Worldbuilding Academy + COVID: how to move forward

Right on brand for 2020, the writers’ residency we planned for the Worldbuilding Academy is likely to fall in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the moment, the Italian government imposes travel restrictions that imply our writer-in-residence would be spending the entire residency in quarantine. We need a plan B.

I am just fantasizing here, and of course open to all kinds of alternative proposals. But we could do this:

  1. See if we can find some extra resources to onboard two writers rather than one.
  2. Schedule a SF-Econ Lab webinar with our chosen writer(s). to happen in 2020. A possible date could be December 1st.
  3. Do a bit of work from here to there to set up an online space for collaboration. “Set up” means that, of on December 2nd I go online determined to help figure out what means of exchange works for interstellar trade in the world under construction, I find some skeletal description of the overarching concept, instructions for where to put my contribution and in roughly what form, and someone (from the EDGE team) listening in and replying to questions. A couple of visuals would be nice, and we do have a concept artist lined up on the Messina side.
  4. Do some pretty constant work for the following week or two. The writer(s) write(s), the EDGE & Messina teams try to drive engagement. It becomes kind of a virtual residency!
  5. Meanwhile, tentatively reschedule a physical residency for, say, May 2021. COVID allowing, that residency could then become more “writing fiction based on the world that was developed”, and less “building the world itself”.
  6. Between December and March we would find out how much traction this idea really has, and re-invest in it or just archive it as a fun episode.

How does that sound? Ping @nadia @hugi @giacomo.pinaffo @estragon @yudhanjaya @Kix @IvanC .


Ops, sorry it took me a couple of days to see this @alberto

That sounds grand! If I understood correctly, at this point we’re interested in engaging as many SciFi enthusiasts and creative people we can muster, right? I think if the first batch of content creation is aimed at that, we could get some attention before the residency proper happens in 2021.

For example, instead of focusing our creative energies into the worldbuilding itself (that should happen next year), we could allocate more creative energy into this invitation. Maybe write and record an introductory video for the project as a whole, with clear direction on how to engage. Another example, instead of illustrating our ideas, we can invite writers all around the world to write a scene or a briefing and whoever wins will have their ideas illustrated. We could decentralize even that.

I have a couple of ideas, but still feel I need to either better understand where we’re at or, even better, spend some time co-creating where we want to be right now with the resources we got.

Anyway! Excited to be here =D


I think an online meet-up or discussion would be great. I had the same problem as @Joriam Joriam: It took me a while to finde my way around. In an online session, we could bring a lot of ideas together and move this topic further (assuming that this is the idea: to get as many SF/economics interested writers to contribute as possible at this stage).


Good idea, both of you. We are now starting to plan just the session @maiki is talking about. It should be on the first week of December. Stay tuned.

I wasn’t sure I could participate to the residency in person anyway, but I thought I should make you aware that I’ve been preparing to submit an application. I’d be the lead applicant - so to speak - but I also engaged a friend of mine who has experience in worldbuilding for role playing, to help me/us out.

So, we hope this program is still going down, and we’ll hopefully submit something for your consideration soon :crossed_fingers:

I’ll stay tuned…