Our research is problem-focused and future-oriented. We are thinking about livelihoods, institutions and futures shaped by innovations in technology.
Making a living
What are the diverse ways in which people make a living and how is this changing? How can we develop pathways and support livelihoods that deliver future prosperity for all?
In practice this means investigating the fundamentals of social and economic life: work, leisure, consumption, wealth, wellbeing and energy. From these starting points, we can question the values that underpin such practices, challenge social inequalities and avert pressure on our planetary resources.
The change that needs to happen
What new social, economic and political institutions are needed for our changing societies? How can social innovation create the means for building them and accelerating their development?
There are significant questions about the fitness of national and international governance systems for managing conflicts of interests, cultures and beliefs. There are clear crises surrounding the legitimacy of governments, and deep anxiety about corporate commitment to societal wellbeing. How can we develop institutions for sustainable co-operation, decision-making and value creation, which in turn will achieve a prosperous and sustainable world?
Making the future
How can innovations in science and technology address key social challenges? What mechanisms and capacities are needed to align these changes with the aspirations of citizens?
It’s critical that the societies of the future are informed not only by cutting-edge research but also citizen’s goals and aspirations. How will new developments in areas such as energy, biotechnology, neuroscience and new materials impact the way societies negotiate the human–environment interface. How do we harness new technologies and innovation to serve social justice, equity and wellbeing?