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Solarpunk Prompts

Author: James Tomasino

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What is Solarpunk? Why does it matter?


In this series we discuss Solarpunk as a movement within art, literature, and activism. We explore its themes and talk about what separates it from its genre peers. Each episode explores a writing prompt set in a Solarpunk aesthetic with examples and inspirations from our world today.


Based upon story prompts created by Paweł Ngei⁩.


Episode transcripts available here


New logo and cover image by Natalia Vish (CC-BY-SA 4.0)

23 Episodes
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An Introduction

An Introduction

2022-10-3108:49

What is Solarpunk and why should we care? Why would I want to write Solarpunk stories? In this introduction video I talk briefly about what Solarpunk is and why it is important to create new stories with its unique optimistic framing. This video sets the stage for a series of videos with individual writing prompts, and grounds the writer firmly in the genre with guidelines to follow. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---Introduction Links mentioned in the video: HOPE 2020: Technological Narratives - https://bit.ly/3sKsB0g Coindesk Solarpunk - https://bit.ly/3TShfTx Chobani Commercial - https://youtu.be/z-Ng5ZvrDm4 Story Hooks - https://bit.ly/3zu6QW6 Music from: float oat - how we found it
The Refugee Camp

The Refugee Camp

2022-11-0110:51

The Refugee Camp In this episode our writing prompt takes us to a near-future town that has grown out of a refugee camp. We discuss refugee camps today, community organizations, makers, and the creation that comes from them. We also discuss creole languages and the truths they reveal about a community. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Refugee-Camp Links mentioned in the video: r0g_agency - https://openculture.agency/ Communitere - https://communitere.org/ “Dialect” - https://thornygames.com/pages/dialect Music from: ExMemory - Solar Grid - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective #solarpunk #writing #podcast
The Community Center

The Community Center

2022-11-0207:52

The Community Center In this episode our writing prompt explores the transformative power of libraries and community centers. With the power to train communities and empower them with knowledge, what would happen if such a place grew into a place sought by pilgrims for inner truth? Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Community-Center Links mentioned in the video: CILIP - https://www.cilip.org.uk/ Music from: Andy McDade - Ylid - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective #solarpunk #writing #podcast
The Canteen

The Canteen

2022-11-0311:02

The Canteen In this episode our writing prompt brings us to the mess hall of an isolated scientific community surrounded by difficult conditions. We explore the justaposition of these challenges in their mission with the everyday humanity of their unique culture. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Canteen Links mentioned: Antarctica No Appendix Club - https://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/people-in-antarctica/health/ UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity - https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000127162 Music from: nikodimov - weeds - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective
The Hackerspace

The Hackerspace

2022-11-0411:32

The Hackerspace In this episode we discuss hackers, hacker culture, and hackerspaces before using this setting for the basis of our latest writing prompt. What does playful discovery have to do with Solarpunk? Can we find a modal for the future in these communities of today? Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Hackerspace Links mentioned: “Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackers:_Heroes_of_the_Computer_Revolution Noisebridge - https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Noisebridge OmniCommons - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Zccga90hcY Hacklab - https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=eAGKsgaArn2 sudo room and counter culture labs - https://my.matterport.com/webgl_player/?m=9JVcHS4y7aY list of character archetypes - https://wiki.glider.ink/characters/archetypes Hackerspaces.org - https://hackerspaces.org/ Music from: yourdiscovery - astrobotany - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective
The Experts

The Experts

2022-11-0509:19

The Experts In this episode we discuss isolation and its toll. We also talk about a different kind of community and the power and freedom it brings to the lonely. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Experts Links mentioned: Lonely Conservationists - https://lonelyconservationists.com/ Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper - https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/26089081-light-years Music from: Twin Dragoon - Hidden in brightness - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective
The Great Infrastructure Project Maintaining infrastructure is hard even when your governments are stable. In this episode we explore the reality of crumbling infrastructure on a small town and envision an optimistic future where collaboration overcomes the challenges. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Great-Infrastructural-Project Links mentioned: http://pubs.iied.org/10710IIED.html?k=acccrn&r=p https://www.mottmac.com/views/leaving-a-social-legacy-from-infrastructure Fediverse address - @SolarpunkPrompts@podcast.tomasino.org Music from: Bathroom Plants - New Unity Dawning - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective
The Electronics Graveyard In today’s episode: Reduce, reuse, recycle. What does that look like in a Solarpunk world? How does the trash of one age become a resource for the next? And how realistic are our expectations for that type of lifestyle? Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Electronics-Graveyard Links mentioned: Solarpunk: Histórias Ecológicas e Fantásticas em um Mundo Sustenavel - https://www.erambiental.com.br/var/userfiles/arquivos69/documentos/12857/GersonLodiRibeiro-SolarpunkHistoriasEcologicas.pdf Jugaad - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNhGbfljtq0 Appropedia - https://www.appropedia.org/Welcome_to_Appropedia Sakawa - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttT1hYRPD1k re:publica ACCRA - https://globalinnovationgathering.org/2019/01/23/republica-accra-2018/ Music from: Bubble Keiki - Unlatching The Escape Pod’s Lid - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective
The Archivists

