A video message plays. A voice emerges through the static: “Time is running out.”
ZOI gives voice to real individuals on the front line of the Climate and Ecological Emergency. Across the planet, passionate individuals are transforming their communities. What can we learn from them and how can we create our own stories of change?


ZOI puts storytelling at the heart of communicating the climate and ecological emergency by using material from interviews with real activists, scenarios from the UN’s Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the mechanics of the Independent Futures Forum’s World Game. These elements combine to create a dynamic space for audiences to discuss their collective responsibility for the future of our planet.

For some time, ZOI have been receiving a message from a Climate Witness in India. Not unusual in itself, everyday ZOI receives thousands of messages from Climate Witnesses across the planet. What is different here, is that it is coming from India, in the year 2050. For years the broadcast has remained the same: a grim but believable foreshadowing of things to come. However, as awareness of the Climate and Ecological Emergency has grown, interference has begun to interrupt the broadcast: three new messages, from the same woman, in three parallel futures.

ZOI have worked to analyse these futures and the worlds that they portray. It has modelled them to understand the changes that we will need to make to navigate humanity toward one of these new potential futures. Some of the changes are institutional but many require individual or community action.

Against the backdrop of a live electronic score, ZOI introduces the audience to the stories of four real women from Chad, Uganda, Vietnam and the USA: powerful, affecting stories of what can be achieved through individual and community action. With their words hanging in the air, the audience collaborates with local experts to explore simple and achievable goals to take back to their communities. Ideas that could transform our future.

They begin to create their own stories of change.

Bisola Alabi (Hampstead Theatre, Bush Theatre); Oliver nominee, Nicola Blackman (Donmar Warehouse, Lyceum Theatre); Kirsten Foster (Royal Court, Lyric Hammersmith); Nicola May-Taylor (Royal National Theatre, The Royal Exchange); and Chiedza Rwodzi (Finborough Theatre, Southwark Playhouse).

The Experts:

Stuart Capstick, Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, Cardiff University
Jess Fisher, The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent
Paul Hetherington, BugLife
Ilan Kelman, University College London
Maria Longely, Greenspace Information for Greater London
Mimmi Martensson, Francis Crick Institute
Tom Micklewright, Greenpeace
Sumit Paul-Choudhury, Alternity
Neil Pearson, Protiviti
Chloe Smith, Greenspace Information for Greater London
Tim Webb, National Park City Foundation

Creative Team:

Writer/Director: Barra Collins
Producer: Liz Bate
Set & Costume Designer: Sean Turner
Installation Artist: Christopher Jenkins
Sound Designer: Eleanor Isherwood
Video Design: Potion Pictures
Workshop Facilitator: Toby Peach
Education Pack: Anne Langford
Film: Alice Underwood Films
Photography: Alex Brenner


Created by collaborator Anne Langford, this resource pack was designed to explain biodiversity-loss, how it relates to our daily lives and encourage continued engagement with the Climate and Ecological Emergency.





If you have any questions about the Enlightenment Cafe, or would like to know more about our work, please get in touch.
+44 (0)7861 384806
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