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World of Work

1st Jan 2019

World of Work is a cooperative board game developed by artist Michelle Browne and collaborators.

Project Details
  • Place
Creative Team
  • Artist: Michelle Browne
  • Collaborators: St Helens College students, Torus Housing, St Helens Carers Centre and individuals working in the industries of St Helens.
  • Producers: Rhyannon Parry, Suzanne Dempsey-Sawin, Kate Houlton

In 2019, we invited Michelle to join us for a research residency exploring the future world of work in St Helens, and other towns similarly affected by large-scale unemployment and worklessness. Building on her previous project Now Thus Now Thus, World of Work is a collaborative board game where players work together to deal with external forces, tech innovations and societal changes that assist or reduce job creation in a town like St Helens.

The aim of the game is to gather a number of social benefits such as housing, sustainable environment and basic income, that will improve the lives of those who live in the town.

Will they be able to keep enough people in employment? Can they ensure social benefits such as housing, public transport and a Universal Basic Income are available to everyone who needs them? How might these reflections help us think about the future of work in our region?

Michelle has played World of Work with diverse communities and policy makers in towns and locations across the UK and Ireland including St Helens and Dublin, offering the space to think strategically about the fundamental inequalities and global impacts that contribute to deprivation locally.

World of Work at The World Transformed 2023

In October 2023, Michelle Browne and Heart of Glass brought World of Work to The World Transformed; a four day festival of left wing political art, activities and learning in Liverpool. The gameplay was recorded and will be shared later in 2024. We hope that this will help engage further communities to play the game and explore the ideas inherent in it.

World of Work at St Helens College

In November 2023, Heart of Glass invited two groups of people to play the game at St Helens College: four professionals working in fields which are directly affecting and affected by the economy, employment and skills training (from St Helens Council, St Helens Chamber, a Labour Councillor and a lecturer) and a group of six students from FE and HE courses at the College. This gameplay was also filmed and will also be used alongside The World Transformed footage.

If you're interested in finding out more about the World of Work, or would like to host a gameplay event, please email

Listen to more about the project

A conversation between artist Michelle Browne and former miner / St Helens legend Gary Conley, recorded in 2020.

Michelle Browne

As part of our Speculative Futures programme, further work on this project will be supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation.