What will your life in Tyrol look like in 2050? How can a sustainable living together work? In September 2022, The Anthology Project (Tyrol) launched the Climate Fiction Contest "Life in Tyrol in 2050, Optimistic Visions that Inspire Us to Act" at Tyrolean schools. The premise was to give English teachers the opportunity to engage their 14- to 18-year-old students in a climate fiction writing contest that would get them thinking positively about life in Tyrol in 2050. MCI Professor Antje Bierwisch is an expert in futures thinking and would like to promote this area in schools. As a member of the jury for this contest, she has already been able to get a first impression of how young people in Tyrol are thinking about their future.
Background to the contest: Why Fiction Stories?
Stories can influence how we see the world and how we behave. So it makes sense that authors inspire readers to make a difference through their stories. By running the Climate Fiction Contest and publishing positive short stories about life in Tyrol in 2050, the Anthology Project (Tyrol) aims to inspire hope, reduce climate anxiety, and encourage readers to change their behavior in ways that make a meaningful contribution to climate protection.
About the winning story and the next stepsAbout the winning story and the next steps
In February, the winning fiction story was revealed. Prior to this, the stories, which were submitted at the end of 2022, were carefully reviewed by professional and interested jury members. Elea Fleißner, an 18-year-old student at the Catholic Educational Institute for Elementary Education in Innsbruck, was able to convince the jury with her story and won the competition with her story "The Blue Tarp," in which people live and grow up in the Tyrol of the year 2050, albeit in a different way.
In February, the winning fiction story was announced. Beforehand, the stories, which were submitted at the end of 2022, were carefully reviewed by professional and interested jury members. Elea Fleißner, an 18-year-old student at the Catholic College for Elementary Education in Innsbruck, was able to convince the jury and won the competition with her story "The Blue Tarp", in which people live and grow up in Tyrol of the year 2050, albeit in a different way.
"The author gives us an exciting look at her generation. With her story, she sheds light on the responsibility we have as a society in dealing with new technologies and their possible long-term consequences. In doing so, the author expresses her hopes as well as her fears. We should take these seriously and see them as an incentive to work together to develop solutions for a good future worth living for our children," Bierwisch said.
"Elea has written a nostalgic story that opens a space for a conversation about what happened in the past and what is happening now," said the anthology project's founder, Leanne Mills, a British-Australian professional writer who lives in Hall in Tirol. "The judges panel and I were all impressed with Elea's ability to write such a compelling story in English," Mills said.
The project concludes with a nine-month collaboration between project founder Mills and the "Tyrol 2050" team of Energie Tirol, Klimabündnis Tirol, TKI (Tyrolean Cultural Initiatives), KlimaFit, Pädagogische Hochschule Tirol and professors from MCI.
(f.l) Founder of the Anthology Project Leanne Mills; winner Elea Fleißner, and Director, Mag. Regina Rüscher-Christler at the award ceremony in February 2023. Photo: The Anthology Project (Tyrol).