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Visualising an Irresistible Future

This project will explore how creating the vision of a sustainable and thriving future could:

  • provide a tool to reverse dis-empowerment among youth;
  • teach state-of-the-art knowledge of sustainable environments;
  • teach filmmaking skills to youth;
  • actually enable the vision to be achieved by participating communities.

The project will employ the video feedforward teaching and learning method which will alllow, through clever video editing, the creation of a vision of an irresistible future. Melbourne secondary school students will engage over 3 months to imagine this 5-year future, then work with the researchers to film themselves in it. To develop the vision, the students will participate in workshops with the researchers, relevant architects, engineers, architects, environmental and social scientists, and community leaders facilitated through the universities.

This is a pilot study with a view to a large project which would develop a resource for other schools to take up the concept of producing their own feedforward films. The aims are to:

  • discover whether the theory and proven performance of feedforward with individuals can be translated to “communities”;
  • evaluate if presenting and reviewing the opportunities of a sustainable thriving future will result in behaviour change leading towards that future; and
  • examine whether having a positive audiovisual basis for action in the future is generally effective in re-engaging young people in creating positive futures.

Outcomes will include a 15-minute video, research behavioural data from showing and seeing the video, and an audiovisual course guide for replication and large-scale research.


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Engaging young people in creating positive futures

Project Title

Imagining an Irresistible and Sustainable Future using Film and Testing Behavioural and Attitudinal Shifts in a School Community

Major Sponsor

Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (Uni of Melb)

Research Partners

University of Melbourne
University of Auckland

Project Team

Dr Dominique Hes (Uni of Melb)
Prof Peter Dowrick (Uni of Auckland)
A/Prof Dianne Vella-Brodrick  (Uni of Melb)
A/Prof Kathryn Williams (Uni of Melb)


Dr Dominique Hes