Chair on Responsible Foresight for Sustainable Development

University of Lincoln – Professor Ted Fuller

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All we can change is our future. What we do, how we act, creates our future and affects the futures of others.

Studies of humanity’s relationships with the future are found in a variety of disciplines, including the human, social and economic aspects of sustainable development and learning. The Lincoln Chair is striving to help people and organisations imagine and navigate the realisation of their sustainable development dreams.

Chair Themes



Natural Environment

Related Chair

UNESCO Chair of Future Civilizations



“The Chair has brought me into contact with people and organizations who I feel can make use of our work to create better futures. It is wonderful to work together to generate valuable ideas and practices. Without doubt, the best bit so far is to observe the innovation and flourishing of my Lincoln colleagues as they feel more empowered to address these important issues.”

Professor Ted Fuller

UNESCO Chairs are based within Institutes for Higher Education and specialise in specific research fields. They provide policy advice to the UK National Commission for UNESCO and HM government, as well as reviewing UNESCO applications.


How we think about the future influences how we act today; what is important to us, what we think is possible and hence what we aspire to. The Chair in Responsible Foresight for Sustainable Development was inspired by a long-term collaboration with UNESCO’s work on Futures Literacy but is shaped by the interests and calling of colleagues at the Lincoln International Business School.

In its programme of Futures Literacy, UNESCO recognises that the capacity of people and institutions to “use the future” in constructive and proactive ways contributes to human flourishing. As chairholder in responsible foresight for sustainable development, Professor Ted Fuller collaborates with global partners to help us reframe our futures, to imagine possible transformations and to plan specific actions. As a group of international academics, they are using their unique skills and knowledge to solve the problem of predicting future uncertainties, achieving sustainable development goals and leaving no one behind. This requires the dedication to imagine, aspire and act in order to create positive futures and see the world in different ways.

The Chair is still relatively new but is propelled by the energy and commitment of the UNESCO Chair group members to their vast research, education and capacity building studies.


The future is a real and significant space for inspiring the development of aspirations and capabilities, but the multidisciplinary significance of this knowledge is less well developed. Over recent years, Ted has made moves to develop Anticipation Studies, an emerging area of research using expectations about future outcomes to guide present investigation and action.

The purpose of the Chair is to work in a series of co-laboratories with international partners to help design sustainable futures in each specific contexts, all with the goal to improve human flourishing. Through research on the nature and effects of anticipatory systems, Ted and his colleagues have been able to apply their knowledge to sectors including, women’s enterprise, governance, health, post conflict peace and sustainable development.

The Chair’s co-lab with Khulna University is working on the adoption of textile enzymes for sustainable textile manufacturing (the largest exporting industry in Bangladesh) with the hope to develop ways of supporting strategic foresight in the textile industry and help implement greater sustainability. Collaborations also involve research and practice around negotiation in order to provide practical ways to bring desired futures closer. Dr Andrea Caputo has subsequently run workshops that help women to progress within business by encouraging these entrepreneurs to imagine and create possibilities for themselves through the capability to negotiate their position.

Professor Ted Fuller

Ted has carried out research in the areas of Foresight, Anticipation and Emergence as part of the Lincoln International Business School since 2015. Having started his first business at 19, Ted spent nearly twenty years at DUBS (Durham University Business School) and established two research centres; one in Knowledge Systems and another in Foresight Research. At the University of Lincoln Ted has, in his time, been Head of the Business School, Faculty Director of Research and Chair of College of Social Science Committees.

Now an active member of the UNESCO network on Futures Literacy, Professor Fuller has made several presentations to international conferences since the founding of the Chair to develop collaborative research on ethics and responsibility in anticipatory social systems.


University of Lincoln
Professor in the Department of Strategy and Enterprise

SINCE 2008


University of Teesside
Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Foresight

Role at UNESCO

Chair in Responsible Foresight for Sustainable Development

Since 2019

Research & Events


Read about some of the projects and events that Professor Fuller and his team have been a part of.



Read about the Lincoln Chair’s most recent work within responsible foresight and sustainable development.