Co-constructing Alternative Futures

An Investigation of Sustainable Practices at James Cook University and Beyond: Co-constructing Alternative Futures

The project aims to examine ­ and then look beyond ­ the complex and often compromised nature of sustainable practices across three contexts: James Cook University (Townsville, Cairns and Singapore); The Townsville City Council; and local schools in Townsville.


March 2017 to March 2018

James Cook University, New Professor Grant
Academic Group:


Key Words:

Sustainability, Waste, Serious Games, Gamification, Socio-Sustainable and Socio-technical Adjustments

Project description

This project addresses the long-standing question of why sustainable practices have largely failed to have a consistent impact on the core processes of achieving sustainable societies. The overarching aim of the project is to identify the socio-sustainable and socio-technical adjustments that might be made across 3 sites to facilitate Å’better¹ sustainable practices. Using an innovative combination of large-scale surveying and critical participatory co-design, the project will:

  • Provide insights into why sustainable practices are often not being used to their full potential.
  • Actively collaborate in designing, experimenting and constructing alternatives through gamification by answering the question, "How do we design a serious game to deal with waste?".

Project partners

  • James Cook University and TropEco

Project team

  • Chris Walsh (College of Arts, Society & Education)
  • Hilary Whitehouse (College of Arts, Society & Education)
  • Helen Boon (College of Arts, Society & Education)
  • Tanya Doyle (College of Arts, Society & Education)
  • Elaine Sharplin (College of Arts, Society & Education)
  • Trina Myers (College of Business, Law and Governance)
  • Adam Connell (TropEco)
  • David King (College of Science and Engineering)
  • Maxine Newlands (College of Arts, Society & Education)
  • Aoife McLoughlin (James Cook University Singapore- Psychology)

Key contact: Principal Investigator, Chris Walsh at