The Centre for Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies (CPPFS) is an international research and consultancy network that promotes futures literacy with a particular focus on marginalized peoples and Muslim societies. CPPFS works with communities, charities, foundations, and research, educational, and art institutions to foster critical inquiry, action learning, and an ethical imagination for shaping decolonized, alternative, and preferred futures. CPPFS has pioneered the theory and methodology of Postnormal Times (PNT): an era in which old orthodoxies are dying, new ones are emerging, and very few things seem to make sense. PNT is a product of the forces shaping our globalized, networked world: accelerating change, uncertainty, and ignorance. Negotiating PNT requires new forward-looking pathways based on a critical understanding of complexity, transcending contradictions, and the ever-present potential for chaos. PNT requires working with a diversity of perspectives and shared values, which take us beyond dialogues to polylogues — creative spaces for learning and unlearning. Ultimately, CPPFS’s works to promote an understanding of, and exploring new means of navigating, Postnormal Times.
Ziauddin Sardar, writer, broadcaster and cultural critic, is former Professor of Law and Society at Middlesex University, and Professor of Postcolonial Studies, the City University, London. He has been described as a ‘critical polymath’ and is considered one of the top 100 public intellectuals in Britain. He works across a number of disciplines ranging from Islamic studies and futures studies to science policy, literary criticism, information science to cultural relations, art criticism and critical theory. He was born in Pakistan in 1951 and grew up in Hackney, East London.
Sardar has worked as science journalist for Nature and New Scientist and as a television reporter for London Weekend Television. He was a columnist on the New Statesman for a number of years and has served as a Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and as a member of the Interim National Security Forum.
He has published over 50 books. The Future of Muslim Civilisation (1979) and Islamic Futures: The Shape of Ideas to Come (1985) are regarded as classic studies on the future of Islam. He pioneered the discussion on science in Muslim societies, with a series of articles in Nature and New Scientist and a number of books, including Science, Technology and Development in the Muslim World (1977), The Touch of Midas: Science, Values and the Environment in Islam and the West (1982), which is seen as a seminal work, The Revenge of Athena: Science, Exploitation and the Third World (1988) and Explorations in Islamic Science (1989). Postmodernism and the Other (1998) has acquired a cultish following and Why Do People Hate America? (2002) became an international bestseller.
Sardar’s two volumes of biography and travel, Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim (2004) and Balti Britain: A Provocative Journey Through Asian Britain (2008) have received wide acclaim. He has also authored a number of study guides in the Introducing series, including the international bestsellers Introducing Islam and Introducing Chaos. Two collections of his writings are available as Islam, Postmodernism and Other Futures: A Ziauddin Sardar Reader (2003) and How Do You Know?: Reading Ziauddin Sardar on Islam, Science and Cultural Relations (2000). His most recent books include Reading the Quran (2012) and Future: All That Matters (2014).
Professor Sardar has written and presented numerous television programmes — most recently ‘Battle for Islam’, a 90-minute documentary for BBC2 and ‘Dispatches’ on Pakistan for Channel 4. His earlier programmes include ‘Encounters with Islam’ (1985), a series of four shows for BBC and ‘Islamic Conversations’ (1994), a series of six programmes for Channel 4. He was a regular Friday Panel Member on ‘World News Tonight’ on Sky News (2005—2007).
Sardar was the editor of Futures, the monthly journal of policy, planning and futures studies, from 1999—2013, and now serves as a Consulting Editor. Widely known for his radio and television appearances, he is currently co-editor of the quarterly journal Critical Muslim.
Jordi Serra is a futurist with a career of 40 years researching, studying, teaching, assessing and writing about change and futures studies. Based in Barcelona, Jordi combines his current role as Deputy Director with the coordination of the CPPFS Barcelona office. He is Associate Professor at the Communication and International Relations Faculty of Blanquerna University (Universitat Ramon Llull), where he teaches Postnormal Times Theory and Foresight, and acts as the Academic Director of the Social Economy Observatory (OES21).
As a consultant, Jordi has collaborated with a variety of public, private and international organizations all over the world, but mostly in Europe and South America. He has published numerous papers and books in English, Spanish and Catalan as well as many articles in newspapers and magazine. Currently, he is on the editorial board of Futures.
