Future Natures is a new initiative to explore the global terrain and emergent ecologies of commoning and enclosure, bringing different histories, perspectives and struggles to defend the commons into conversation.

Through storytelling, arts and collaborative research, we aim to activate and support ways of learning and producing knowledge in common. In the process, we seek to break down false boundaries between theory and practice, knowledge and action, and to open up plural ways of seeing and ‘doing’ the commons.

The initiative begins with the proposition that the more that stories, knowledge and experiences from the spaces, movements and struggles for the commons are shared, amplified and brought into dialogue, the more our shared possibilities expand, and more concrete pathways to abundant, ecological and democratic futures become visible.

Better futures are not only possible — they already exist in-the-making.

Future Natures will launch in July 2022 as an international network, online platform and transdisciplinary research initiative, bringing together diverse communities of commoners and commoning-aligned researchers, artists, teachers, writers, makers and others.

Who we are

The Future Natures initiative is led and governed by an international steering collective involving researchers, artists, writers and communications professionals, and is hosted at the Institute of Development Studies, UK.

Future Natures builds on lessons, insights and infrastructure developed over fifteen years of interdisciplinary research, methods development and international partnership associated with the ESRC STEPS Centre (2006-2021) based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex.

Future Natures emerged from the legacy of the STEPS Centre but takes us in radically different directions and grounds our focus around the central theme of commoning.