Prof. Rebecca Braun
(School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures)



This new area of research looks at how creative practice can inform the way we think about and plan for different futures. It aims to be of use to policy makers at all levels, from local communities through to international organisations. The key premise is that the kind of world-building that drives creative practice – whether this takes the form of stories, performances, or audio and visual material – provides us with a myriad of insights into why things happen and, just as importantly, why they don’t.

Our work is both conceptually and methodologically innovative.

Conceptually, we seek to articulate the different ways in which existing works of art and other creative uses of narrative and audio-visual material routinely engage in futures work by both creating alternative worlds and highlighting the opportunities and the difficulties of living within them. The ‘felt futures’ laid before us have enormous potential to inform the kind of futures work undertaken as part of broader efforts on the part of a wide variety of stakeholder to meet the different sustainable development goals. We aim to help with this mediation and we draw on an interdisciplinary team with expertise from right across the Arts and Social Sciences in order to do so.

We are also committed to developing new methodologies commensurate to achieving this aim. Creative practice is a process in which diverse communities can engage directly. We work with schools, community groups, and national organisations to explore the value of creative practice for opening up new conversations and developing concrete plans of action with real buy-in from all involved.

Examples of our work to date include: briefing papers prepared for the UK Ministry of Defence, the Department of the Gaeltacht, and Foras na Gaeilge; workshops delivered for the US Dept of Defense; project development with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, UK Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, the European Commission, and Future Earth Ireland.