Scott Jordan, philosopher and political scientist, is a writer, editor, and podcaster currently working extensively in Malaysia and South East Asia. A specialist in East-West Studies, he writes extensively on postnormal times, politics, culture, philosophy, and education. He is the author A Very British Muslim Activist: The life of Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, and has co-written and edited various works with other members of the CPPFS. Scott is attached to the Asian World Center at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where he produces the radio podcast show, Tea Talk Asia. He is a member of the Nonkilling Consortium International, and has worked with an international summer camp in China through the Soong Ching Ling Foundation. He is also a Deputy Editor of the influential quarterly, Critical Muslim.
Maha Sardar, a human rights barrister at Garden Court Chambers, London, has been working in the field of immigration, asylum and human rights for over a decade. She has worked with various human rights charities such as Refugee and Migrant Justice, Reprieve, Liberty and the UNHCR in Istanbul. A strong advocate for social change, she represents some of the most vulnerable people in society: refugees, unaccompanied minors, victims of torture and trafficking. She is currently working on an app – ‘Belong’ – that provides tools and information, contacts and connections, that enable refugees to become fully functioning members of society and provide a sense of belonging in their new home. She is interested in developing a legal framework that enables refugees and marginalised people to successfully navigate postnormal times.
Maya van Leemput is a professional futurist, multi-media artist, and a senior researcher at the Erasmus Hogeschool, where she is setting up the new ‘Applied Futures Research — Open Time’ centre.
Maya’s background is in media studies. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Westminster for her research on ‘Visions of the Future on Television’. Her futures work on media, culture, arts, development, urban environment, science and technology in society and cross-cultural communication is based on critical theory and uses experimental, creative and participatory approaches. Since 1999, she has been working with the visual artist Bram Goots on Agence Future (AF), a long-term independent project for exploring images of the future through conversation and intercultural experiment. The project started with ethnographic futures field research in 25 countries on five continents, and evolved over the next decade with recorded conversations on images of futures in various settings and contexts. In 2014, Agence Future completed a three-year exchange project MAONO that brought students from Brussels (Belgium) and Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo) together with Congolese artists to develop cooperative of images of the future, culminating in a campus event and a one-month exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp.
Maya’s other projects include analysis of futures orientation of non-profit, private and institutional actors in Brussels for the Free University of Brussels’ (VUB) Prospective Research programme of the Brussels Capital Region, and a host of projects for the King Baudouin Foundation, Belgium, Flemish parliament’s Society and Technology Institute, European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) network, the European Commission, the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) framework, and UNESCO. Her work has been exhibited in a number of museums and art galleries.
Shamim Miah, Senior Lecturer at the School of Education, University of Huddersfield, is a sociologist and expert on youth and identity. His research is concerned with the framing of race and religion in public policy and promoting futures literacy amongst young people. His books include, Muslims, Schooling and the Question of Self-Segregation (Palgrave, 2015) and Muslims and the Question of Security: Trojan Horse, Prevent and Racialised Politics (Palgrave, 2017).
Shamim has over twenty years’ experience of voluntary youth work, community development and inter-faith work in Oldham, England. He worked as a Senior Policy Advisor and a Youth Worker for Oldham Council for many years.
Chris Jones mentors PhD students at Walden University’s School of Public Policy and Administration (online, since 2009). He graduated from the University of Hawaii futures studies program (MA & PhD in Political Science), was Secretary-General of the World Futures Studies Federation (2001—2005), and taught in the MS Program in Studies of the Future at the University of Houston-Clearlake (2001—2004). He has taught political science and futures studies in the USA state systems of higher education in Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, and Colorado.
He has served on journal editorial boards, non-profit NGO boards, and has published and presented extensively in the futures studies field. His novel Fire and Ice (2005) explored eco-terrorism, alien First Contact, and the collapse of Western civilization. Chris specialises in qualitative futures inquiry, including brainstorming and creativity, horizon scanning and emerging issues analysis, scenario building, visioning, and strategic foresight planning. His subject interests: space development, cyber security, women’s futures, indigenous futures, deep/dark ecology, global weirding and accelerating warming, non-Western futures, global consciousness, and high technology.
Wendy Schultz is an academically trained futurist with over thirty-five years of global foresight practice. She has designed futures research projects for NGOs, government agencies, and businesses – she has worked for Policy Horizons Canada, the International Labour Organization, the UK Law Society, the UK Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs and Singapore’s Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Centre. Wendy has also worked for the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Wendy specializes in participatory futures workshops with emphasis on participatory, exploratory, provocative, and creative processes.
