone to foster a more sustainable and inclusive world. WORLDING is made possible through funding support provided by the Unity Charitable Fund, a fund of Tides Foundation.


Founded in 2016, the Co-Creation Studio is an initiative at MIT Open Documentary Lab. The studio researches and incubates collective creation (alternatives to a singular authorial vision), through a constellation of media methods. For us, co-creation can occur within communities, across disciplines and with non-human systems such as Artificial Intelligence, as outlined in our forthcoming MIT Press book, Collective Wisdom: Co-Creation Media for Equity and Justice . We work within the context of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, which brings storytellers, technologists, and scholars together to explore new documentary forms with a particular focus on collaborative and immersive storytelling.

Kat Cizek

Author Kat Cizek

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