The aim of the Reimagining 2025:Living with Fire Design Challenge is to center the voices of diverse young and emerging scholars in ongoing discussions on wildfire risk management. The objective is to enable student-led teams to closely engage with communities in processes of reimagining inclusive, just, and equitable pathways to living with fire. Each team is comprised of at least three students, one faculty advisor, and one community partner. Teams receive an award of USD 20,000 each, access to a highly experienced mentor network, and pathways to future funding opportunities. The awards enable teams to co-develop reimagined pathways to living and working with fire in sustainable, equitable, and just ways.
2023-2024 Cohort: Call for Proposals We are pleased to open a call for proposals to our third cohort (2023-2024), beginning August 2023! See the Call for proposals for further details (deadline for proposals: 14 July 2023).
By way of background, read Wonder Labs' call for a new research and practice agenda to reimagine the forestry and fire workforce in caring, equitable, and just ways here, check out our call for research submissions to the Fire Journal's Special Issue on 'Reimagining the future of living and working with fire', here(open for submissions until 15 December 2023).
Also, learn from our past cohorts, see below!
Reimagining Community Wildfire Protection Planning in Nederland, Colorado This project facilitated community-wide visioning exercises to inform an inclusive update to Nederland’s 2011 Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The project will engage with the lived experiences, values, and perspectives of teens and young adults, indigenous people, unhoused people, and older adults. For details on this project, see here.
Reimagining forestry and fire career pathways for justice-impacted people in the Bay Area, California This project brought together an interdisciplinary team of students, faculty advisors, and community partners to reimagine a workforce-led and community-centered transition to living and working with fire in California’s landscape. The project considers how workforce development and training programs can better serve justice-involved and systems-impacted people while meeting growing demands on the forestry and fire workforce. For details on this project, see here.
Reimagining fire governance to engage and partner with diverse young people nationwide Through this project, the FireGeneration Collaborative brings together diverse underrepresented young people to reimagine roles and partnerships for wildfire risk management in ways that are inclusive, equitable, just, and future ready. The project will work to bridge the gap between next-generation fire practitioners and government agencies, by elevating diverse young people’s voices and experiences in federal and state wildland fire risk management policy, strategies, and decision-making. Details coming soon!
Reimagining Community Wildfire Protection Planning in Ventura County, California A team from the University of California Santa Barbara in partnership with the Ventura Regional Fire Safe Council focused on the meaningful inclusion of socially vulnerable communities in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) process for Ventura County. The team’s Story Map presents ecological data and diverse community feedback, to visualize “projected” and “reimagined” states of living with fire in just and inclusive ways in Ventura County, California. For details on their project see here.
Reimagining community resilience in Gold Hill, Boulder County, Colorado A team from the University of Colorado Boulder in partnership with the CU Center for Sustainable Landscapes and Communities and the Boulder Watershed Collective engaged in creative programming for wildfire adapted forest ecosystems and communities using a 100-acre forest thinning/meadow restoration project in Gold Hill, CO. The team's Story Map presents "projected" and "reimagined" pathways for how the Gold Hill community can live with fire. For details on their project see here.
Mentors In 2021, the teams were guided by inspiring mentors who brought interdisciplinary thinking, industry best practices, and human-centered design thinking: Amy Berry (The Tahoe Fund), Daniel Godwin (The Ember Alliance), and Faith Kearns (California Institute for Water Resources). Learn more about our 2021 mentors here.
Inclusive evacuation planning for Marin County, California In June 2021, Wonder Labs also awarded USD 5,000 for a Design Challenge submission received from a team at UC Berkeley. As part of this award, the UC Berkeley team completed a 6-week summer project with Zonehaven AWARE to augment inclusive evacuation planning efforts in Marin County, California. This summer project contributes to community-centered research and visual design for more inclusive evacuation planning. The team was mentored by advisors from UC Berkeley, Wonder Labs, Zonehaven, and Marin County partners. For details on their project, see here.
In 2021, teams co-developed 'living with fire' community-centered projects over a period of six months, from 1 June until 30 November 2021. On 9 December 2021, teams co-presented their work with community partners followed by reflections from Design Challenge mentors at an end of project webinar, available here: https://youtu.be/yUB3Zpfdeoo
Follow updates on the Design Challenge projects on Twitter: @WonderLabs1