The Archivists

2022-11-0812:10

The Archivists Today’s episode explores the loss of cultural history, local and indigenous knowledge. How can a Solarpunk perspective help us see past Western colonialism and find value in new, old places. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Archivists Links mentioned: UNESCO defines - https://en.unesco.org/links Chi Luu writes in JSTOR’s Daily - https://daily.jstor.org/what-we-lose-when-we-lose-indigenous-knowledge/ Safecast - https://safecast.org/ https://www.fastcompany.com/3030731/why-collecting-data-in-conflict-zones-is-invaluable-and-nearly-impossible Want to learn Tlingit? - https://alaskapublic.org/2016/08/31/want-to-learn-tlingit-theres-a-new-app-for-that/ Music from: Cyber Surfer 3D - Skyforest - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective
The Chefs

The Chefs

2022-11-1011:30

The Chefs In this episode we explore a world facing a meat shortage and discuss the sustainability of food practices. You also get to hear me try to phoenetically speak Korean. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Chefs Links mentioned: Greenpeace points out - https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/world-cultures-and-religions-plant-based-vegetarian-vegan-diet/ OurWorldInData.org - https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/global-meat-projections-to-2050 https://phys.org/news/2020-12-no-meat-diet-climate-crisis.html https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/why-the-meat-we-eat-is-an-antibiotic-resistance-threat https://medium.com/swlh/the-future-of-meat-f2150a9e2b34 Music from: loving memory 영원히 안녕 - 태양이 내 얼굴에 입맞 (Bye forever – the sun is kissing my face)
The Fire Brigade

The Fire Brigade

2022-11-1111:49

The Fire Brigade In this episode we muse about the role of the military in a world without war. What comes next for these highly trained individuals and groups? How might they turn those skills toward new types of community service? Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Fire-Brigade Links mentioned: Landmine Free estimates - https://landminefree.org/facts-about-landmines/ Climate Brief - https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-how-climate-change-affects-extreme-weather-around-the-world/ Important aspects of military genre fiction - https://www.ancestralstars.com/wp/sff-books/seven-crucial-elements-of-military-sf/ Music from: Dyamur - Sun Syndicate - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective
The Expedition

The Expedition

2022-11-1212:29

The Expedition In this episode we journey from the Global South, the starting place of Solarpunk, to help a suffering North facing the Great InterneT Collapse. What unique qualities can they bring to the situation? Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Expedition Links mentioned: Global South and Global North - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_North_and_Global_South Tony Blair Institute for Global Change - https://institute.global/policy/economic-infrastructure-internet-era Jugaad - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNhGbfljtq0 Cuban Medical Internationalism - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_medical_internationalism https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/ransomware-attacks-hospitals-take-toll-patients-rcna54090 https://www.aha.org/center/cybersecurity-and-risk-advisory-services/ransomware-attacks-hospitals-have-changed https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57184977 Music from: S O A R E R - Esoteric Eye - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective
The Beekeepers

The Beekeepers

2022-11-1311:39

The Beekeepers In this episode we explore the relationships between humans and machines, discuss some of the ethical dangers of AI, and how a balanced relationship with technology might present itself in a Solarpunk setting. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Beekeepers Links mentioned: One guy on reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/solarpunk/comments/lm4cqj/what_makes_something_solarpunk/ The march of the robot dogs“ - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1021386708994 How AI Will Rewire Us“ - https://medium.com/the-atlantic/how-ai-will-rewire-us-6d7baa0fe6d4 Open letter from several ‘Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Experts’ - http://www.robotics-openletter.eu/ Recent studies in invertebrate neurobiology - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S096098220000169X Music from: ステム88 - Biofield - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective
The Henchmen

