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CAMBRIDGE, Mass, September 26 – Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Doc Lab is announcing a global cohort of five projects for WORLDING 2023, a leading research and development incubator. It explores an emergent field of climate futures with interdisciplinary teams made up of storytellers, land use planners, and creative technologists who use speculative modeling and game engine technologies. It’s a research initiative supported by a Unity Charitable Fund grant and Unity for Humanity.

During the three-week virtual incubator, teams will have a rare opportunity to develop their projects with researchers and makers from MIT and Unity, along with special guests from the field, to explore how they can use real time 3D technology to imagine, plan and co-create future worlds within real-life communities. The incubator will include a bespoke program specifically curated for the teams. Last year’s teams engaged with over 40 leading experts.

“At the studio, we are championing co-creation as a path towards a healthy and just planet. We are witnessing a whole new field mushrooming with WORLDING and everyone is eager to grow this community,” said Katerina Cizek, MIT lead of WORLDING and Artistic Director of the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab.

Through the WORLDING call for submissions, the studio received 83 project nominations from five continents across diverse disciplines led by BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and multi-tier documentarians, designers, technologists, architects, entrepreneurs, urban planners and climate scientists. The incubator will also include 23 additional projects from the submissions to engage  in current themes through panel discussions during the event.

“Worlding combines our passion for social impact storytelling and incredible innovative storytelling,” said Paisley Smith, of Unity of Humanity Program and Community. She added  “This is an opportunity for creators to incubate their game changing projects and connect with experts across climate, story, and technology. The Unity for Humanity Program is so proud to support Worlding and the space it creates to incubate change, through the power of imagination.”

Some of the presentations and discussions from WORLDING will be made available to the general public, and learnings from this intensive will be made available shortly after the event. To learn more go to subscribe to newsletters here, and follow us on instagram at [at]cocreationstudio

A collage of headshots of the 15 participants of WORLDING 2023

From the top left corner, WORLDING 2023 participants: Smirna Kulenović, Jordyn Barber, Gayatri Parameswaran, Amy Louise Wilson, Meztli Cambray, Miguel Ángel Sánchez, Christina Chi Zhang, Tsewang Namgail, Traci Kwaai, Colleen McGregor, Félix de Rosen, Felix Gaedtke, Ariella Gaughan, Kyle Marais and Omar R. Godínez Ortega.

The participants come from a wide range of disciplines and life experience, including land-use planning, place-making, climate science, architecture, filmmaking, creative technology, Indigenous epistemologies, art, zoology, journalism, games, community organizing, entrepreneurship, scholarship, education and activism. 


The five selected projects for WORLDING 2023 are:


An illustration of a snow leopard emerging from a pop-up children's book

Living with the Snow Leopards is a mixed reality documentary that explores the complex relationship between the human inhabitants of the Himalayan mountain desert and the endangered snow leopards. Team members: Gayatri Parameswaran, Felix Gaedtke and Tsewang Namgail.


a collage of underwater imagery, in purple and turqouise hues, featuring a free diver amongst a kelp forest.

Fisher Child is a multimedia project which builds on the ancestral-archival work of sixth-generation fisher child Traci Kwaai. This repository of Indigenous marine knowledge from a small South African fishing village visualizes in 3D the precarity of coastal lives in a time of climate chaos. Team members: Traci Kwaai, Kyle Marais and Amy Louise Wilson.


a tranquil image of a bsunniy day in a park, with a park bench in the foreground and trees in the back.

The Greenprint is a real-world data city simulator game that connects people in designing sustainable communities. Beginning in Georgetown, SC, players and residents of the local community contribute to virtual reclamations of plantations and to building a new way of life. Team members: Jordyn Barber, Colleen McGregor and Ariella Gaughan.


a group of women, all dressed in red, garden on a holl top by a forest overlooking the city of Sarajevo.

Our Family Garden is a participatory digital memorial situated as a medicinal plant garden, imagined within the 32km line of the abandoned war trenches surrounding Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Designed as an interactive audiovisual experience, it allows local users to preserve their memories of the siege of Sarajevo and the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995), as well as their memories of traditional plant medicines used for healing during wartime, when other types of medicine were hardly available. At the same time, it becomes a global community garden. Team members: Smirna Kulenović, Félix de Rosen and Christina Chi Zhang


ATL is an interactive and immersive documentary that transports viewers on a journey aboard a chinampa in the ancient Lake Texcoco during the pre-Hispanic era in Mexico. ATL offers a unique experience to understand Mexico City, a city once built on a lake and now facing a severe water crisis. ATL (meaning ‘water” in Aztec) advocates action and sustainable practices, using technology and narrative to raise awareness. Team Members: Miguel Ángel Sánchez, Meztli Cambray and Omar R. Godínez Ortega.


The five selected teams will meet in a virtual series of sessions featuring trailblazing makers, technologists, planners, decision-makers, and scholars as guest speakers, who will offer hands-on sessions, inspiration and mentorship opportunities. 

“What we learned from WORLDING 2022 is that the need for creator communities at the intersection of land use, 3D storytelling, and climate futures is urgent both as a response to the pace of climate change and also to highlight the complex interconnectedness of these problems. Our goal in 2023 is to expand the network further out so that more teams from around the world build together and in conversation with each other,” said Srushti Kamat, WORLDING Producer, and MIT grad. 

More WORLDING Community Panels and guest speakers will be announced soon.


Check out more on the projects and people here.

Kat Cizek

Author Kat Cizek

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