Picture Your Future: A Participatory Photography Project for Young People on the Environment in Wales

October 26, 2021

11am Virtual

Call for Participants – Applications are now closed
With less than a decade left to prevent irreversible climate change and nature loss, now is the time to recognize each one of us has a crucial part to play. Young people are inheriting these crises and will be disproportionately impacted by them. But young people can also play a key role in restoring the natural environment and building climate-resilient communities.

How can we visualize the future – the future we want, and the future we’ll get if we don’t take action? How can young people express their views about the environment, and their aspirations to be agents of change? How can those perspectives be turned into recommendations for meaningful collective action?

To pursue these questions, the Berggruen Institute from the USA and partners in Wales who are proposing to create a National Nature Service are hosting ‘Picture your Future’ – a participatory photography project that brings diverse young voices to the table, engaging young activists in a deliberative process around long term environmental action at the personal, local, and national levels. We are inviting young people (ages 18-25) from across Wales to apply for this unique opportunity to influence decision-makers by documenting your concerns and ambitions for the environment and the future you want to create.

Participants in the event will be asked to:

1. Share photographs documenting their concerns about the current state of nature and climate change, and their visions for the future;
2. Join us for a one-day, online session where they can present the photographs they’ve submitted, and co-design recommendations for action;
3. Work together to shape and develop the final recommendations and outputs of the ‘Picture your Future’ project after the session has been convened.


These outputs, which may include a digital exhibition as well as a collaboratively authored report with real policy recommendations, will be shared with key decision-makers and the wider environmental movement in the run-up to COP26 at the end of October. In particular, this session will inform the development of proposals for a National Nature Service in Wales. (See below for more info.)

***Professional photography skills not required. Photos may be taken using a camera phone.

The deadline for applications is Monday, October 18th. Selected participants will be notified by Tuesday, October 19th.

The event will take place online on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Participants will receive a £60 gift card and all travel costs to and from the event will be covered. Meals and refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

For questions, please contact Junior Program Coordinator Erica Riray at rsvp@berggruen.org

Accepted participants are asked to attend one of the following virtual training sessions:

• Wednesday, 20th October, 2021, 4:30pm – 5:00pm BST


About the National Nature Service in Wales
The National Nature Service for Wales is an idea which emerged in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, as one of the most compelling proposals for Green Recovery. A co-design process, led by the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission, and championed by the Future Generations Commissioner, has so far involved hundreds of organizations and individuals across Wales in figuring out how young people and job seekers can get involved in working on nature recovery, whilst gaining the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to pursue nature-friendly careers in the future. It aims to inspire practical action, re-skill the workforce, and re-connect people to the natural environment – radically expanding our collective capacity to build a sustainable future.

It does not yet exist, but many youth organizations have already spotted its potential to transform their future prospects, and there is an open invitation for young people to get directly involved in shaping what it becomes. This event is an exciting opportunity to do this, using creative and participatory methods, and drawing on the skills and experience of the Berggruen Institute.

About Youth Environment Service (YES)
This event is a part of the Berggruen Institute’s Future of Democracy’s Youth Environment Service (YES) campaign to build broad-based commitments from governments to invest in jobs, national service, and other opportunities for young people to work together, acquire skills and training, and build common purpose and solidarity in protecting their communities from climate change.



composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.

RAVE (IRCAM 2021) https://github.com/acids-ircam/RAVE