Her award-winning articles on futures research have been published in Foresight, Futures, the Journal of Futures Studies, World Futures Review, and APF’s Compass. In a five-year faculty appointment in the University of Houston’s MS in Foresight, she helped revamp the curriculum and redesigned the graduate futures methods course and is currently teaching Systems Thinking seminars. She has also lectured in futures studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and, while on a Fulbright scholarship, at the Finnish Futures Research Centre in the University of Turku.
Liam Mayo, writer and public speaker, is Chief Executive Officer of Be, an Australian not for profit that supports aging, vulnerable and disabled people to live independently at home. With a focus on engaging people through change, Liam specializes in working with marginalized communities and vulnerable people in complex environments to achieve sustainable, just and desired futures. Liam has extensive international experience working with governments, the private sector and non-government agencies to incorporate community engagement and development practices in the design and delivery of policies, strategies and plans. An Adjunct Industry Fellow for The School of Social Sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Liam has published widely on futures studies and postnormal times.
Linda Hyökki is a specialist in language and culture and a researcher on Islamophobia. She is a regular contributor to the European Islamophobia Report project and reports on issues regarding Muslims and Islam in Finland to the research platform Euro-Islam.info. The focus of her current research, at the Alliance of Civilizations Institute in Istanbul, is on Islamophobia as a lived experience among Finnish converts to Islam. She combines futures studies and postnormal times theory with her research on Islamophobia, the impact of anti- Muslim bigotry on an individual's identity construction, and issues of minorities in European societies.
In addition to Finnish, her native language, Linda is fluent in English, German, and Swedish; reads French; and is currently learning Turkish.
Jacques Barcia is a journalist, science fiction writer and futurist. He has written on technology, economics, crime, and human rights for newspapers in Brazil. Jacques’s fiction has been featured in Shine: An Anthology for Optimistic Science Fiction and The Apex Book of World Science Fiction; and has appeared in magazines such as Clarkesworld and Electric Velocipede. He is one of the co-founders of Futuring Today, a futures lab that blends foresight, design, and science fiction to explore our futures. Jacques also serves as the Futures Consultant for the Brazilian non-profit science and technology park, Porto Digital. He teaches Design Futures at the Cesar School.
Umidakhon Narimanova is an educator, academic advisor, researcher and international marketing consultant from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She studied in Britain as the Scholar of the ‘UMID’ (HOPE) Foundation of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Starting her career at the Ministry of Economy as a chief specialist, she went on to work for UNDP Uzbekistan, L’Oreal Paris, Beiersdorf AG, Kraft Foods, and Reckitt Benckiser Group. She worked for nearly a decade at the Management Development Institute of Singapore in Tashkent, one of the first international universities in the country, as senior marketing manager, and as head of department of Education, Science and Culture at The Republican Charity Public Foundation. A former Associate Professor of Business Studies at the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, she is also a certified Microsoft Innovative Educator and certified manager of the Quality Management System based on ISO 9001:2015.
Umidakhon regards herself as a true lifelong learner and always strives for knowledge and new skills. In 2022, she won a grant from the Institute of Knowledge Integration, Georgia, to undertake research on higher education institutions in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
Yelena Muzykina, researcher and lecturer, is a co-founder of the Central Asian Futures & Foresight Association. Her research interest and work cover education, planning, Islamic societies, futures studies and postnormal times. Yelena also has extensive experience in the banking sector, private and international business, trade, and bidding. A member of the editorial board of Islamoved, a peer-reviewed journal of the Dagestan State University (Russia), and an invited editor of the World Futures Review, she has published extensively in Russian as well as translated a number of books and papers. Her engagement with Postnormal Times started in 2017 with her doctorate research and, since then, she has been organising workshops and lectures on postnormal matters in Russia and Central Asia.
Eda Suhana Sharudin is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education and Social Science, University of Selangor (UNISEL) in Shah Alam, Malaysia, and head of the Institute of Islamic Epistemology and Curricular Reform, an entity in the UNISEL Centre of Excellence. The institute’s major focus is integration of knowledge as well as the unity of different ethnicities and religions in the world. Eda specialises in Malaysian Literature written in English. She is a committee member of Futures Malaysia, an NGO focused on creating a better and more visionary Malaysia through the application of futures theories and postnormal policy. Eda actively promotes futures literacy and awareness in Malaysia and organises workshops on postnormal times theory.