People planning a project with post-its on blackboard

Research Themes

Environmental Social Futures

From the challenge of motivating people to engage with the economics of climate change to re-casting how our planet exists in the cosmos, this theme is home to projects that put the smallest of details into the biggest of pictures. If we want a better world, we need to change both thought and action in radically new ways.

Dr Paul Young, Theme Lead

Material & Digital Futures

The material and the social are related. How we live, the societies we make, the tools and technologies we use, are all a reflection of their complex and fundamental interconnection. Yet research tends to treat these two as distinct spheres. Making links between and across these divides, in the material, social and computational, is part of the agenda of the ISF.

Prof. Richard Harper, Theme Lead

Cultural and Creative Futures

We all live in the present, all the time, but this present only exists thanks to our past behaviour and our projections into the future. Embracing the deep roots of cultural practices and the transformative power of creative processes, projects in this theme show how we can find and re-make the future all around us as part of a path towards empowering both individuals and society.

Prof. Rebecca Braun, Theme Lead

Mental Health & Wellbeing Futures

Do we want to live longer, or better, and who are ‘we’ anyway? Projects in this theme explore both practical and ethical questions around how different groups of people relate to their environments, living out their biological lives at the intersections of social, material and physical circumstances.