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Remember the Future

Remember the Future

Three-quarters of young people worldwide are frightened about the future. Despite the alarming situation, there is room for hope: All the solutions we need to stabilize our climate are already in our hands – but we need to implement them rapidly. To motivate (young) people to fight for a liveable future, we show them how we will have accomplished it:

In 2073, a climate activist looks back on crucial points in history and tells her story of how we achieved humanity’s biggest challenge. 

Providing the climate community with hope to inspire real change.

An audience-tested, science-based narrative framework set in a preferable future. Realized as an AI-co-powered short film.

My Role
Research (Users, Science, Culture), Strategy, Creative & Design Lead, Concept & Ideation, Direction, Gen AI

Figma, Keynote, Premiere, Dall-E, Midjourney, Firefly, Runway Gen-2, After Effects, AIVA, Adobe CC

In-depth interviews, desk research, foresight, strategic design framework, user testing, iterative process

Concept, strategy, storytelling, filmmaking, creative direction, collaboration, systems thinking


“1.5 degrees is a physical limit, not a political target.”

— Johan Rockström, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Several tipping points within the Earth’s climate system are at risk at 1.5 °C. They could start a chain reaction beyond our control, leading to runaway heating—and ultimately to the collapse of human civilization as we know it.


This unconvenient truth impacts our society and mental health: 75 % of young people worldwide are frightened of the future because of the climate crisis.

If people are frightened, they often turn to coping mechanisms that do not lead to any action at all. Instead, these tactics create a vicious cylce of depression and even more inaction.

Rockström and Gupta 2023
cf. Rockström and Gupta 2023; cf. IPCC 2023 (AR6 SYR SPM p. 25, p. 30)
cf. Hickmann et al. 2021 (p. 863)


Saving the climate requires change. So the mission is to establish hope as a foundation for sustainable action:

Turning Future Anxiety
into Future Excitement.

Climate science—including the IPCC reports—do not only show the likely catastrophic scenarios (if we fail to bring our emissions down), but also the solutions ready to be implemented to stabilize our climate system. Altogether, there are a lot of good reasons to be hopeful:

Climate & Society

  1. There are pathways towards a stable climate that are “challenging,” but possible.
  2. Social change is more important than the physical tipping points within the climate system.
  3. There are also tipping points within our societies. (That’s good.)

Six social tipping points have been studied by the Potsdam Institute, and one of them has already been crossed:

Energy & Storage Systems. Renewables are now cheaper than any other fossil-based energy.

Also, according to the IEA:

Renewables are growing rapidly—making 1.5° still possible.


IEA: Total renewable capacity additions

Most imporantly, the IPCC concludes:

We have all the tools we need.

cf. Washington Post, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research 2022
cf. University of Hamburg 2023
cf. University of Cambridge 2023; Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research 2020
cf. International Energy Agency 2021; International Renewable Energy Agency 2021
cf. International Energy Agency 2023
cf. IPCC 2023

Designing Futures

The Futures Cone visualizes different futures in different ranges of probability (as seen from today’s perspective): Probable, Plausible and Possible Futures.

It’s up to us to choose and work towards a preferable future.


The Futures Cone, based on Taylor 1990, Hancock & Bezold 1994, Voros 2000s

Speculative Design is an approach that imagines possible scenarios beyond traditional forecasting—to provoke discussion about what kind of future is desirable. The discipline is connected to Strategic Foresight, and also used to help with long-term decision-making.

The preferable future of a 1.5° climate world serves as the foundation for Remember the Future

cf. Taylor 1990; Hancock & Bezold 1994; Voros 2000s
cf. Dunne and Raby 2013

Scenarios & Worldbuilding

How does a 1.5° world look like 50 years from now?


Speculative scenario based on IPCC pathways and mitigation options.

Based on the warming scenarios and mitigation options studied by the IPCC, a speculative scenario was developed to make the future tangible.

The preferable future of a 1.5° climate-stable world serves as the foundation for Remember the Future.


A shift of perspectives:
Telling the story of how we will do it.
Telling the story of how we will have done it.

It’s 2073. An activist looks back and tells us how we solved the climate challenge.

A human being tells the story from her own point of view—making scientific pathways tangible, and an abstract future relatable.

The strategic narrative framework is set to raise awareness, and has potential for further iterations—communicating to different audiences.


The iterative design process was based on the Systemic Design Framework (extended Double Diamond) popularized by the British Design Council.


Each of the three stages of the project (concept, narrative, realization) was guided by the framework.

The first version of the film was presented to key members of the audience to gather important feedback for the next iteration—introducing an agile approach to storytelling.


A narrative framework, realized as a short film:

It’s 2073. An activist looks back and tells us how we solved the climate challenge.

Concept, Direction, Gen AI, Supervision
Gerald Geier

Carina Fuchser
Ingrid Porzner

Conceptual & Artistic Consultation
Matthias Spaetgens
Bouchra Khalili
Birgit Hertel
Anab Jain
Martin Klaffensteiner
Katja Hummer
Emma Reynolds
Lisa Schultz
Andreas Putz
Ellen Petry Leanse
Johannes Lotze

Direction of Photography
Oscar Pecher

Alice Neumann

Kilian Floch

Production Consultation
Tony Guedes
Albert Car

Fashion Consultation
Stefan Schönauer
Liam Pfefferkorn


Project Consultation and Support
Lucia Quiqueran
David Hampel
Margareta Felicia Stern
Martin Klaffensteiner
Angelika Kessler
Flora Mair
Paulus Dreibholz
Astrid Seme
Ingmar Thies
Tessa Sima
Julia Bichler
Julia Presslauer
Manuela Hausmann
Wolfgang Neipl
Jan Jancik
Franz Frommann
Raffaele Dalla Casa
Tobias Raschbacher
Fabian Draxl
Katharina Steiner

Special Thanks
Michael Klammer
Chiara Tagger
CliMates Austria
University of Applied Arts Vienna


Collaboration is key—especially with extensive projects that require a high level of expertise in realization.

Strategic design processes work great with human-focused storytelling.

Utilizing Generative AI can be fun and frustrating at the same time—it’s important to stay flexible and adapt workflows as tools evolve.


“Best short film I have seen in a long time.”
“Wow! Emotional, hopeful and relatable.”
“Makes me cry every time.”

— Climate justice activists


© Forward Festival, Niklas Schaubelt

The project was presented at the Forward Festival in Vienna's iconic Gartenbaukino, as well as the Austrian Youth Climate Conference—inspiring people to tell different stories about our future.

Public release
Coming Soon

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