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Leadership Team

Our People


ISF’s Leadership Team contains expertise from across the Arts and Sciences.

Dr Carlos Lopez-Galviz

Dr Carlos Lopez-Galviz

Director & Institute Lead on Engagement

My work looks at futures thinking and future forming through the lens of cities, ruins and infrastructure. I have studied cities like London, Paris and Shanghai, using history as a means of thinking about what theories and which methods are relevant to understanding their future today and in the past. I am interested in research that is comparative and collaborations that combine disciplinary rigour with cross-disciplinary openness.

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Dr. Emily Spiers

Associate Director

Emily Spiers is Lecturer in Creative Futures. Their work focuses on future-oriented, innovative trends in communicative and literary practices. They explore how futures are being envisaged, anticipated and made through art and literature -- and how creative narratives can help articulate multiple futures in fields as diverse as defence, education and climate change.

They have worked with multiple government agencies and creative partners to articulate the importance of critically engaging with the world-building techniques that form the foundation of futures thinking and futures literacy.

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Dr. Emily Spiers
Dr Natasa Lakovic

Dr Natasa Lakovic

Theme Lead - Cultural and Creative Futures

Natasa Lackovic is Lecturer in Education. She is a co-director of the Centre for Higher Education and Evaluation and the ISF project Reopen Graphic Futures in collaboration with LICAF (Lakes International Comic Art Festival). Her work focuses on creative and innovative practices that inform higher education futures. This work embraces semiotics, art-based practices and visual learning and communication (e.g., her book Inquiry Graphics in Higher Education), such as the applications of comics, graphic novels, photographs and videos across disciplines. She has applied and developed participatory co-design in her research, visual and multimodal storytelling as well as diverse methodological and theoretical approaches, such as the latest development of a relational approach to higher education (upcoming co-authored book with Routledge).

Dr Robert Gutsche Jr.

Theme Lead - Environmental Social Futures

Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr. is a leading scholar in the field of Journalism Studies where he applies critical cultural theory to investigate issues of power in journalism. He is Senior Lecturer in Critical Digital Media Practice in Lancaster’s Department of Sociology and is a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Informatics at Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania. His range of research interests include those related to climate change communication. He is co-editor of the book Climate Change, Media & Culture: Critical Issues in Global Environmental Communication and led or leads several engagement projects surrounding climate change, digital media, and the arts, including and As Associate Editor of Journalism Practice, Gutsche hosts and produces “The J Word: A Podcast by Journalism Practice.

Dr Robert Gutsche Jr
Dr Kirsti Ashworth

Dr Kirsti Ashworth

Theme Lead - Health & Wellbeing Futures

My research focuses on the interactions between the land surface, the atmosphere and society. Originally trained as a Chemical Engineer, I gained a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences with a specific interest in how highly reactive gases released from vegetation affect and are affected by climate and air quality. However, I have become increasingly interested in exploring how scientific knowledge can be used as an agent of societal change. We “know” why air quality is poor, so why can’t we “solve” it? Through working on the use of urban green space to mitigate climate and air pollution, I became more aware of environmental (in)justice, air (ine)quality and health inequities across the population, and the need for agency, hope and futures thinking. I am currently involved in the Phoenix 2020 Project, with local artists Green Close Studios, using creative arts to support mental health recovery post-COVID and see a bright future for ISF and Lancaster in the field of Mental Health and Wellbeing Futures!

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