What is Thinking Futures?

Thinking Futures is the University of Bristol’s annual Festival of Social Sciences.  It is our opportunity to share and celebrate Bristol’s research with the wider public and to showcase how the social sciences connect to communities around Bristol and beyond.

Each year, Thinking Futures offers a diverse programme of events – from debates and discussions, to workshop and exhibitions – providing a fascinating insight into some of the country’s leading social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives, both now and in the future.

Thinking Futures is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, an annual celebration of the social sciences and a key element of the Economic and Social Research Council’s commitment to promote awareness of UK social science research to new audiences.

Why is social science research important?

The events shaping our world, from Brexit and coronavirus, to geopolitical tensions and civic protests, reveal how social science is more important than ever to understanding the world.

From big ideas to the most detailed observations, social science affects us all everyday – at work, in school, when raising children, within our communities, from the personal and local, to the national and global level.

When does the festival take place?

Thinking Futures takes place in November each year.

Who can attend the festival?

The festival is open to all.

As well as the University of Bristol’s own students and staff, the festival is also open to the general public in Bristol and beyond, including schools and colleges, policy-makers, local businesses and third sector organisations.