The Henchmen

2022-11-1611:20

The Henchmen In this episode a group of henchmen hired to work for a billionare on his post-apocalyptic stronghold inherit the keys from their former boss. They explore their options at community building and outreach with the surrounding towns as communities collide. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Henchmen Links mentioned: Disaster Collectivism The Response Douglas Rushkoff Story - Original Source Douglas Rushkoff Story - Updated Source Music from: taiyou hikou by Yago Omoikane - https://globalpattern.bandcamp.com/album/solarpunk-a-brighter-perspective
The Ship

The Ship

2022-11-2110:07

The Ship In this episode we set sail on a cargoship of the future. What does a trade mission look like in Solarpunk? Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Ship Links mentioned: From Steampunk to Solarpunk MS Beluga Skysails Inflatable sails Fuel from biomass Music from: Levantaran el vuelo by Circus Marcus
The Dirigible

The Dirigible

2022-12-0311:30

The Dirigible In this episode we take the skies and travel between distant settlements with an anarchist crew on our beautiful balloon. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Dirigible Links mentioned: vacuum airship Online relationships are real Music from: Jean Toba - really beautiful my mambo
Season 2 Introduction

Season 2 Introduction

2023-11-0309:20

Season 2 Introduction Welcome back to season two of Solarpunk Prompts. In this brief introduction to the season we talk about the “punk” in Solarpunk, and the need for continuity between our world today and the good place to come. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---Season-2-Introduction Links mentioned: Solarpunk - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solarpunk In our first season - https://podcast.tomasino.org/@SolarpunkPrompts/episodes?season=1 National Novel Writing Month - https://nanowrimo.org/ Music from: The Roche Limit by State Azure - https://stateazure.bandcamp.com/track/the-roche-limit (CC-BY-SA)
The Moonshot

The Moonshot

2023-11-1011:34

The Moonshot How can Solarpunk address the problems of a massive project, like travel to the moon? Will the genre crumble under the need for macro-level power and industry? Come explore the latest story prompt and dream of a future together. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Moonshot Links mentioned: Our world energy production - https://ourworldindata.org/energy-mix Frying potatos in space - https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/Research/Flying_frying_in_microgravity Our Shared Storm - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58690965-our-shared-storm “Terra Ignota” tetralogy by Ada Palmer - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114545-too-like-the-lightning Music from: ‘Last And First Light’ and ‘Artemis’ by Scott Buckley - www.scottbuckley.com.au (CC-BY 4.0)
The Disabled Community

The Disabled Community

2023-11-1712:50

The Disabled Community How will our Solarpunk future be shaped by the tenacity and activism of the disabled community? What role does inclusivity and accessibility play in creating that future vision? What new challenges await us all? Special thanks to Martyna Lysiakiewicz for a sensitivity read. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Disabled-Community Links mentioned: Defying Doomsday - http://defyingdoomsday.twelfthplanetpress.com/ 2022 report - https://accesstomedicinefoundation.org/resource/what-are-pharma-companies-doing-to-expand-access-to-insulin-and-how-can-efforts-be-scaled-up Access to Medicine Foundation - https://accesstomedicinefoundation.org 99% Invisible - https://99percentinvisible.org Curb Cuts - https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/curb-cuts/ Carol J. Gill - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11435/ Music from: ‘Adrift Among Infinite Stars’ and ‘Bring Me The Sky’ by Scott Buckley, released under CC-BY 4.0. www.scottbuckley.com.au
The Pharmacists

The Pharmacists

2023-11-2410:00

The Pharmacists How will access to pharmaceuticals impact the Solarpunk future? In this prompt we explore data miners seeking to liberate the data buried by intellectual property to find new cures and hopes for their communities. We also discuss the state of the pharma industry in the global south and how the reality of today shapes the futures of tomorrow. Transcript: https://wiki.tomasino.org/writing/Solarpunk-Prompts---The-Pharmacists Links mentioned: …because they are too cheap - https://www.economist.com/international/2019/09/14/a-dire-scarcity-of-drugs-is-worsening-in-part-because-they-are-so-cheap Malaria could be eradicated by 2050 - https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/9/10/20857132/malaria-eradication-2050-gene-drive-lancet-study Music in this episode is: “$50 to Breathe”, “It Will Make You Feel Better If You Put It In the Right Place”, and “I Refuse to Accept That There’s Nothing I Can Do About It” from Angie’s Sunday Service by Chris Zabriskie (CC BY 3.0 Deed)
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