Reverse Imagineering and Creative Futures
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Reverse Imagineering and Creative Futures

A Free Online Conversation with Jennifer Wells

An online conversation hosted by the Transformative Studies Ph.D. program.

Professor Jennifer Wells, along with students Niyonu Spann and Suma Shetty, will discuss highlights from the Spring 2024 elective course 'Reverse Imagineering' of the Transformative Studies Ph.D. program.

Topics will include insights from this spring's course on:

  • social imaginaries
  • real utopias
  • transition vision
  • creative futures

Jennifer Wells will discuss the new Creative Futures Focus, a three-course offering for students who want to explore deeply the powers of the imagination, real utopias today, transition vision, and creative futures.

Host Bio

Jennifer Wells headshot

Jennifer Wells, Ph.D., researches human ecology and social change. Her research aims at bringing uplifting and imaginative responses to the growing poly-crisis. She draws from the theoretical areas of complex thought, real utopian studies, and degrowth, and from leading Indigenous, BIPOC and Global South scholarship. Wells has degrees from Yale, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Sorbonne, Paris IV. Since 2020, she has been a Visiting Scholar at the Sorbonne, Paris I, Center for Contemporary Philosophy and the Institute of Legal and Philosophical Sciences, in Paris, France. Currently, she is focused on a book project on discourse and praxis that shifts everyday thinking and worldviews towards a more complex and creative vision for the 21st Century. Her last book was the internationally recognized Complexity and Sustainability (Routledge 2014), on the contribution of complex thought to global sustainability. Her doctoral dissertation focused on complex thought and climate change (2009). She has done extensive public speaking, particularly in Paris and around the SF Bay Area and on the topics of applying systems and complex thought as well as imagination and creativity, to the climate crisis. Over her career, Wells has visited over 100 sites of ‘real utopias’ over four continents. She previously co-authored a book on the emerging biosciences, funded by and written for the Ford Foundation. After college, she worked for a few years as a writer at the United Nations Association and as Director of the Sustainability Education Center in New York, NY. She also helped to found and develop a writing and arts retreat center on an organic farm in Colebrook, Connecticut. Wells has a passion for new emergent sciences, humanities and arts, such as recent research in animal and plant intelligence and the environmental humanities.



Related Academic Program
Department of Transformative Inquiry