Update 14 November 2019:

Thank you for attending the workshop! Documentation will soon be made available on the webpage of the Collaborative Future-Making research platform:

Collaborative Future-Making

Original workshop invitation

We live in an age of climate change and mass extinction of species. Everyday we are witnessing global social injustices and how democratic rights are being challenged. Could things be different? Are we at all capable of imagining alternative futures?

The interest in humankind's ability to imagine alternative and sustainable futures is gaining increased attention in the scholarly community. This workshop, Imagining Collaborative Future-Making, brings together international scholars to build an interdisciplinary understanding of the research area “collaborative future-making” and its scientific and societal relevance. The scholars are based in fields including Futures Studies, Political Science, Media and Communication Studies, Design Research, and Science and Technology Studies.

Collaborative future-making is a new research area that draws upon multidisciplinary, critical perspectives from the humanities and social sciences. These perspectives are combined with design research methods that are collaborative and constructive, such as making and prototyping. The area also deals with how to develop ways for debating these futures with people from all sectors of society.

In essence, collaborative future-making is about exploring how we can envision inclusive and sustainable ways of living and thriving together. 

The research asks two overarching questions:

  • How can we through critical imagination challenge basic assumptions, norms and structures to widen the perspectives on what can constitute socially, culturally, ecologically and economically sustainable futures?
  • How can we can set up more inclusive collaborations to prototype and discuss alternative futures, engaging not only professionals and policy makers but also citizens and civil society?


November 12 at 9–17

The first day provides initial inspiration with a series of presentations given by our international guests, offering their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges with collaborative future-making. On the basis of these statements, all participants will engage in a wider discussion drawing out the themes identified by the opening presentations. The day will end with a shared discussion on emerging topics and issues that will be explored further on the second day.

8:30 – 9:00 Tea/coffee and fruit

9:00 – 9:45 Welcome and introduction to the Collaborative Future-Making research platform

9:45 – 10:45 Presentations by the guest speakers

10:45 – 10:55 Short break with coffee/tea

10:55 – 11:15 Q&A

11:15 – 12:15 Group discussions

12:15 – 13:15 Lunch

13:15 – 14:15 Presentations by the guest speakers

14:15 – 14:35 Q&A

14:35 – 15:00 Fika

15:00 – 16:00 Group discussions

16:00 – 16:15 Mingle around the illustration

16:15 – 17:30 Appetizers for un/made futures

17:30 – 18:00 Walk/transport to Saltimporten

18:00 Dinner at Saltimporten (Grimsbygatan 24, Malmö)

November 13 at 9–16

The second day will be in workshop format. The aim of these exercises is to draw out an interdisciplinary understanding of the area and to sketch future collaborations, including identifying empirical foci and methods for possible joint research applications and publications.

8:30 – 9:00 Tea/coffee and fruit

9:00 – 9:30 Digesting un/made futures

9:30 – 10:00 Introduction to group work

10:00 – 11:30 Group work

11:30 – 12:00 Group presentations

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:30 Group work

14:30 – 15:00 Group presentations

15:00 – 16:00 Reflections

Yoko Akama is an Associate Professor at RMIT University Melbourne, in the Department of Communication Design, where she works on cultural sensitivity and engagement with communities in design work. She is also co-leader of the Design, Ethnography and Futures program.

Jenny Andersson is CNRS fellow and researcher at the Centre d’études européennes at Sciences Po. She holds a PhD in Economic History from Uppsala University. Before joining Sciences Po, she was post-doctoral fellow and visiting scholar at the European University Institute, Florence, and at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University. She was also a research fellow of the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) and an associated professor with the Swedish Institute for Futures Studies in Stockholm.

Karin Bradley is an Assistant Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. Her research concerns sociocultural perspectives on sustainable development, environmental justice, utopian thought and social movements. Bradley’s PhD thesis dealt with social justice and the political in the contemporary planning for sustainable urban development. She is the author of several book chapters, scientific and popular articles in the field of sustainable urban development, justice and difference.

Davina Cooper is Research Professor in Law at Kings College London. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and winner of the Charles Taylor prize awarded by the American Political Science Association for her book Everyday Utopias that crosses critical legal theory and political science. 

Gary Hall is a cultural and media theorist working on new media technologies, philosophy, and cultural studies. He is Professor of Media and Performing Arts in the School of Art and Design and Director of the Centre for Disruptive Media at Coventry University, UK.

Andrew Morrison is Director of the Centre for Design Research at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) in Norway and Professor of Interdisciplinary Design at the Institute of Design. He is a design researcher and is also engaged in the emerging discipline of anticipation studies.

Programme committee

This workshop is organized by Malmö University's research platforms Collaborative Future-Making and Medea. Program committee: Per-Anders Hillgren (Associate Professor in Design & Social Innovation), Michael Strange (Associate Professor in International Relations), Bo Reimer (Professor in Media & Communication Studies), Anna Seravalli (Senior Lecturer in Product Design), and Kristina Lindström (Senior Lecturer in Product Design).

This workshop has received financial support from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences).