1st Edition

Routledge Handbook for Creative Futures

Edited By Gabrielle Donnelly, Alfonso Montuori Copyright 2023
    380 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    As the uncertainty of global and local contexts continues to amplify, the Routledge Handbook for Creative Futures responds to the increasing urgency for reimagining futures beyond dystopias and utopias. It features essays that explore the challenges of how to think about compelling futures, what these better futures might be like, and what personal and collective practices are emerging that support the creation of more desirable futures.

    The handbook aims to find a sweet spot somewhere between despair and naïve optimism, neither shying away from the massive socio-environmental planetary challenges currently facing humanity nor offering simplistic feel-good solutions. Instead, it offers ways forward—whether entirely new perspectives or Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge perspectives that have been marginalized within modernity—and shares potential transformative practices. The volume contains contributions from established and emerging scholars, practitioners, and scholar-practitioners with diverse backgrounds and experiences: a mix of Indigenous, Black, Asian, and White/Caucasian contributors, including women, men, and trans people from around the world, in places such as Kenya, India, US, Canada, and Switzerland, among many others. Chapters explore critical concepts alongside personal and collective practices for creating desirable futures at the individual, community, organizational, and societal levels.

    This scholarly and accessible book will be a valuable resource for researchers and students of leadership studies, social innovation, community and organizational development, policy studies, futures studies, cultural studies, sociology, and management studies. It will also appeal to educators, practitioners, professionals, and policymakers oriented toward activating creative potential for life-affirming futures for all.

    Introduction to The Handbook for Creative Futures

    Gabrielle Donnelly and Alfonso Montuori

    PART I: Context for Creative Futures

    1. Why Creative Futures?

    Alfonso Montuori and Gabrielle Donnelly

    2. Postnormal Imagination with Ziauddin Sardar

    In Conversation with Gabrielle Donnelly and Alfonso Montuori

    3. Humanity’s Great Creativity Reset: Designing Worlds Beyond the Grand Global Futures Challenges 

    Jennifer M. Gidley

    4. The Systems View of Life: A Science for Sustainable Living

    Fritjof Capra

    5. An Optimistic Future of Consciousness

    Allan L. Combs

    6. Social Construction and the Forming of Futures

    Celiane Camargo-Borges and Kenneth J. Gergen

    PART II: New Orientations and Reframings for Creative Futures

    7. Making Sanctuary with Báyò Akómoláfé

    In Conversation with Gabrielle Donnelly

    8. Creating the Future: Five Principles of Realistic Hope

    Angela Wilkinson and Betty Sue Flowers

    9. Post-Oppositional Tactics for Transformation

    AnaLouise Keating

    10. Societies of the Possible

    Vlad P. Glăveanu

    11. Inhabiting Brilliance: Wrestling the Gifts of Narcissism

    Jeanine M. Canty

    12. The Wisdom of Holding Old Stories in New Ways: Intentionally Evolving Toward a More Inclusive and Creative Future

    Jennifer Garvey Berger and Zafer Achi

    13. Postnormal Creativity

    Liam Mayo

    14. Queer Convivial Futures

    Sacha Kagan

    15. Accessing the Future through Imagination

    Anthony Hodgson

    PART III: Reckoning with the Past and Present for Creative Futures

    16. Gesturing Toward Decolonial Future with Vanessa Andreotti

    In Conversation with Gabrielle Donnelly

    17. Healing Historical Traumas: Empathic Dialogue in Creation of Better Futures

    Nermin Soyalp

    18. Creative Futures Begin with Reckoning with an Unjust Pasts

    Sarah van Gelder

    19. Entangled Landscapes: Healing as a Path to Sustaining Food Futures

    Sarah Pitteollo and Chaiti Seth

    20. "Reinventing" the Past to Imagine Better Futures

    Constance de Saint Laurent

    PART IV: Frameworks, Approaches, and Applications for Creative Futures

    21. Creating Equitable Societies: Four Cornerstones

    Riane Eisler

    22. Setting Course for an Ecological Civilization

    Jeremy Lent 

    23. Beyond and Through COVID-19: Possible Pivots to Different Futures

    Sohail Inayatullah

    24. Universal Basic Income for Creative Futures

    Giuseppe Allegri and Renato Foschi

    25. Transformation Catalysts, Narrative, and Art: Shaping New Potential for System Transformation

    Sandra Waddock

    26. A Transdisciplinary Analysis of Creativity within Fridays for Future School Strikes: Or "Pay No Attention to that Man Behind the Curtain"

    Nwakerendu Waboso, Sarah Davis, and Richard C. Mitchell

    27. Recasting the Future with Amazon Workers

    Max Haiven, Graeme Webb, and Xenia Benivolski

    28. Creative Futures Conspiracies: A Matrix and Some Maxims for Radical Social Re-imagination

    Anthony Weston

    29. The Future of the Past: Memory and Social Change following the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Brady Wagoner and Lisa Herbig

