Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Planetary Futures Conference: Imagining the Future - financial capitalism and the social imagination

11 July 2017, 9:00 am–8:00 pm

Imagining the Future Image 1 Cover

Event Information

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Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Common Ground, Ground Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building


How do the fictitious operations of markets shape our perceptions of the future? How do the worlds of fiction and reality coalesce to produce dominant valuations of the future? What are the implications of financial imagination for articulating radical alternatives to such dominant future projections? This one-day international conference brought together theoretically-driven approaches from a range of disciplines, including sociology, political science, urban studies, social policy, art theory and philosophy, to explore the competing imaginaries of contemporary financial capitalism.

Conference Organisers: Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou (UCL) and Chiara Bottici (The New School)

Keynote Speakers: Professor Ruth Levitas (University of Bristol) and Professor Jens Beckert (Max Planck Institute, Cologne)

The conference is part of 'The Radical Imagination' research project, an ongoing collaboration between the Department of Social Science at UCL and the New School for Social Research in New York.

Contributions engaged with the following themes, among others:

· the social production of financial(ised) futures
· Utopia and the politics of hope 
· fictional expectations and fictitious capital 
· economics & science fiction 
· risk, debt and futurities 
· feminist finance and economics  
· theorizing rationality/irrationality   
· future presents and present futures  
· utopian/dystopian sociologies of finance  
· the political economy of sociological imagination(s)  
· real-estate utopias/dystopias  
· microcredit and the neoliberal imagination   
· state debt futures and development  
· empirical explorations of the social and/or financial imagination

The programme of the conference can be downloaded here and the abstracts here.

Imagining the Future Image 2

Image: © Robert Almonte

Imagining the Future Image 3

Image: Bilge Serin © Robert Almonte

Imagining the Future Image 4

Image: Joshua Simon © Robert Almonte

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Image: Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou © Robert Almonte

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Image: Jens Beckert © Robert Almonte

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Image: Jan Dutkiewicz © Robert Almonte

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Image: Ruth Levitas © Robert Almonte