We were honoured to welcome Professor Sir Geoff Mulgan CBE FAcSS as the guest speaker for the Academy’s Annual Lecture 2022.
In his lecture ‘Possibility space: the role of the social sciences in understanding, mapping and shaping the future’, he explores the history of future-shaping in social science; why this work has been discouraged in recent years; and what methods can be used to guide us through the difficult transitions ahead.
Mulgan suggests that in order for the social sciences to help us to see and shape the future, exploration of the ‘possibility space’ – a term to describe the options open to an organisation or society at any point in history – is key.
He invites his audience comprised mainly of social scientists to “populate our fuzzy pictures of the future with complex, rich, plausible ideas, pictures of the possible – a possibility space that is capacious and helpful for action in the present.”
Watch the video below to listen to the lecture in full. The transcript is also available to download here.
Sir Geoff Mulgan is Professor at University College London (UCL). He was previously CEO of Nesta, the UK innovation foundation, director of the UK Government’s Strategy Unit and head of policy in the Prime Minister’s office. Past books include The Art of Public Strategy (OUP), The Locust and the Bee: predators and creators in capitalism’s future and Big Mind: how collective intelligence can change our world (Princeton UP).