Future Natures explores the global terrain and evolving ecologies of commoning and enclosure.

Through stories, arts and research, we aim to delve deeply to explore these contested ecologies – involving complex and evolving relationships between people, technology and our non-human environments.

We ask what they mean, and how they shape possibilities for imagining and enacting plural futures and plural natures through action and struggle in the present.

In the process, we aim to build bridges, activate learning, and amplify voices across diverse histories, spaces and struggles to defend the commons, past and present.

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

Future Natures involves an international network, an online platform and a research initiative, including diverse communities of researchers, commoners, and commoning-aligned artists, writers, makers and others. We are also involved in a growing series of projects and collaborations.

Who we are

The Future Natures initiative 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 new directions and grounds our focus around the central theme of commoning. Future Natures is supported by the ESRC as a Legacy Centre (2022-2025) directed by Dr Amber Huff.

Key contacts

Amber Huff
Principal Investigator
[email protected]

Nathan Oxley
Communications co-ordinator
[email protected]

Aerial view of an organic seed mandala in ebbs and whorls created from corn, bean, legume, and grain seeds in a spectrum of earthen colors; a small clay bowl with “Cherokee Trail of Tears” black beans rests in the center.

Join the network

Our network aims to bring together commoners and researchers to share ideas, stories, creativity and learning.