Ongoing Projects of QIF

Click here for a PDF brochure on QIF’s activities.

Quaker Institute for the Future is a network organization that organizes and coordinates research projects. Some of these activities are place-based and some are conducted by email and conference calls. Some projects combine all three levels of activity.

In typical projects, participants bring together the available information necessary for dealing with the research questions identified. With analysis and discernment a synthesis of understanding is created that will help advance knowledge, witness, and action on the issues of concern.

The Institute’s long-range plan includes the idea of a place-based research center with accommodations, facilities, and staff. Meanwhile, Institute Associates are engaged with each other in various configurations for the creation of books, pamphlets, reports, videos, workshops, and conferences. (See Research page)

QIF has facilitated five projects to date:

The Moral Economy Project focuses on bringing economics, science, ethics, and ecology together in a new model for the human economy – an economy that works for the well-being of the whole community of life. In 2009, it produced the book Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy by Peter G. Brown & Geoffrey Garver, with Keith Helmuth, Robert Howell, and Steve Szeghi.

QIF board members Judy Lumb and Geoff Garver held a workshop at Friends’ General Conference on “Right Relationship: Economy, People, and Earth”. Drawing on a Quaker-inspired notion of “right relationship” Friends examined what the economy is for, how it works, how big it should be, what is fair, and how to govern the economy. Friends explored how to gather our spiritual and intellectual energy to move toward an economics respectful of Earth’s ecological limits.

The next phases of our work address the question: How can Quakers contribute? What can we do to development more equitable societies while maintaining the ecological integrity of our planet? We cannot achieve either goal without transforming the political and economic institutions that support business as usual. A workshop was held March 4-6, 2011, at Ben Lomond Quaker Center to launch these phases of the Moral Economy Project.

The Summer Research Seminars bring participants together to share their ongoing work and benefit from collective discernment on issues of concern. Seminars have been held in Bar Harbor, Maine, Berkeley, California, Durango, Colorado, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The most recent seminar was August 3-7, 2015, at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Click here to download the brochure. The 2016 seminar is tentatively scheduled July 18-22, 2016, at Regis University in Denver, Colorado.

The Biotechnology Project is working to create readily accessible information for Friends and others, and to create resources for participation in public policy decision-making on bio and nanotechnologies. Materials can be accessed here.

The Circles of Discernment program facilitates the creation of small study groups that research and analyze particular themes and concerns. Groups may be based in one or more Friends Meetings or in a regional location, or they may work through email and conference calls. The goal of a CoD is sometimes to produce a pamphlet length text that informs readers on a critical issue, and helps equip them for witness and action.

QIF Pamphlets publish the manuscripts produced by CoDs. In addition, the Pamphlet Series is open to publishing manuscripts prepared by individual authors on themes that address the Institute’s concerns. Click here to download a display (pdf) of the eight pamphlets so far published.

Friends World Media is an independent project with its own Board of Directors. It is associated with QIF for the provision of administrative services.

QIF also held several events related to the Right Relationship project at the FWCC Northeast Regional Gathering in 2010. For the events programme (PDF), click here.

For more information on QIF’s projects go to the Contact page shown above.