Foodure Institute—Participatory Futures Workshop

Workshop Facilitation, 2018


What does the future of food look like? To find out, the Corbin Hill Food Project got enlisted to help speculate on the idea during a tailored workshop. The participatory futures workshop aimed to encourage and inspire employees at the Corbin Hill Food Project to amplify community members’ voices and encourage them to think about their work on a larger, more extended scale.
        Corbin Hill Food Project is a mixed model nonprofit/social enterprise that works to supply fresh, local food to those that need it most through its farm share and institutional programs. Developing an imaginary institute named “The Foodure Institute,” a play on “food” and “future” helped to mirror their focus and to frame the workshop.

“The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.”

—William Gibson


  • Workshop facilitation
    The group visited Corbin Hill in their offices and ran an hour-long workshop exploring the topics of food communities, technology, and agriculture in the future. During the workshop, the participants were divided into groups, picked a signal, imagined future professions 50 years from now, brainstormed potential possibilities using the futures wheel methodology, and created dioramas depicting one of these options. The materialization helped to represent their imaginations and to talk about their future scenarios.Participants finally were asked to write themselves a postcard from the future as supportive material for the future scenario they have created.

  • Workshop process
    Future job title, Signal sharing, Futures wheel, Postcard from the future, and Rapid prototyping. After the introduction, the participants were able to pick a pre-selected signal through a game. The criteria of pre selection of the signals was to be related to Corbin Hill Food Project Practices. Five sections were used: People, Location, Agriculture, Nature/Nutrition, and Technology/Transportation (PLANT). Once all the participants selected a signal, they formed teams, where they discussed the trends and developed Future Wheels and Scenarios. Later on, teams were able to represent and capture the scenarios in a dioramas format by using the provided materials. The last section was about writing a letter from the future to themselves in the present, considering all aspects of change.


Thanks to Corbin Hill Food Project and Elliott P. Montgomery.

Further thanks to Yuxin Cheng, Alyssa Kropp, Megan Willy, and Mariana Gonzalez Ruiz Velasco.