Deadline extended to 1 March 2024

Anticipation 2024

Lancaster University, UK 11-14 September 2024

Call for participation

Consolidating an open, convivial and interdisciplinary forum for scholars, practitioners, researchers, and citizens engaging with the fields of anticipation and future studies, the 5th International Conference on Anticipation seeks to deepen and widen the exchange of new ideas, and possible future directions seeking reflection and action in the interest of a better collective global future.

Anticipating the challenges, opportunities, and conditions of future change is an exercise that is both global and local, entangled with values that are at once universal and particular. One way of qualifying the unfinished processes and new horizons co-existing in the worlds around us is through specifying the various intersecting contexts in which these processes and horizons operate. Foregrounding the significance of context, the conference invites us to locate ourselves in the first quarter of the 21st century facing conditions which are significantly different from those that previous generations have faced. Moreover, the understandings, framings, skills, imaginaries, and means of instigating positive change of future generations will differ from those to which we currently have access. It matters that anticipations emerge from and are shaped in particular places at particular times, however globally interdependent connections might be across individuals, groups, institutions, systems and cultures.

Building on the success of previous conferences (Trento, London, Oslo, Tempe) and the leadership of previous conference chairs (Poli 2015, Facer 2017, Morrison 2019, Selin 2022), we encourage submissions that use Anticipation as a means of engaging with the climate emergency, transitional justice, AI and ethics, energy security, social inequalities, public health and wellbeing, socio-technical systems, cultural values, activism, the right to protest, and more. Submissions are encouraged to do so in ways that highlight context as central and formative for anticipatory action and thought.


We invite individual and collaborative proposals on a range of formats which engage with these broad questions and develop further the themes below.

Social futures

Futures are contextual. They have a geography and a history constraining the conditions of what is possible and probable. Questions of context also inform the process of striking a better balance between present and future possibilities and the values and desires guiding anticipatory actions for the benefit of the many in the future.

Environmental crises and societal change

In what ways can Anticipation help us counter the apocalyptic visions of crises, tragedies, displacements caused by the climate emergency? What relationships between environments, societies, individuals and politico-economic systems can Anticipation methods and approaches foster so that we are better placed to respond more effectively to (un)foreseeable change?

Decolonising futures

How do we understand the many, longstanding, and varied legacies of colonialism and its post-colonial successor systems and what those legacies mean for and do to our capacity to anticipate open plural futures? How could an Anticipation lens enable us to engage differently and critically with morally charged questions around reparation, generational trauma, the historical maps of takers and losers whose legacy is still with us today?

Past futures and generational ancestries

What are the archives upon which our anticipations are based? In what ways could we use these archives to become better ancestors? What can we learn from generations past, aboriginal and indigenous seven-generation thinking back into the past and forwards into the future? Are our anticipatory practices and institutions doing justice to a more sustaining relationship between humans and the environments on which they depend? What role should a grounded understanding of the past play in activating different kinds of futures?

Storytelling, imagination and the right to anticipate

Which new narratives do we need to open up the anticipatory spirit and action required to reverse the inertia of business as usual, the prevalence of there-is-no-alternative (TINA) thinking, and the parsimony of institutions reluctant to change? How do we bridge the many worlds that stories can conjure with the everyday life of real constraints on the worlds in which we live, work and play?

Timelines, timescapes and timespans

What would a temporal literacy encompassing the timelines of humans, Earth system, material and natural worlds, look like? What are the main barriers to integrating the duration of a human lifespan (say, 75 years) with geological processes spanning millions of years, and the rapidity of micro-second transactions relating to fast global trading?

Ideas of the future informing action in the present

To what extent are ideas of the future implicit in the way in which our everyday lives unfold, the way institutions adopt values, ideological strategies and political directions, and shift them to suit different interests over time? Anticipating is a temporally inflected human activity which is anchored in particular understandings of the future, including the means and capacities we each have to direct it, foretell it, or let it unfold.


Inspired by the success of different session formats used in previous editions of the conference, we will combine a range of ‘tried-and-tested’ sessions with new models seeking to enhance the sharing of findings as much as the dilemmas raised by intractable questions.

Curated Sessions. Intended to share new knowledge and generate interdisciplinary discussion, these 90-minute sessions should address one (or more) of the questions and themes outlined above and actively involve different disciplines. Session curators should gather 3-4 others to co-create a cohesive session, designed to be interactive, including, for example, a participatory experience that invites embodied exploration of different concepts or practices of anticipation; a symposium of four papers and a discussant; a set of multiple inputs of different forms, designed to elicit conversation and reflection; a guided walk with place-based interventions. The remit is to facilitate deep conversation and reflection amongst the conference participants. The choice of format lies with the Session Curators, who will act as the main contact for the conference organisers.

7/7 sessions. This means seven slides and seven minutes for each presentation. The sessions will have plenty of time for discussion. This will be supported by having both a chair and a discussant. Presenters shall focus on their main argument and key message, and avoid overly complex presentations.

Debate sessions. Debate sessions have a maximum of five presenters. Each gives a five minutes focused input to the topic and this should be followed by discussion involving the audience. Led by a chair.

Experimental sessions. These sessions invite experimental ways of presenting, discussing and interacting through, for example, creative workshops. Sessions can be experimental in relation to the papers/projects presented but they can also be experimental in relation to new formats for sessions (including ‘unconferencing’ formats like lightning talks, dotmocracy or café philosophique, participatory art, and so forth).

Panel sessions. Submit a thematic panel session consisting of 3-4 papers which will explore common questions discussed against the background of different case studies and approaches brought together collectively in a chaired session.

  1. Posters. Discuss early or exploratory work and present it as a poster at the conference. Submission consists of an abstract (300 words) and a brief biography (100 words) including contact information. The full poster is due on 15 August 2024.
  2. Papers. Individual submission of a paper consists of an abstract (300 words) and a brief biography (100 words) including contact information. Papers will be grouped thematically by the programme committee and, unless requested otherwise, may become part of 7/7 or panel sessions.

All other format submissions should include a title, summary of the session theme and the method chosen for facilitating discussion (100 words), as well as abstracts for each contribution/presentation (300 words). A short biography of each presenter is also required (100 words), with contact information.

We particularly encourage PhD students and early career researchers to share their ideas in a supportive critical environment. The local organising committee is exploring the possibility of planning a summer school in the lead up to the conference. Do get in touch if you’d like to get involved!

Please send all submissions to the conference email address:

The venue

Lancaster University is set in a beautiful campus near the Lake District, which is one of the main tourist destinations in the UK and World Heritage Site since 2018. Details of how to reach us and additional relevant information will be shared via the website nearer the conference date. The conference will be hosted by the Centre for Social Futures in collaboration with several departments and other centres across the university.

Important dates

2 October 2023 Call for participation launched

1 February 2024 Deadline for submission of abstracts

15 March 2024 Notification of acceptance

12 July 2024 Early Bird registration closes

11-14 September 2024 Conference in Lancaster, UK

Scientific committee

Manuela Celi

Keri Facer

Ted Fuller

Carlos López Galviz

Andrew Morrison

Cynthia Selin

Local organising committee

Yekta Bakirlioglu

Kwamou Feukeu

Derek Gatherer

Natasa Lackovic

Carlos López Galviz

Louise Mullagh

Felipe Sanchez Burgos

Sharon Summers