In seeking to articulate the core role the arts have to play across a variety of sectors, the Creative Futures theme bridges academia and the creative industries, as well as informing much of the wider work in ISF. Through our projects and partnerships, we share a space where practical innovations in the creative industries and the analytical skills of academe combine. This allows us not just to ‘think the world differently’, but also to act on our ideas to make new worlds. There are no properly ‘social’ futures without either the creative vision to imagine them or the political and economic wherewithal to enact them.
The projects and partnerships in this theme are accordingly all designed to innovate specific practices in specific places, as part of a wider vision of enabling better futures for more people. This entails creating new pathways between how we analyse culture as a collective phenomenon and how we seek to bring about actual social change based on individuals’ lived experience (including in the areas of health and material well-being) and taking account of our own socio-political location. This may take the form of finding new, multidisciplinary ways of unpicking exactly how creative work can be socially useful, or it might involve developing new forms of creative practice that speak in distinct ways to different audiences in diverse geopolitical contexts.