Call for Research Articles

Special Issue of the Journal Futures & Foresight Science

Empowering Futures – Long-term Governance, Democracy and Futures Research

The Futures & Foresight Science journal invites scholars to submit manuscripts of research articles in the Special Issue on “Empowering Futures – Long-term Governance, Democracy and Futures Research”.

Guest editors

Dr. Hanna Heino, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku
Dr. Leena Jokinen, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku


There is an urgent need for long-term futures thinking in order to sustain possibilities for alternative and creative solutions to complex crises and empower futures. In this Special Issue, we are focusing to the futures of democracy, trust, power and sustainability in connection to problems and issues such as climate change, international security, policy-making, well-being, and technological innovations. These topical issues is discussed in an interdisciplinary manner, on how we see futures and how futures studies can empower people, societies, and organisations for creating more just and sustainable futures. This Special Conference Issue will elaborate upon general sustainability and resilience challenges in the current turbulent situation of world politics.

How can the scientific community contribute to empowering futures?  What and whose futures are being empowered, and by whom? What impacts climate change, security threats and wars could have on democracy?  How can futures research help enable and empower just transitions, and how may just transitions impact our futures? What are the scientific contributions in identifying risks and opportunities and in building sustainable futures? How can current and potential social gaps be fulfilled? How to study complex futures? What kinds of new theoretical and methodological contributions futures research can establish?   

We welcome authors to submit manuscripts focusing on following themes:
  • Futures of democracy: states and transnational organisations
  • Long-term governance and actions in the present
  • Creative empowerment for social change
  • Impacts, risks and discontinuities: new imaginations and imaginaries
  • Anti-oppressive practices in academia and futures research: antiracism, feminism, equal rights and empowerment of the oppressed
  • Empowerment through inclusion
  • Foresight and futures research for just transitions
  • Sustainability and future generations
  • Complexity and systems thinking
  • Participatory approaches in futures research
  • Methodological development of futures studies

This Special Issue is related to the Futures Conference 2023, which will be held during 14–16 June 2023. The Call for Research Articles is open and limited to the participants of the conference.

The length of an article is 4000–8000 words (including references). The acceptance criteria for all papers are the quality and originality of the research as well as its significance to journal readership. Each published paper should, in part, devote some paragraphs to anticipation method improvements/enhancement. Except where otherwise stated, manuscripts are single-blind peer reviewed.

Futures & Foresight Science publishes articles which focus on methods that aid anticipation of the future in the widest sense, that document the current status of a particular method’s application and use, and that analyze its future potential and prospects. Specifically, it invites papers that consider:

  • particular scenario methods,
  • variants of the Delphi method,
  • judgmental probability forecasting,
  • the role and validity of expert judgment in anticipating the future,
  • the combination of judgments from groups of individuals, and
  • the combination of futures methodologies.

See details for submissions and author guidelines.

Key dates

Deadline to submission of the research articles: 3 October 2023
Tentative time of publication: June 2024

Contact details for questions:

Conference Secretariat at Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku