UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Our Time on Earth exhibition - 'Sharing Prosperity'

27 April 2022

An immersive exploration of radical new ideas for the way we live. Showcased at the Barbican Centre from 05 May - 29 August 2022.

Our Time on Earth - Sharing Prosperity exhibit

Imagine a world where all exchange is based on radical solidarity…

The Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP), in collaboration with art direction from studio DVTK, explores how the relational economy could look and feel in 2040 through an emotional and interactive new gaming experience as part of the Barbican’s Our Time on Earth exhibition.  

We humans currently extract Earth’s limited natural resources and distribute them unequally. Current economic systems encourage the idea that nature is separate from us and is a free resource for us to exploit. However, as we know from our research at the IGP, a different approach needs to be considered that builds on positive connections which enables us to appreciate and value all aspects of our living planet. A world where human, planetary health, and well-being are intertwined.

"Glaciers are the backbone of the world; ancient, slow to build, and quick to run down. Their breakup affects millions. They don’t tolerate exploration well. They like to be left alone to get on their quiet work of body building." - Professor Henrietta Moore

Working alongside art direction from studio DVTK, Professor Henrietta L. Moore explores how the relational economy could look and feel in 2040 through an evocative and interactive new gaming experience Sharing Prosperity, in Barbican’s Our Time on Earth exhibition.

Watch now! A radical collaboration - exploring the development of the game in conversation with Professor Henrietta L. Moore and Studio DVTK's Kim Boutin. 

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Curated amongst 18 other unique works designed by academics to architects, activists to ecologists, writers to technologists, Our time on Earth invites visitors to explore and interact with a range of new perspectives for our shared planet, looking at Earth as a community to which we all belong; humans as just one species among many. With a core focus on collaborative action toward climate change, the exhibition presents visions for positive possibilities of an alternative future, in which the wonder of the natural world is embraced.

How do we share wealth with non-human others? What if care was a form of slow activism? Should a river claim legal compensation for the factory that pollutes it? Should non-humans receive Universal Basic Services?

"Mountains are the abodes of sages and immortals, living beings too in their own right. The Alps, Andes and Himalayas are still growing, giving life to rivers, birds, water, humans and more. They are the perfect location from which to imagine the future." -Professor Henrietta Moore

In this unique new game, Sharing Prosperity, users are able to explore how the planet could flourish through means of radical solidarity, innovative collaboration and shared wealth across all species. Choosing from seven abstract characters of nature (such as a tree, a river, a mountain, or perhaps a glacier), players explore an immersive world where they collect resources whilst learning facts about their properties, to create a balanced solidarity chain. At the end of the game, users will be given a unique QR code to view their solidarity chain in the online world of shared prosperity.

"Fungi are friendly. They are great communicators, fit in anywhere and do jobs that no other being wants to do. They can be used to make polysterene, leather and building materials, as well as repair concrete." - Professor Henrietta Moore

Tackling climate change, biodiversity loss, toxic environments, conflict and inequality, calls for a systemic and transformative change, embodying the work of the IGP. Sharing Prosperity challenges users to consider what these transformations might look like, engaging in a new currency that redesigns shared prosperity through the relational economy across all species.

At the IGP we believe that mobilising international action now must encompass more than merely human diversity. It requires new institutions like the IGP and new forms of care to create change, recognising that human, planetary health and well-being are deeply entwined. The IGP employs a di­fferent approach to research which builds on positive connections, enabling us to appreciate and value all aspects of our living planet. Our vision is to help build a prosperous, sustainable, global future, underpinned by the principles of fairness and justice, and allied to a realistic, long-term vision of humanity's place in the world. The IGP undertakes pioneering research that seeks to dramatically improve the quality of life for this and future generations. Its strength lies in the way it allies intellectual creativity with e­ffective collaboration to influence policy development. The IGP’s approach integrates non-academic expertise into its knowledge generation by engaging with decision-makers, to local communities, and the arts. This artistic endeavour with DVTK represents one such example of the unique way in which the IGP works alongside the arts to not only shape but redefine how we think about prosperity and experience the world from another's point of view.

Sharing Prosperity ran as part of the Imagine section in the Barbican Centre Our Time on Earth exhibition from 05 May to 29 August, 2o22. It will also be presented at the Musée de la civilisation in Quebec City, Canada (co-producers of the exhibition) from 15 June - 17 December 2023, before continuing an international tour.

Read the press release here

Exhibition details.

Dates: Thursday 5 May—Monday 29 Aug 2022 (the exhibition has now closed) 

Where: The Curve Gallery, Barbican Centre London. 

Full details  https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2022/event/our-time-on-earth

Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @glo_pro & DVTK @d_v_t_k
Image credit: Our Time on Earth, Barbican, London. Sharing Prosperity exhibit (IGP & DVTK). Image: Barbican, 2022©