Time, Uncertainty, and the Imagination

Summer Research Festival

14-16 June 2021 – Online

“We look at the present through a rear-view mirror; we walk backwards into the future” (Marshall McLuhan)

‘The future’ is as diverse as there are moments and objects in time. It fluctuates between the known and
unknown, between optimism and pessimism, between moral obligation and wishful fantasy. It is both
ever-present and never-realised. Yet despite, or perhaps because of, these uncertainties, thinking about the future remains a moral and existential necessity, as well as a generative and creative process.

This interdisciplinary online festival explores the different ways the future is, and has been, conceived and imagined. The festival will include workshops, presentations, roundtable discussions and conference papers, all responding to the idea of ‘futures’. How have people in the past imagined or divined the future? What changes can we make to ensure a sustainable future? Can looking back help us to move forward? And how can animal intelligence help us to develop future technology? These questions and more will form the framework of this research festival. See the original Call for Papers here.

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Festival Programme

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Festival Overview

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