Leonardo Imagination Fellowship
Apply to Leonardo Imagination Fellowship 2023
Fellows will reflect on how their projects support, align with and add new complexity and nuance to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They should also substantively engage with the notion of experimental media, charting new territory in areas like expanded reality, immersive storytelling, worldbuilding, and more. Projects should embrace global perspectives and invite global participation, and demonstrate commitment to justice and equity.
We invite fellowship applications focusing on a range of themes. Each fellow will connect their work with one of the following themes at Leonardo-ASU or the Center for Science and the Imagination. In the first phase of their fellowship the fellows will identify a specific existing CSI or Leonardo project to focus on, building on its networks, communities, and creative outputs. Some exemplar projects are listed for each theme below.
- Disability Innovation, connecting with the CripTech Incubator
- Indigenous Lands and Communities, connecting with Cosmovisión
- Global Perspectives on Futures, connecting with Our Future Life
- Space Futures and Interplanetary Exploration, connecting with Arizona Space Futures*
- Climate Futures, connecting with the Climate Imagination Fellowship Program
- Futures of Learning and Education, connecting with the Arizona STEM Acceleration Project*
- Imagination, Cognition, and Consciousness, connecting with Applied Imagination Project
- Speculative Fiction for Institutional Transformation, connecting with the Applied Sci-Fi Project
- The Imagination Fellowship Program will offer up to 3 virtual fellowships, beginning in August 2023, and running through April 2024.
- Fellows will receive $6,000 per fellow for the period of 9 months. There is no separate production budget. Fellows are free to use their stipend to support production needs.
- Applications are due Friday, June 2, by 11:59 pm Arizona time (UTC-7).
About the 2020-2021 Fellowship
Leonardo-ASU and the Center for Science and the Imagination concluded the first Leonardo Imagination Fellowship Program in Spring of 2021. The selected fellows participated in a prototype season of the fellowship. They joined a virtual program to explore experimental art-science innovation practices across multiple publishing and broadcast media platforms that imagine a regenerative, vibrant global future for all.
Fellows proposed and carried out hybrid creative projects and activities that integrated art and science for positive global impact aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The fellowship supported experimental work, especially across new and emerging media or publishing, to model new ways that art-science can advance resilience, justice, empathy, cooperation, generosity, trust and other qualities that make social systems and digital culture more human and more humane. The goal was not only to advance individual projects, but also to connect diverse communities of practice and interest together for dialogue, engagement and empowerment.
About 2020-2021 Fellows
Brook Thompson is a Yurok and Karuk Native from Northern California. Brook fights for water and Native American rights through speaking to groups and frontline activism. Brook was the 2019 American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s Region 1 representative. She has been an intern for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in D.C. In 2017 Brook was awarded the American Indian Graduate Center’s Undergraduate student of the year and in 2020 she was won Unity’s 25 Under 25 award. At the moment Brook is in an MS environmental engineering program at Stanford University. Current fights for Miss Thompson include undamming the Klamath River, denying the Jordan-Cove LNG pipeline, and supporting women and Natives in STEM fields. Miss Thompson’s goal is to bring together water rights and Native American knowledge through engineering, public policy, and social action.
Portland, United States
Nandita Kumar is a new-media artist who works at the intersection art, environmental science, technology, and community. She explores the elemental process through which human beings construct meaning from their experiences, by creating sensory narratives through the usage of data, sound, video/ animation and performance, smartphone apps, customized motherboards, solar/microwave sensors. Nandita’s projects are heavily research-based that has lead her to become interested in “the data”, its representation, and explores methods of engaging audiences through these interactive installations. Her interest lies in propelling the human race towards a sustainable development, which not only focuses on environmental protection but also social development. Her process envisions a desirable future state for human societies in which living conditions and resource-use continue to meet human needs without undermining the "integrity, stability and beauty" of natural biotic systems. Nandita explores the impact of innovative technologies on human lives through her practice. She employs technology as though it were a natural element in an extended ecosystem. Her works as a result are hybrids, rooted simultaneously in human nature while a pervasive electronic layer is integrated seamlessly. Nandita has shown in Pompidou, ZKM, Kiasma, KNMA, LACMA, REDCAT, ISEA, Jeu de Paume, Film Archive NY, NTAA, RedCat. “Ghar Pe/At Home” (2011-2012), a community art project she curated, has been documented online by Asian Art Archive (Hong Kong). She has also been a speaker at TEDx and MCA, Sydney.
Melanie Valencia is an Andean, originally from Ambato, Ecuador. She is currently pursuing her interdisciplinary PhD in circular economy from both economics and engineering perspectives. Her research focuses on the social determinants of the circular economy, particularly on how the informal recycling sector can be included in this new model in Latin America. She has been working at the intersection of environmental engineering, climate change and social innovation. Most of her work has been related to sanitation and improving waste management in both technical and social aspects with projects in Ghana and Ecuador. She was named MIT Innovator Under 35 in 2016 for her work in CarboCycle, a biotech startup transforming organic waste into a palm oil substitute. She was also one of Project Drawdown’s research fellow to estimate the impact of scaling existing solutions to mitigate climate change. She has been organizer and speaker at multiple events, including Hacking Medicine MIT and Zero Waste Latin America.