Quaker Institute for the Future (QIF) held its Summer Research Seminar via Zoom from August 3–7 with 28 participants. The seminar functions on three levels: (1) the presentation of research, (2) collective discernment and feedback through worship sharing (Quaker dialogue), and (3) open discussion. Research reports included: regenerative agriculture; ecological vulnerability in the Gambia; monoculture and ecological law; the monetary system and social crisis; the threats and opportunities of artificial intelligence; a visual tour of quarantine, riots, and monuments. Themed discussion sessions were also held on communities of security, Black Lives Matter, seeking truth amid falsity, and the post-COVID-19 future.
Holding the seminar via Zoom was prompted by the pandemic, but QIF had already been experimenting with a virtual mode of networking. Seminar participants agreed the week was a success and points to a potential expansion of QIF programming. The Zoom format doubled the number of participants and allowed people to attend who could not otherwise have made the trip in person.
Three QIF Focus Books are in process, all of which were represented in research presentations: regenerative agriculture, ecological law, and artificial intelligence. QIF Focus Books are designed to present the key aspects of the ecological, economic, and social realities of our time and analyze how they are affecting the future.