Octopa investigating

Through her Toolkit, get familiar with Octopa’s many arms abilities to tackle complexity and uncertainty.

While I might look like a typical octopus, don’t be deceived. To help us on our anticipatory travels, I’ve annotated my hyper-connected eight limbs. You will find them in my toolkit below. 

I suggest you use these powerful tentacles to reconsider your own contexts and the conditions that construct and might change them, to work with my qualities and capacities for change to reconfigure your current thinking and future actions.

Turn this toolkit back on yourselves! How might you think, move, act and create amphibiously, drawing future projects back into actionable alternate presents?


This toolkit has been devised to help us journey through the treacherous waters and troubled times of our changing world and the Arctic. You can use my arms to think more deeply, I hope, about the settings or contexts of the dilemmas and opportunities in which we find ourselves and might journey into. And they also provide us with a way of working with my specific and non-literal powers to tackle and think ahead of our current times and back into them differently. Transformation is my wish. Slipperiness is my style!

As you see, my arms are in two groups of four, called “Contexts”, on the left, and “Qualities”, on the right.

The four “Contexts” arms (Amphibiousness, Movement, Societal, Environment) refer to the complex conditions and contexts we encounter in today’s world in the face of climate, environmental societal, technical and cultural change.
The other four “Qualities” arms (Braininess, Tentacles, Mobility, Appearance) are more specifically about my qualities as a species, you can use them to respond critically and creatively to the contexts and conditions of the real and imaginary worlds.

  1. Identify the title of each of my arms.
    See further down this page for descriptions of each arm.
  2. Choose one arm, or several.
  3. Briefly relate the title to your own contexts, needs, expertise, etc.
  4. Note how it resonates with your work, interests, challenges or potentials.
  5. Jot down key words, concepts, issues or related problems in a sentence or two.



The world is complex mesh that’s changing
rapidly and in a diversity of ways and forms.

Single interest entities and systems don’t contribute to saving our morphing planet.

Climate, ecological and societal change are entwined in amphibious relations.

We need to think and act amphibiously about ecological conditions and contexts.

Human-nonhuman relationships enrich our routes to shared futures and survival.

Anticipating response-able futures demands we think and act across disciplines.

Agency for effecting lasting ecological change is plural, collective and vibrant.

Travelling with change happens in journeys between water, land and air.

Shifts in time and space and fact and fiction need informed and imaginative leaps.


Transformation happens when action takes
place in time and space through movement.

Climate change is happening and needs us to live and act differently and dynamically.

As movement design, choreography extends to performatively reshaping the world.

The kinetic is plural, from bodies to societies, micro-organisms to global ecologies.

Learning to move in coordination takes practice and connection of temporal energies.

Movement is a method to support and enrich anticipatory, futures change processes.

Non-verbal, sensory and experiential movement need recognition and rehearsal.

Choreographing personal and organisational change needs flexibility and openness.

Transformation through movement values surfacing of emergence and adaptability.


Long-term planetary survival needs informed,
collective and creative action in the present.

Together we need to adapt to given, changing and emergent conditions and contexts.

Flexibility and criticality are needed to alter constraints to settings and experience.

Routes to meaningful social futures lie in connected situated anticipatory actions.

Sustainable societies demand replacement of extractive, consumptive economies.

Imaginative offerings are key to engaged participation in the process of transformation.

Intersections of diverse views need to be co-designed for plural societal character.

Collective decision-making needs generation, rehearsal and future protection.

Deep, long-lasting systemic change depends on rethinking ways we work with time.


Ecological, technical, cultural and temporal aspects
of futures are woven in a complex web.

Practices of critical care are needed in shaping links between contexts and systems.

Short-term satisfaction needs to be offset by deep cultural and technical change.

Securing biological diversity asks us to rethink logics of consumption and use.

Current and future survival depends on protective support of multi-species views.

We need to strengthen respectful, diverse knowledge systems and practices.

Critical, reflexive stewardship is needed for current and emerging environments.

Securing safe, thriving futures environments lies in regenerative public policies.

Developing anticipatory environmental scenarios is crucial for durative futures.


My looks are deceiving! Here are some of
the powers we have at (eight) arm’s length.

In milliseconds I can change into many colours and alter my skin texture.

Blending into my surroundings and camouflaging my identity is simple to do.

I shift shape and change my identity by gathering other objects in my tentacles.

Altering my appearance offers me diverse identities for unfolding situations.

With a jet of ink, I confuse my adversaries and effect a peaceful escape.

While I used to be a cannibal, now my diet’s one of a playful, cultural calamari.

Take care, my hidden beak with venom can rapidly paralyse a large mammal.

My appearance also morphs as I move in, across and between time and space.


My hyper-flexible arms as the 8th wonder of the world!
They’re more than they seem.

My tentacles move work independently but also via coordinated actions.

Simultaneously, they can perform different tasks and adeptly use a mix of tools.

These powerful arms can nudge and tickle, grasp, squeeze and suffocate.

My suckers are strong, hoist great weight but hold and lift delicate objects.

I’ve adapted my many suckers to taste and smell, things delightful and toxic.

I’ll lose an arm and let it continue moving to deflect an intruder or pursuer.

I can totally regenerate my arms, give me 10 minutes I’m a rapid healer.

My arms connect to my distributed brain and work across timescales.


You’ll know me as a maritime creature of propulsion,
but look out, I’m now amphibious.

One of my favourite talents is squeezing through the tight spaces.

I use my water siphon to move backwards and forwards.

Movement come easy to me, in the water, on land and through the air.

Changing posture is second nature, for defense, attraction and change.

I can alter my form to resemble other creatures and deflect attention.

To survive, all the time my blue blood beats through my three hearts.

When needed, I can widen six arms and use the other two to walk.

I’m a mobile mapper, flexibly moving through the ages and arcs of time.


I’m not just a pretty face but a most intelligent
invertebrate anticipatory critter.

My intelligence is distributed in my arms that are filled with connected neurons.

I am a charismatic meta-cognitive creature who can anticipate deep change.

As a curious problem finder, I’m not an exhibit unlocking jars in aquariums.

Taking critical, creative care ahead of time is one of my key attributes.

I use experience and play to make connections and inform future decisions.

Negotiating tight ecological scenarios happens when I activate collective memory.

I lay thousands of larvae only at the end of a long, informed and adaptive life.

Been around for 500 million years, so asking tough questions is a constant delight.