UCL Institute for Global Prosperity



Our research is problem-focused and future-oriented. We are thinking about livelihoods, institutions and futures shaped by innovations in technology.

Making a living

The IGP and its collaborators are rethinking how we conceptualise and improve livelihoods.

Standards of living have risen over the past 20 years. But so has social inequality and pressure on our planetary resources. We’re no longer clear what will bring about prosperity for all.

We’re investigating the fundamentals of social and economic life: work, leisure, consumption, wealth, wellbeing and energy. By using these as our starting point, we can begin to question the values that currently define them.

Elements of a new model are emerging in certain sectors of advanced economies, but they’re underdeveloped. We’re working with diverse evidence, sectors and communities to develop future solutions.

'Making a living' includes the following projects:

The change that needs to happen

How we can understand and accelerate social innovation as a means of building new social, economic and political institutions?

The institutions and structures of future human societies will emerge out of our current challenges and the pressures of emerging world conditions.

There are significant questions as to the fitness of national and international governance systems for managing conflicts of interests, cultures and beliefs. There are also clear crises surrounding the legitimacy of governments, and deep anxiety about corporate commitment to societal wellbeing.

We need to explore how we can develop institutions for sustainable co-operation, decision-making and value creation. This will be vital to achieving a prosperous and sustainable world.

'The change that needs to happen' includes the following projects:

Making the future

We believe that stronger mechanisms and capacities are needed to turn science and technology innovations towards key social challenges.

This requires new models and methods, innovative ideas and new ways of working with citizens.

It’s critical that emerging models of a different kind of society are informed by cutting-edge research. How this can be achieved and its impact is a key concern of the IGP.

We want to better understand how new developments in areas such as energy, biotechnologies, neuroscience and new materials are impacting the way societies negotiate the human–environment interface.

Part of this begins with a reconsideration of the outcomes of innovation. How do we harness new technologies and innovation to serve social justice, equity and wellbeing?

'Making the future' includes the following projects: