The Unthinkable Experiment

Guided by young people, The Unthinkable Experiment is searching for systems and solutions to build a new society.

Koen Vanmechelen

The Unthinkable Experiment was born in the pandemic. 2020 was a special year. Restaurants and cafes closed. Online schooling was the rule and only one cuddle buddy was allowed. The pandemic is antisocial by definition. It isolates and has no ethical discourse. And yet we exist only through and with others. Man is a social being, biologically a herd animal, without the others it does not work. We will have to build a new ethic. We will have to think about new structures? New models? New knowledge? Survivable ecosystems? Sustainability and biodiversity? About inclusion?

- Koen Vanmechelen, HBVL 2020

LaMouseion © Koen Vanmechelen, Kris Vervaeke

Homo, quo vadis? 

The Unthinkable Experiment started with that question. Wouldn't there be a system for young people to play a more crucial role in these complex times? One that is founded on responsibility and commitment? A kind of "school of life" where young people join critical debate. A playing field - complementary to existing colleges and universities - to experiment with a new, different kind of knowledge. Knowledge that reaches across traditional boundaries, bringing different disciplines together around the discussion table. Connecting, innovating and enriching. Can we look for new systems and laws in such a youth community?

A quarantine of freedom

Young people are invited to reflect on the future inside LaMouseion’s three large knowledge containers. On top of each container rests a large egg. Whether or not the egg hatches, depends on the young people who will be reflecting a while inside these beautifully decorated works of art. On their radar: Galloway cattle, storks and many other bird species, attracted by the visually striking new nests that are being built here. The Unthinkable Experiment gives young people a chance to think outside the box, while residing in the fertile frontier between wilderness and civilisation. Inspired by the environment of LABIOMISTA. Sheltered by the freedom of the arts. Empowered by the encounter with others. The knowledge generated by this project will be included in our Library of Collected Knowledge (L.O.C.K.)

Thinking out of the box while being in the box

Koen Vanmechelen

New generations

The Unthinkable Experiment specifically addresses young people; locally and internationally. In different 'chapters', it invites young people - from all directions, regions, disciplines, social contexts - to join LaMouseion in thinking about the questions of today and tomorrow. They take up the challenge to imagine the future together, to look for the diversity and freshness of new knowledge, inspired by the environment of LABIOMISTA. Each chapter works around a particular theme.

We are looking for enthusiastic individuals interested in organising this project. If you want to contribute to creating a space where young people can freely contemplate innovative solutions to the challenges of our time, then we would love to hear from you.

Visit this page to become a coordinator of The Unthinkable Experiment.


Previous Knowledge Chapters

Chapter Future Garden will shape the fourth chapter in our library for the future. Follow our collective journey of discovery from the previous chapter. Discover how, guided by the youth, we explore new knowledge about complex social issues.

Open University of Diversity

The Unthinkable Experiment is part of the Open University of Diversity (OpUnDi) and adheres to its principles; ‘Open’: accessible for everyone. ‘University’: focused on the exchange of ideas, change and growth. ‘Diversity’: because diversity is the basis for all forms of evolution.
The project is supported by VUB, ULB, KULeuven,
UHasselt, Global Campus of Human Rights, Mouth Foundation, OPUNDI Genk, and various local partners.

More on OpUnDi