Future-forming interdisciplinary research

ISF at the 20th Futures Conference in Turku, Finland

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The ISF is providing the ‘view from Lancaster’ at the 20th futures conference of the Finland Futures Research Centre at the Finland Futures Academy, University of Turku this week.

The Institute’s Anniversary Lecturers – Carlos López Galviz, Emily Spiers, and Nicola Spurling – are presenting a panel at this year’s themed conference ‘CONSTRUCTING SOCIAL FUTURES: SUSTAINABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY AND POWER’ on 12–13 JUNE 2019.

Their panel is entitled ‘WHAT ARE SOCIAL FUTURES? THE VIEW FROM LANCASTER’ and is summed up by the following abstract:

The late John Urry (2016: 120) concluded his last book, What is the Future?, by saying that ‘Thinking through futures highlights something not clearly articulated in much social science which is how power is a matter of future-making.’ By reflecting on the ongoing work of the Institute for Social Futures, of which Urry was cofounder, this panel will explore the different ways in which we have taken his call further in two ways.

First, it will provide a brief outline of the forthcoming Routledge International Handbook of Social Futures (2020). Second, the panel will give three in-depth illustrations, which focus on how our individual research is shaping what social futures mean to us.

The panel will then give individual talks on the following:

1. ‘Creative Futures’, Emily Spiers. This paper explores the theoretical underpinnings of ‘creative futures’
methods as a tool for unlocking social futures, providing examples of work undertaken with partners over the last two years.

Emily’s talk is available here

2. ‘Inverted Mobility Futures’, Nicola Spurling. This paper challenges the presumption that smart urban
transportation will result in green, people-friendly future places by inverting mobility futures, to look at
dormant rather than flowing vehicles, and exploring their implications for people and place.

3. ‘Past Urban Futures’, Carlos López Galviz. Focusing on Urban Europe 2000, a project sponsored by the European Cultural Foundation (1973-75), this paper will discuss why and in what ways history and historical context are essential to envision urban futures.

We are looking forward to sharing our ideas!

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