TINA: There Is No Alternative. You may or may not remember the catchphrase of 1980's UK prime minister Thatcher, in which she argued there was no better system than the globalised, capitalised market economy, and that this was from now on undebatable.
Well, think again, mrs. Thatcher.
It's the year 2022. Time to re-open the debate. Welcome back to Waag's expedition to planet B: what if we could design a whole new planet? What economic system would we put in use? This year, Waag will research what happens if we change the rules of the game.
System or game?
Capitalism, like any other system, once started as a theory. Take the stock market, for example: a huge system in which billions of people invest their money and futures, and that puts millions to work? It is merely based on one thing: trust in (endless) growth.
For every system currently in use, there have been people who have drawn up ideas and theories, that determine how we live today. This means there should also be alternatives, other drawings, and new theories. Waag wants to know: who designed the economic value system we currently live in? How does it work? And what would happen if we just changed one of the rules: would the whole system collapse like a house of cards, or is it possible to slowly but surely adjust all the rules of the game?
In 2022, Waag will research how we can reach a future that is open, fair and inclusive. We will do so together with you, by taking a new approach to our systems. What if we no longer take growth as the aim of our economy, but, for example, solidarity, circularity, or the assurance that we can still breathe oxygen in 2090? What if we re-evaluate the concept of value? What if we think from the commons? And what if we would completely redesign our economic system, with society and nature at its core?
In 2021, Waag researched the Netherland's hopes and dreams for the future. We roamed off the entire country for input on the subject. In 2022, Waag will research the rules of the current system, who made them, and if they can be changed.
Join us! This year, you will find Waag throughout the country again. Explore the workings of the world's current economic value systems during the Dig Deeper programmes. Find us during festival season for a deep dive into the question what will happen if we change the rules of the game - we will, in fact, play games to explore this. Also, the Future Talks programme series returns in 2022. In collaboration with designers, artists and societal actors we will question the role of design, technology and the arts in the challenges we are currently facing as societies.
Because we are in fact facing many challenges, and they can be frightening to say the least. But in stead of getting scared and doing nothing, Waag thinks we can reframe the future. We are excited about it! About circular streams for food and materials, common resources, energy positive districts, fair technologies and solidarity that transcends class. We cordially invite you to think along with us again in 2022.
About Waag Futurelab
Waag Futurelab is a platform for designers and artists to research current societal issues. Waag brings together all relevant parties through expositions, presentations, experiments, debates and reflection. In the four-year Expeditions to planet B programme, Waag Futurelab is finding the answer to the following design questions: what if a planet B would exist? How would we re-design our world and our lives? And what does that teach us about the here and now?