futures studies, experiential futures, fiction, radio script


On the 23rd of January 2020, a radio talk show of the future, 20:30 Bruxsels Talks, took place in Brussels. With fictional guests and artists from the year 2030, it discussed how the transition to a climate-proof city had happened since 2019. The body of this article is the script of this fiction piece, produced by BrusselAVenir and BNA-BBOT. In the introduction we explain the relationship between the field of futures studies and fiction, we frame 20:30 Bruxsels Talks within futures studies, and highlight the potential of fiction for knowledge creation and dissemination. By publishing the script, we hope to inspire researchers, changemakers and artists to explore fiction as a method, as a format and as a space, to trigger conversation and imagination, and engage citizens to take up a role in shaping the cities they live in.

Note: This article should be read in conjunction with “20:30 Bruxsels Talks: Fiction as a Method, Fiction as a Format, Fiction as a Space,” written by the same author team and published in this issue.

Author Biographies

Ellen Anthoni, KU Leuven and BrusselAVenir

Ellen Anthoni is a Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek funded PhD candidate of SoMeTHin’K, Social, Methodological & Theoretical Innovation/Kreative, KU Leuven. She holds a master’s degree in Sociology and has a background in design. She is a (pr)academic, partly inside and partly outside of academia. She has 8 years of experience as a trend researcher, youth expert, future fantasizer and art director, and is on a mission to build better futures, based on insights together with the next generation. Her PhD is about “the potential of participatory futuring and futures storytelling for change” in which she researches how to shape an urban culture in which citizens take up an active role in sustainable development processes by co-creating and spreading stories of preferable futures through the city. As co-founder of BrusselAVenir she makes futures stories, with and for the people of Brussels, on topics such as climate, diversity, youth and culture.


BrusselAVenir is a citizen lab that facilitates collective imagining and depicting of future stories with and for the people of Brussels. Tackling one topic at a time, through a participatory process they explore how Brusselèirs envision their city 10 years from now. These ideas are translated into stories in different forms and spread throughout the city. This way, they aim to trigger imagination and conversation, to raise the desire for more sustainable futures, and activate them to take up a role in the transition towards them. 

Khushboo Balwani

Khushboo Balwani is a strategic designer and futurist with more than 8 years of experience in India and Belgium. Her work spans from designing collaborative strategies, system design interventions, community creation, writing, and storytelling of futures. She is currently leading BrusselAVenir, a citizen lab that makes futures stories, with and for the people of Brussels. In 2012, she wrote a thesis entitled “Future of work in sustainable living 2050,” as part of her MA studies in Strategic Design at Politecnico di Milano. Through this interactive design work she stimulated a strategic conversation among policy-makers, educators and researchers on the conditions for the creation of new ways of work in sustainable living. She was a Ouishare Brussels connector for 5 years and led Ouishare Fest Communication and Programme Design. In 2016, she co- authored the book Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons by Shareable. The book is incorporated into the curriculum of multiple universities and several policy makers and city council members are actively using the book.

Jessica Schoffelen, UC Leuven-Limburg

Jessica Schoffelen holds a master’s degree in Criminological Sciences and a PhD degree in Audiovisual and Visual Arts. She teaches qualitative art and design research methods. She has collaborated on numerous research projects, ranging from large- scale quantitative research concerning public perception of the Belgian justice system to small scale participatory action-research concerning slow mobility. She coordinated the training program TRADERS (FP7, Marie Curie Multi-ITN) on how designers and artists can enable participation in public space. During her 12-year appointment as a researcher and teacher in the arts and design university college LUCA School of Arts, she developed strong expertise in participatory design research, interaction design, smart cities and open design processes. Currently she applies this expertise in the Research group Inclusive Society in the University Colleges Leuven-Limburg.

Karin Hannes, SoMeThin’K, KU Leuven

Karin Hannes is associate professor in research methodology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven, and coordinator of the research group Social, Methodological and Theoretical Innovation with a creative twist. The group pushes towards the development of methods and models for positive change in society. Prof. Hannes tests, evaluates, implements, and improves existing methods, techniques, models or data sets generated in fields such as urban development, the public art, design and technology sector, community-based research practice and the global sustainable development area. Where necessary, she re-appropriates methods developed in other disciplines for use in the broad field of humanities, or develops her own innovative approach to respond to emerging social challenges, whilst remaining sensitive to quality control and empirical grounding. Her perspective is multimodal in nature, combining numerical, textual, sensory and/or arts-based research data to study complex social phenomena. She specializes in arts-based, place-based and multisensory designs as well as qualitative evidence synthesis as a meta-review technique.



How to Cite

Anthoni, E., BrusselAVenir, Balwani, K., Schoffelen, J., & Hannes, K. (2021). 20:30 BRUXSELS TALKS: A SCRIPT FOR A FUTURE FICTION RADIO SHOW. Art/Research/International:/A/Transdisciplinary/Journal, 6(1), 151–186. https://doi.org/10.18432/ari29607