Imagination as Tool of Freedom

Imagination as Tool of Freedom

Watch the recording of this seminar, Imagination as a tool for freedom

Sometimes changing the world begins with imagining a different future. But how can we harness our imagination to achieve this? How can we use the diverse range of lived experiences of individuals to imagine collective alternatives for our societies? How can dreaming things up lead to real world change? This panel explores a range of methodologies such as design fiction, storytelling and scenario techniques, to demonstrate the possibilities of human imagination.

This panel is the first event in our Hopeful Futures seminar series.

Chair: Clare Reddington

Panelists: Ilana Lipsett, Jen Stein, Dr. Foluke Adebisi, Cassie Robinson

This discussion will have BSL interpretation and there will be the option of enabling the zoom auto transcription feature. Please let us know if you have any specific access requirements and we will do our best to ensure they are accommodated.

Ilana Lipsett, Institute for the Future

Ilana Lipsett is a community design strategist whose work uses participatory design and community engagement to inform future-focused policy, economic, and international development. Ilana works to create public engagement opportunities for cities, developers, NGO’s, and creative communities around the globe to help imagine and design what the future of their cities could look like. Her practice examines how community participation and resident-led placemaking initiatives will shape the future of cities to be more inclusive and equitable.

Jen Stein, World Building Institute

Jen Stein is a Lead Designer at Experimental Design. Her research and design work explores the implications of near-future technologies and experiences through speculative design and world building. Before joining Experimental Design, Jen held academic positions as Watershed Professor of Design Futures at UWE Bristol (UK), Research Faculty in Media Arts + Practice at USC, and as Co-Director of the Mobile and Environmental Media Lab at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. She has worked on interactive design research projects for Steelcase, BMW, Intel, Microsoft, and the 2011 Shenzhen and Hong Kong Architectural and Urban Design Biennale.

Dr. Foluke Adebisi, University of Bristol

Dr Foluke Ifejola Adebisi is a Senior Lecturer at the Law School, University of Bristol whose scholarship focuses on decolonial thought in legal education. Her decolonial scholarship, which is pedagogical as well as jurisprudential, examines what happens at the intersection of legal education, law, society and a history of changing ideas of what it means to be human. She is also the founder of Forever Africa Conference and Events (FACE), a Pan-African interdisciplinary conference hosted in Bristol. She blogs about her scholarship, pedagogy and interrelated ideas on her website ‘Foluke’s African Skies’ at She is currently writing a monograph for Bristol University Press on legal knowledge and decolonial thought.

Cassie Robinson, The National Lottery Community Fund

Cassie is Deputy Director of Funding Strategy at The National Lottery Community Fund where she’s responsible for Innovation, Policy and Practice, and is also Co-founder of the Point People. She is a Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence and has a Policy Fellowship at the Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL. Cassie is also the founder of Stewarding Loss and Co-founder of Funder Ecosystems.

An experienced strategic designer, Cassie is a Nesta Creative Pioneer, sits on the Board of Organise HQ, and teaches on the MSc in Ecological Design and the Ecologies + Technologies programme at Schumacher College. She is on the Faculty of States of Change, and is one of the International Futures Forum Clan.

Clare Reddington, CEO, Watershed

Clare joined Watershed in 2004, establishing its creative technology programmes including Pervasive Media Studio. She became CEO in 2018. Clare works with industry, academic and creative partners from around the world to champion inclusion, support talent and develop new ideas. Clare is a Visiting Professor at University of the West of England. She is chair of Emma Rice's Wise Children, and a trustee of RSC and British Council.

Please let us know if you have any specific access requirements and we will do our best to ensure they are accommodated.