HOW IT WORKS
The Earth System Fresco is a 5-step workshop, which are described below.
All you need is:
5 to 9 participants per group.
1 animator/facilitator (for every 3 groups at most).
A 3-meter large table for physical workshops, or an online tool like Mural for online workshops (less recommended).
The 68 cards, correctly printed on both sides, for physical workshops.
A blank white paper-made tablecloth with pencils/erasers, markers, highlighters, at least with 4-5 different colors, for physical workshops.
Its development differs a little from its big brother, The Climate Fresk.
The total duration is expected to be around 3 hours and a half (4 hours online). It cannot (and should not) be shorter than that.
THE 5 PHASES
PHASE 1 - BUILDING AND DECORATING THE FRESCO
This phase is pretty straightforward. Directly inspired from the Climate Fresk workshop, participants assemble the 68 cards by batches of about ten of them.
This is the longest phase, as this workshop is very deep.
There is a total of 6 batches, presented in order, and cards are dispatched to all participants:
The first one (10 cards) establishes quick links between easily identifiable things. No traps, quite a linear storytelling. Then participants should start turning back cards and read their backs to get help.
The second one (11 cards) goes a lot more into astrophysics and biological considerations regarding Earth.
The third one (11 cards) is the toughest one: it goes into particle physics, biological life cycles and chemistry.
The fourth one (13 cards) has the most cards but they almost go all together, and deeply focuses on introducing Rockström planetary boundaries.
The fifth and last one (12 cards) is the moment when participants should start decorating, drawing, linking cards with arrows and making sense with all of them, being able to tell a narration, and tells where we're going, what we would like to avoid, and the complexity of systemics.
Note that this fresco is particularly complex and long. As so, you should expect it to be done in over an hour and a half, not less, unless you have experts in your group. Note: there are clues on each card to better help thinking and workshop fluidity, within texts, but also within title colors.
In the end, once it's done, each group needs to present a quick narration of the fresco, under 5 minutes, to sum up everything.
PHASE 2 - SUBTITLING CARDS AS YOU WOULD PREFER
In order, from leftmost card to rightmost card, participants get to choose an alternative, personal title or subtitle for each card, once for each group.
Rotating who names the card, one person at a time.
They can write down those subtitles directly under the cards.
They should also try to circle cards in groups, and give a name to each group of cards they circled. This is totally free and depends on participants' views, the correction only proposes an idea.
This should take an expected 30 minutes to complete, and rarely goes under this timing.
PHASE 3 - ROUND TABLE OF FEELINGS
Starting with whoever wants to start and go first, participants get to express themselves about what they just learned, think and what's in their minds.
The facilitator workshop leader should simply give a voice to each person, and about the same timing, if possible.
This phase should last about 15 minutes, but is very important, and can totally be extended to double at least if participants want to discuss more about anything regarding the workshop contents.
PHASE 4 - ONE CARD, ONE IDEA: GIVE YOURSELVES A TRY
In this fourth phase, for each card, participants get to collectively pick up an idea that comes to their minds in order to help other people better get involved. This can be ideas like following online courses, acting by reducing their ecological footprints, speaking about creating laws, etc.
In other words, every card should lead to an inspiring idea for participants, so that they see that collective brainstorming is the way, that working with mutual aid and assembling actions together is the key.
Participants usually need about 45 minutes to complete the fresco again in order. This should be timeboxed as they usually do it faster and got a very good big picture of everything at this point.
PHASE 5 - WHAT'S NEXT? GOING FURTHER
As all those topics are complex, participants are given a few key ideas to keep going further once the workshop is complete:
Visiting this website for more.
Becoming animators and facilitators for this workshop so that it can be spread to other people. Getting involved in the workshop, helping making it better
Finding online correction and full explanation on the contents in video on this workshop's social networks.
Where to get more information from experts, conferences, articles and so. Where to get insightful and trustable information.
This last phase can be done under 15 minutes, and is the only time when the animator speaks continuously. But once it's done, it's totally free to keep discussions on. The only limit will be everyone's own time constraints! :)