    30. Imagineering ‘Mission-Oriented Branding’: When Shifting from Fragmentation to Integration Seems Mission Impossible

    Diane Nijs and Johan Leyssen

    31. Sourced from Love: Pathways Toward Cultural Healing

    A dialogue between Anneke Campbell and Nina Simons

    PART V: Personal, Relational and Collaborative Practices for Creative Futures

    32. Creating Compelling Futures with Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown

    In Conversation with Gabrielle Donnelly

    33. Taking a Radical Stance for Complex Joy in the Work of Shaping Change

    Tuesday Ryan-Hart and Gabrielle Donnelly

    34. The Use of Transformative Somatic Practices in Processes of Collective Imagination and Collaborative Future-Shaping

    Nick Walker

    35. Awareness-Based Collective Creativity: A Studio-Based Practice for Social Future-Making

    Arawana Hayashi and Ricardo Dutra Gonçalves

    36. Psychological Futures: Antifragility and the Imperative of Interdependence

    Dana Klisanin

    37. A World with Space for All to Be: Generative Mindfulness, Awareness-Based Action Research, and Inclusion

    Kathryn Goldman Schuyler, Lemuel W. Watson, and Patricia A. Wilson



    Gabrielle Donnelly is a writer, educator, and scholar-practitioner. Her work focuses on bridging social change theories and practices to support leaders and communities to engage with the complex issues of the times and create more compelling futures. Gabrielle is an Associate Professor at Acadia University (Mi’kma’ki/Nova Scotia, Canada) and a Lead Strategist at The Outside, a global consultancy activating large-scale equitable change. She is a consulting editor of World Futures: The Journal of New Paradigm Research.

    Alfonso Montuori is an educator, musician, and consultant. He is a Professor at California Institute of Integral Studies and has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Fine Arts at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and in the Department of Psychology at the “Sapienza” University of Rome, and also taught at the Central South University in Hunan, China in the mid-80s. Alfonso is the author of several books and numerous articles on the future, creativity, complexity, leadership and education. He is co-editor of World Futures: The Journal of New Paradigm Research

    "This fascinating volume contains important contributions that initiate the process of weaning us away from the overly-instrumental and exploitative modernist mindset we have inadvertently acquired through the imperative of economic progress. This mindset has become, as Alfred North Whitehead observed, as natural as the air we breathe; it is so translucent, and so pervading, and so seemingly necessary that we are often unaware how fundamentally it shapes our perceptions, priorities and actions. It is time for us to reperceive and rethink our priorities and the contributors to this volume explore a variety of ways by which this can be realised. In this handbook, contributors explore these challenges and attempt to discover a "sweet spot" between despair and naïve optimism in addressing the massive socio-economic, political and "environmental planetary challenges" facing our time. The volume offers fresh perspectives that are more ecologically attuned but that have been surreptitiously marginalized by the onslaught of modernity and its imperatives. They importantly initiate the creation of new possible futures by exploring how to rethink the fundamental issues of our time."

    Robert Chia, Research Professor of Management, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, UK


    "The Handbook for Creative Futures shows how glorious it is to be young now while old systems fail so that odysseys of phoenixes of their imagination and creation can rise from the ashes."

    Jim Dator, Professor Emeritus and Former Director, Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA


    "To paraphrase William Blake nearly 200 years later ‘we must co-create our futures, or be enslaved by another person's.’ This remarkable compendium of perspectives on the creative 'future potential of the present moment' reminds all of us to take our future seriously by consciously stepping into our agency of co-creating it. Life's core patterns are about creation, regeneration and transmutation (death and rebirth). If we aim to co-create wisely, we should keep this in mind as we collectively redesign the human impact on Earth from its current degenerative influence to re-align with our species inheritance and future as diverse regenerative cultures everywhere who are not only healers but creative expressions of the ecosystems they dwell in as custodians." 

    Daniel Christian Wahl, PhD Intl. Futures Forum, author of 'Designing Regenerative Cultures', Spain 


    "Once upon a time, talking about ‘the future’ brought about hope of inevitable progress. Not anymore. Despair is more easily discernible than hope. But it does not have to be that way, and this wonderful volume shows how - how to face reality head on and not lose faith in the ways it may be transformed. A diverse and brilliant array of authors discuss imaginatively how we may bring about creative futures. It couldn’t have been more timely or necessary. A fascinating volume."

    Haridimos Tsoukas, The Columbia Ship Management Professor of Strategic Management, University of Cyprus, and Distinguished Research Environment Professor of Organizational Behaviour, University of Warwick, UK