Ongoing Projects of QIF

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 currently has five ongoing projects:

The Moral Economy Project is focused 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 its first phase it has 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 will hold a workshop at this year’s Friends’ General Conference on “Right Relationship: Economy, People, and Earth”. Drawing on a Quaker-inspired notion of “right relationship” examine what the economy is for, how it works, how big it should be, what is fair, and how to govern the economy. Explore how to gather our spiritual and intellectual energy to move toward an economics respectful of Earth’s ecological limits.

The next phase of our work addresses 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 at Ben Lomond Quaker Center to launch this next phase of the Moral Economy Project.

The Summer Research Seminars bring participants together in order to share their ongoing work and benefit from collective discernment on issues of concern. Seminars have been held in Bar Harbor, Maine in 2005 – 2006, 2011-2012 and in Berkeley, California in 2008 – 2010. We will meet at Heartwood Co-housing near Durango, Colorado for the next Summer Research Seminar, July 8-12, 2013.

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 Friends Meeting, a regional location, or they may work through email and conference calls. The goal of a CoD is 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 Associates, and others, on themes that address the Institute’s concerns.

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.