Framing, shaping, and critiquing the world-building techniques that form the foundation of futures thinking and futures literacy.

WHAt we Do

FLiNT’s key area of expertise is the use of narrative and story for envisaging and communicating possible futures in rigorous and impactful ways.

We form part of a national network of government policy-makers, practitioners, and academics with special interests in futures thinking and creative futures methods.

Our work is informed by practical insights into what UNESCO defines as ‘Futures Literacy’, developed through our research collaborations with a number of national government agencies and initiatives. This includes work with the UK’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the National Centre for Cyber Security (NCSC), the Research Institute in Sociotechnical Cyber Security (RISCS), the Institute for Social Futures (ISF) at Lancaster University, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the Olaf Stapledon Centre for Speculative Futures, and the UK Governmental Futures Community of Practice.

Through collaborative, character-led storytelling we can open up new insights into stakeholder relationships with uncertain and complex futures.

By recognizing that speculative and science fictions provide a rich canon of futures scenarios we can hone our skills in anticipation and strategic foresight.

By better understanding the role of narrative archetypes, genres, and forms, we can better understand both the possibilities and the limitations of the human imagination when it comes to futures thinking.

We are champions for the unique role of narrative in developing and enhancing futures literacy and foresight.

Our research and practice sets out the importance of narrative in framing, shaping, and critiquing the scenarios and world-building techniques that form the foundations of twenty-first century futures thinking and foresight.

Our interdisciplinary project team has experience in co-designing and delivering tailored approaches to:

  • customized futures toolkits
  • horizon scanning
  • scenario development
  • stakeholder engagement
  • futures policy research
  • landscape mapping
  • strategic foresight
  • emerging technology
  • bespoke workshops
    and training
  • futures literacy skills
    and capacity building

who we are

Genevieve Liveley

Genevieve Liveley is Professor of Classics, RISCS Fellow, and Turing Fellow at the University of Bristol. She is a narratologist with particular research interests in narratives and narrative theories (both ancient and modern), and their impact on futures thinking. She is the author of Narratology (OUP 2019) and has published a number of books and articles examining the stories that programme cultural and sociotechnical narratives about human interactions with new technology.


Will Slocombe

Will Slocombe is a Reader in English and Co-Director of the Olaf Stapledon Centre for Speculative Futures at the University of Liverpool. His research focuses on speculative and science fictions, particularly fictions of technology and representations of Artificial Intelligence. He is interested in how speculative futures narratives provide a repository of ready-made scenarios as well as how different narrative genres, modes, and forms can be used to enhance the communication of novel concepts.


Emily Spiers

Emily Spiers is Co-Director of the Institute for Social Futures and Senior Lecturer in Creative Futures at Lancaster University. Her work focuses on future-oriented, innovative trends in communicative and literary practices. She explores how futures are being envisaged, anticipated and made through art and literature – and how creative narratives can help articulate multiple possible futures in fields as diverse as defence, education and climate change.


© FLiNT 2021