Maya Van Leemput

MAD* for futures (*Media, Art and Design)

Based on a recent article in the special issue of the Journal of Futures Studies on Futures and Design, this talk examines how the collaboration between futures and media, art and design (MAD) can activate multiple perspectives in actual conversations about local and global futures. Ultimately, the aim is to make these conversations matter, in other words, to boost the social capacity for foresight and bring it to bear on the present. This would represent a radical transformation to nurture many other. The talk presents lessons learned from a sample of three projects (A Temporary Futures Institute at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, the three year development education project MAONO in the DR Congo and Reel Molenbeek Futures a project with the inhabitants of one of Brussels’s most disadvantaged communities). It suggests do’s and don’ts that futurists can keep in mind for making the most of collaborations at the intersection between futures and design so as to produce occasions for diverse groups to create, work and play with images of the futures. This way we may infect our cultures and societies with the freedom, intentionality, imagination and procedural scaffoldings of the theory and practice of our fields;

About the Speaker

Maya Van Leemput is Senior Researcher of ‘Open Time | Applied Futures Research’ at the Management, Media and Society department of the Erasmus University College Brussel where she also teaches Strategic Futures Orientation. Her background is in media studies with a Ph.D. from the University of Westminster for her research on “Visions of the Future on Television.” Her critical forward-looking work on media, culture, arts, (cross-cultural) communication, development, science and technology in society and urban environments, uses experimental, creative and participatory approaches. She partners with photographer Bram Goots on Agence Future (AF), a long-term independent project for exploring images of the future. The interdisciplinary experimental collaboration combines conversation based approaches and visual ethnography with multi-media co-creation. Maya is is a fellow of the World Futures Studies Federation and the Centre of Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies, a member the Association of Professional Futurists and the interdisciplinary visual arts collective OST.