Peaceful Futures Manifesto

What Comes After

by Olga Remneva

You know, during those now-illegal brain experiments that we keep running in our lab I’ve discovered myself in dozens of future worlds. There’s a special procedure that any attendee (that’s what we call participants of the experiment) should follow; and I must say, not a pleasant one. Imagine having thousands of teeny-tiny needles in your skull!

The wildest part of those leaps into different futures is that you can feel them physically with such intensity that you can’t tell the difference between an experiment and reality. Well, to be honest, what attendees experience in terms of brain activity, is indeed reality. I know I have to rush for the next leap because our lab might be revealed to the officials any minute now. Yeah, I couldn’t call them fans of learning from the future, and – the needles. For God’s sake, give me a break! Definitely not gonna miss the present.


Wow, that was tough, but here I am, in yet another future world. This is a small spot, I can feel it right away. Even if I don’t see what’s after the horizon, I know that there’s some vastness of unknown lying beyond the borders.

The place is beautiful, as beautiful as the way we imagine the bright future – Zaha Hadid’s and Santiago Calatrava’s style white curvy buildings, flat green grass and blue sky of a sunny day.

It seems to me that there are a few people far off, but the person I meet is actually a kangaroo. It is so much better to communicate with each other telepathically, without having to articulate words in those now outdated devices for interspecies interpretation. The process of mutual understanding is so natural these days. 

The kangaroo tells me a story about the Great Wave that came as a result of a climate crisis. The Wave covered most of the land, and we are here, at the survivors’ spot. Survivors decided that there’s no other option but for peace to prevail.

They just had to build a peace-oriented society, where the culture of peace is desirable and sexy. Once my guide shares this information with me, I’m immersed in an uneasy feeling that there might be some other survivors’ spots left as well, and societies that might differ from this one. Maybe that’s why in this world they haven’t given up on the idea of defensive technologies. Being free, friendly and creative, they are still very rational in terms of safety measures if those need to be taken. 

They keep defense and protection in place as they are still building a new way forward, and this is through learning and intergenerational and interspecies education. This would imply that once this new learning system is robust enough, protection would possibly be no longer needed… Animals share their knowledge with human children, whilst those children teach some adults right after. I’m mesmerized by this beautiful cross-breed and intergenerational knowledge exchange. Craving for more details, I let my companion know that I’d be happy to explore new ways of education deeper. And they say, once the community has discovered that there are not many people and other species left alive, as well as the resources, they need to be as much un-indifferent to each others’ way of thinking and feeling, backgrounds, and abilities as possible.

And they figured out how to co-learn and co-create, from youngsters to elders and likewise, from non-humans to humans and vice-versa. At first, the community of survivors used technology for that across-the-board learning, combining it with species-to-species approach, but eventually interspecies communication became possible by perception. 

I think that learning this way is the sign of understanding of ‘being together’ at its very core. Interspecies respect and planet-centered approach was kinda born out of the need to survive in this world, but the community’s strong attitude to intergenerational fairness was born – my kangaroo guide sighed with sadness – out of pain. They remember how adults were not caring enough about those coming into the world after them, and as a result the planetary scale tragedy had whipped them off the surface of that world. That’s why younger voices are of great importance here.

The kangaroo shares that the community implemented this principle in every part of their social life. The main part of the society fits in the horizontal structure, where everyone is accepted and involved, but with clear leadership at the same time. At the survivors’ spot they have a diverse group of human-beings leading the world and carrying all the weight of the past received from their predecessors. Usually they gather in so-called Peace Rooms where they’re trying to figure out what’s best for the society of survivors.


A question pops up in my head: 

– So, you’ve been successful in keeping peace for some time already. Will it still be there in another fifty years time? 

Huge kangaroo eyes seem to be smiling in the middle of my question already, and I hear an honest answer: 

I don’t know.

  • Olga Remneva is a PhD in cultural studies, art & science, and technology-based expert, curator, art historian, educator and futurist. She is a founder and curator of the VZOR Lab, founder of the Art Sparks educational platform, and a School of International Futures alumni.