Culture is another essential dimension of sustainability, too often neglected with regard to environment, economic and social development. ISF recognizes and emphasizes how these other priorities ultimately depend upon the fostering of cultural sustainability as this is the realm of values and norms, our history, spirtuality and sense of identity as well as our representations, e.g., in art, literature, music, of what is important and how to deal with the "slings and arrows" of the challenges to our lives and future.
Dystopian stories provide an opportunity to analyze those aspects of society we want to change or prevent. Utopia, on the other hand, has been getting a bad rap these days, viewed more as a false promise and dystopia in disguise. ISF highlights the efforts of cultural workers and scholars who understand utopia as the image of our desire for a better world, using it to guide our efforts to make it a reality.
We believe one of the most popular and powerful sources of imagery and narratives about the future is the cinema. From the very first film, Lumiere's Trip to the Moon to Bladerunner, Star Wars and the Hunger Games, the movies have provided an ongoing stream of visions of the future. They may serve as cautionary tales, frightening or inspiring, fantastic or mundane, escape or challenge, each offering a different take on the possibilities and paths facing us.
Visions of the future run through both utopian and dystopian literature. HG Wells' Time Machine established a precedent and template for writers surveying human history's accomplishments and disappointments, opening the door for speculations on what could be possible to achieve or suffer. ISF sees these speculations on technology and human society as especially important lenses to sharpen our insight and choices in shaping our future. We look to identify and celebrate the writers and scholars producing these valuable insights into our future possibilities.
Drawing upon research data, trend analysis and projections, communities and policymakers have been using the tools such as transformative scenario planning and social labs, working with community leaders and stakeholders to identify priorities, concerns, experience and knowledge to imagine and develop plans and initiatives to create the kind of future they.are willing to help build. ISF seeks to especially identify and promote those scenario research efforts exploring the dynamics, potentials and threats involved in sustainability transitions.