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Future Generations

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) is initiating the Future Generations Series, an endeavor to delve into our responsibilities to future generations. Through interdisciplinary conversations, this series aims to stimulate introspection, foster connections, and inspire research and education while emphasizing intergenerational justice and solidarity. It aspires to engage researchers, policymakers, artists, and civil society in envisioning a sustainable and inclusive future for humanity and the planet.

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A joint commitment towards Future-oriented Science & Research

Humanity stands on the shoulders of its ancestors. Our world, our societies, democracies, cities, bodies and minds have been formed by the generations before us. Just like the generations before us have shaped the world we live in; we are shaping the world future generations will live in. 

At the same time “future generations are politically powerless, with the representation of their interests limited to the vicarious concern of present generations." (report of the UN Secretary-General)

Already in its 1997 Declaration on the Responsibilities of the Present Generations Towards Future Generations, UNESCO recognized that “at this point in history, the very existence of humankind and its environment are threatened”.

Today, humanity faces a series of unprecedented and accelerating challenges. We are at an inflexion point in history. The choices we make — or fail to make — today could result in further breakdown and a future of perpetual crises, or contribute to a better, more humane and sustainable, peaceful future for people and the planet.

Inspired most recently by the 2023 UN Principles on Future Generations, we feel compelled to ask what our responsibilities - as an academic community - to those who come after us imply for our own work. In line with the University of Amsterdam’s current Strategic Plan Inspiring Generations which formulates four overarching themes that speak to some of the most pressing issues humanity faces, we intend to nurture a joint sense of mission and inspiration across and beyond disciplines.

IAS Future Generations Series

We will host a series of conversations to examine the rights and interests of future generations from different perspectives, including the philosophical, legal, biomedical, economic, environmental and social perspectives.  This series will convene researchers, teachers, policymakers, artists and civil society in a joint exercise in imagination to direct our gaze beyond our immediate present and future, informed by our sense of responsibility to take intergenerational justice and solidarity seriously.


  • Enable a deeper reflection on our responsibilities towards Future Generations;
  • Spark imagination and a deeper sense of connection;
  • Build connections across disciplines and non-academic stakeholders;
  • Fuel new education to inspire our students to consider future generations;
  • Explore establishing a UvA Future Generations network

Future Generation Series – conversations and co-creation

The series is aimed at making connections. First of all, it aims to connect our past, to the present and the future (to create a sense of intergenerational solidarity). Second, we aim to connect disciplines to truly build a transdisciplinary community. Third, we explicitly want to make a connection between science and society, connecting scientific research (and education) to societal challenges, and translating the most pressing questions about these societal challenges into questions that can be answered to fuel policy decisions, as well as helping students experiment in practice with how they can make change).

3 Events: why, how and what about Future Generations

In the Academic Year 2023/2024, we launched the Future Generations series on November 7th with an event which brings together scientists, policymakers and societal organisations. The theme of this event was revolving around WHY we need to think about future generations. Throughout the same academic year, we will have two more of these bigger events bringing together scientists, policymakers and societal organisations. In this second event, we focus on HOW we think about future generations (which will mainly focus on intergenerational justice and deep democracy).

Past and upcoming sessions

7 November 2023

Why we need to take future generations into account?
Read a detailed written recap of the first event 

6 February 2024

How to take interests of Future Generations into account

21 May 2024

What can we do to take the interests of Future Generations into account


Interested in joining one of the sessions? All upcoming events are listed on the IAS event page

Interested in convening a session yourself? Share your idea with us!

Aanvullende informatie

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Header afbeelding: Future Generations

Icon afbeelding: Future Generations

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