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New Lund University think-tank looks to the future

With research at eight different faculties, Lund University has a unique opportunity to look at future problems from all possible perspectives. LU Futura, the University’s new think-tank, will take an interdisciplinary approach to important future issues. 
Kick-off for LU Futura in August 2018. Photo: Kennet Ruona
Kick-off for LU Futura in August 2018. Photo: Kennet Ruona

LU Futura operates in the interface between the University and wider society. Using the University’s combined knowledge as a basis, LU Futura aims to contribute facts, analyses and corroborative knowledge.

An academic think-tank

Unlike most think-tanks outside academia, LU Futura has no political agenda for influencing public opinion.

Through its breadth, with representatives from the University’s faculties as well as students, LU Futura also sets itself apart from previous think-tanks and future groups within the academic world.

Meet the team: LU Futura’s thoughts on the future

Which future issues are the researchers passionate about? And why do they think these issues are worth examining from an interdisciplinary perspective?


Jenny Julén Votinius, Professor of Private Law:

“Many of the most interesting and intractable problems we are facing are linked to current major demographic changes that will be with us for a long time to come.”
“Many of the most interesting and intractable problems we are facing are linked to current major demographic changes that will be with us for a long time to come.”

Markku Rummukainen, Professor of Climatology:
 

“The major future issues are in many respects interwoven. The climate issue’s challenges and solutions are related to societal development, the safeguarding of ecosystems, food, water, energy, poverty...”
“The major future issues are in many respects interwoven. The climate issue’s challenges and solutions are related to societal development, the safeguarding of ecosystems, food, water, energy, poverty...”


Karin Johansson, Professor of Artistic Research in Music:
 

“It is important to constantly pose questions about how we create knowledge that is sustainable and valuable. What is important now and in the future, and how do we regard the past?”
“It is important to constantly pose questions about how we create knowledge that is sustainable and valuable. What is important now and in the future, and how do we regard the past?”


Maria Stanfors, Professor of Economic History:
 

“Based on my own horizon as a researcher, issues concerning equal opportunities and gender equality are clearly the most important. These issues are not high on the political agenda at present.”
“Based on my own horizon as a researcher, issues concerning equal opportunities and gender equality are clearly the most important. These issues are not high on the political agenda at present.”


Johannes Stripple, Associate Professor of Political Science:

“I am interested in power and control in relation to survival issues such as climate, biological diversity and natural resources. What do these issues have to do with our society, ourselves and the circumstances we take for granted?"
“I am interested in power and control in relation to survival issues such as climate, biological diversity and natural resources. What do these issues have to do with our society, ourselves and the circumstances we take for granted?"


Martin Hansen, student representative:

“We can see close at hand the increased social divisions in Sweden and how artificial intelligence will radically change conditions in the labour market. I think that LU Futura’s work should in some way use Agenda 2030 as a starting point.”
“We can see close at hand the increased social divisions in Sweden and how artificial intelligence will radically change conditions in the labour market. I think that LU Futura’s work should in some way use Agenda 2030 as a starting point.”


Cecilia Holm, Professor of Molecular Biology:

“Preventive measures to address our major widespread diseases. I am mainly thinking about identifying foods with health-promoting qualities and doing this using a holistic approach.”
“Preventive measures to address our major widespread diseases. I am mainly thinking about identifying foods with health-promoting qualities and doing this using a holistic approach.”


Knut Deppert, Professor of Solid State Physics:

“When I see the currents in our time with so much about fake news and alternative facts, education and training feel like key future issues.”
“When I see the currents in our time with so much about fake news and alternative facts, education and training feel like key future issues.”


Jonas Granfeldt, Professor of French Linguistics:

“Since the autumn of 2015, it has been evident how important the issues of international migration, integration and cultural encounters will be in the future.”
“Since the autumn of 2015, it has been evident how important the issues of international migration, integration and cultural encounters will be in the future.”


Jack Senften, student representative:

“I believe that society as a whole, and Lund University as a producer and conveyor of knowledge, face a particular challenge. Today, we are educating students for an increasingly unknown reality...”
“I believe that society as a whole, and Lund University as a producer and conveyor of knowledge, face a particular challenge. Today, we are educating students for an increasingly unknown reality...”


Lynn Åkesson, Professor of Ethnology, Director of LU Futura:
 

“The connection between small and virtually invisible changes and major high-profile technology developments, for example. What happens when everyday life and values change?"
“The connection between small and virtually invisible changes and major high-profile technology developments, for example. What happens when everyday life and values change?"


Marie Cronqvist, Associate Professor of History and Senior Lecturer in Media History, Deputy Director of LU Futura:

“If I was to highlight three words, they would be knowledge, communication, crisis. Fake news is not a new phenomenon, but it does present challenges for a society in which lightning-fast communication is combined with increasing social fragmentisation.."
“If I was to highlight three words, they would be knowledge, communication, crisis. Fake news is not a new phenomenon, but it does present challenges for a society in which lightning-fast communication is combined with increasing social fragmentisation.."


Ulrika Oredsson, Communication Officer:

“How you reach out and create understanding and agreement are important future issues in times like these in which political opponents accuse each other of fake news and offer alternative facts.”
“How you reach out and create understanding and agreement are important future issues in times like these in which political opponents accuse each other of fake news and offer alternative facts.”

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