Gold Coast City Futures forum, 2019

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Post-event summary

2019’s iteration of Relative Creative’s ‘Gold Coast City Futures forum‘ saw the exploration of  just transitions in a new green world as the inaugural event. It was held on Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th of October. The event was a huge success in terms of engagement and level of discourse, with over 100 tickets sold and roughly 90 original attendees over the 2-day event. There was considerable attendee generated content from the workshops that we have collated and made public. These conversations and insights helped to shape the 2050 transition report designed and produced by Relative Creative. You can read the report here.

Why a Gold Coast City Futures forum?

The Gold Coast shares South East Queensland’s vulnerabilities to a rapidly changing climate and world. The Gold Coast is attracting one of the fastest growing populations in Australia and has been singled out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change owing to its geography and settlement patterns. We could be dramatic and speculate that in the next few decades our physiology will find it difficult to cope with the rapid heat rise, our blood will struggle to cope with the migrating diseases and germs. We might speculate we’ll be sick, irritated and, due to climatic conditions, forcibly displaced. We might duckdive deeper into our dystopian dream and imagine a Gold Coast where planes do not land; tourists do not visit; and waves without migrating box jellyfish and crocs do not exist. Or, we could begin to imagine an inter and cross-disciplinary post-carbon transition for Gold Coast City Futures. We could listen to the science based research of the IPCC alongside social sciences; we could learn what urban, technology, energy and agro-food research can contribute to our transition. We could come together and ask, what will need to be designed; envisioned and revisioned, built and unbuilt, coded and created, manufactured and remanufactured, cultivated, employed and deployed, grown and degrown, urbanised and reforested and planned, power struggled and politicised to get to a viable, healthy Gold Coast future? We, as global citizens and Gold Coast locals, are at a crossroads. It’s time to ask, what does a just transition to a green new world look like?


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Yarning circle and film provocation.

Rapid expert talks by Alicia Jones and Dan Ware, followed by a participatory mapping session using Relative Creative’s unique mapping process to understand the Gold Coast in time.

Q+A panel talk including local experts Rosie Dennis, Shanene Ditton and Paul Burton. We were also joined by school climate strike students Jasmine Bacon and Tadgh Salmon. Following this we ran a participatory design fiction session where attendees contributed to the creation of unique stories about the future we want on the Gold Coast.


Participatory city transitions map-making and viewing, where participants designed back from the future. This was followed by a Colloquia talks session. Colloquia talks is a design-led, ‘drink + think’ event led by moderator Paula Hardie, this round Paula was joined by a panel of local experts including Bec Barnett, Mick Angus, and Yen Trinh to discuss creative roles in a just transition.

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