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Introducing CPPFS

The Centre for Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies (CPPFS) is an international research and consultancy network that promotes futures literacy with a particular focus on marginalized peoples and Muslim societies. CPPFS works with communities, charities, foundations, and research, educational, and art institutions to foster critical inquiry, action learning, and an ethical imagination for shaping decolonized, alternative, and preferred futures. CPPFS has pioneered the theory and methodology of Postnormal Times (PNT): an era in which old orthodoxies are dying, new ones are emerging, and very few things seem to make sense. PNT is a product of the forces shaping our globalized, networked world: accelerating change, uncertainty, and ignorance. Negotiating PNT requires new forward-looking pathways based on a critical understanding of complexity, transcending contradictions, and the ever-present potential for chaos. PNT requires working with a diversity of perspectives and shared values, which take us beyond dialogues to polylogues — creative spaces for learning and unlearning. Ultimately, CPPFS’s works to promote an understanding of, and exploring new means of navigating, Postnormal Times.

Who we are

Ziauddin Sardar


Ziauddin Sardar, writer, broadcaster and cultural critic, is Professor of Law and Society at Middlesex University, London. He has been described as a ‘critical polymath’ and is considered one of the top 100 public intellectuals in Britain. He works across a number of disciplines ranging from Islamic studies and futures studies to science policy, literary criticism, information science to cultural relations, art criticism and critical theory. He was born in Pakistan in 1951 and grew up in Hackney, East London.

Sardar has worked as science journalist for Nature and New Scientist and as a television reporter for London Weekend Television. He was a columnist on the New Statesman for a number of years and has served as a Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and as a member of the Interim National Security Forum.

He has published over 50 books. The Future of Muslim Civilisation (1979) and Islamic Futures: The Shape of Ideas to Come (1985) are regarded as classic studies on the future of Islam. He pioneered the discussion on science in Muslim societies, with a series of articles in Nature and New Scientist and a number of books, including Science, Technology and Development in the Muslim World (1977), ­The Touch of Midas: Science, Values and the Environment in Islam and the West (1982), which is seen as a seminal work, ­­The Revenge of Athena: Science, Exploitation and the Third World­ (1988) and Explorations in Islamic Science (1989). Postmodernism and the Other (1998) has acquired a cultish following and Why Do People Hate America? (2002) became an international bestseller.

Sardar’s two volumes of biography and travel, Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim (2004) and Balti Britain: A Provocative Journey Through Asian Britain (2008) have received wide acclaim. He has also authored a number of study guides in the Introducing series, including the international bestsellers Introducing Islam and Introducing Chaos. Two collections of his writings are available as Islam, Postmodernism and Other Futures: A Ziauddin Sardar Reader (2003) and How Do You Know?: Reading Ziauddin Sardar on Islam, Science and Cultural Relations (2000). His most recent books include Reading the Quran (2012) and Future: All That Matters (2014).

Professor Sardar has written and presented numerous television programmes — most recently ‘Battle for Islam’, a 90-minute documentary for BBC2 and ‘Dispatches’ on Pakistan for Channel 4. His earlier programmes include ‘Encounters with Islam’ (1985), a series of four shows for BBC and ‘Islamic Conversations’ (1994), a series of six programmes for Channel 4. He was a regular Friday Panel Member on ‘World News Tonight’ on Sky News (2005—2007).

Sardar was the editor of Futures, the monthly journal of policy, planning and futures studies, from 1999—2013, and now serves as a Consulting Editor. Widely known for his radio and television appearances, he is currently co-editor of the quarterly journal Critical Muslim.

John A. Sweeney

Deputy Director

John A. Sweeney is an award-winning author, designer, and futurist. As a practitioner, consultant, and educator, John has delivered workshops and seminars, multi-stakeholder projects, and foresight gaming systems in over two dozen countries, with a particular focus on the Balkans, Southeast Asia, and the Asia-Pacific region.

John has professional and working relationships with universities, international development and humanitarian aid agencies, nonprofit foundations, and educational and cultural organizations, such the East-West Center, The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF, UNESCO, and UNDP's Global Center for Public Service Excellence. Additionally, he has experience working with public sector and civil service foresight and innovation units.

At present, John is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa (UHM) where he has instructed undergraduate courses in Futures Studies, Political Science, and World Religions. John served as a Researcher at the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies under the direction of Jim Dator until his retirement in 2015.

John has co-taught graduate seminars in Global Politics, Governance Design, and Futures Studies. John received his Master’s Degree in Religion from UHM in 2007 and a Bachelor’s Degree in History of Ideas (magna cum laude) from Kennesaw State University in 2005. John is a member of the World Futures Studies Federation, the World Future Society, and the Association of Professional Futurists.

John has given talks and presentations at the National University of Singapore, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, Harvard, Columbia University, and many other national and international colleges and universities. John’s work has been published in Futures, The Journal of Futures Studies, Ctheory, Continent, and other academic and media outlets. He tweets on trends, emerging issues, and all things postnormal at @aloha_futures.

Jordi Serra del Pino

Research Director

Jordi Serra is a futurist with a career of more than 35 years researching, studying, teaching, assessing and writing about change and futures studies.

As a consultant, Jordi has collaborated with a variety on public, private and international organizations all over the world, but mostly in Europe and South America. Over the years, Jordi has expanded his consultancy activity to integrate strategy and intelligence in his work covering numerous ambits such as energy, education, health, social services, public services, banking, public policing, security, mining, infrastructures, housing and others.

As a scholar, Jordi has led some research teams, apart from his present endeavours at the CPPFS, including design, risk management and intelligence. He has also developed an intense writing production in English, Spanish and Catalan having published several books, numerous papers for academic journals and many articles for general publications. He is also a member of the editorial Board of Futures, World Future Review and Revista IAPEM.

Jordi has also an extensive experience in academia having taught and lectured in many universities worldwide. Currently, he is an Associated Professor at the Communication and International Relations Faculty of Blanquerna (Universitat Ramon Llull) in Barcelona where he teaches Postnormal Times Theory, Foresight and intelligence.

Maya van Leemput

Senior Research Fellow

Maya van Leemput is a professional futurist, multi-media artist, and a senior researcher at the Erasmus Hogeschool, where she is setting up the new ‘Applied Futures Research – Open Time’ centre.

Maya’s background is in media studies. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Westminster for her research on ‘Visions of the Future on Television’. Her futures work on media, culture, arts, development, urban environment, science and technology in society and cross-cultural communication is based on critical theory and uses experimental, creative and participatory approaches. Since 1999, she has been working with the visual artist Bram Goots on Agence Future (AF), a long-term independent project for exploring images of the future through conversation and intercultural experiment. The project started with ethnographic futures field research in 25 countries on five continents, and evolved over the next decade with recorded conversations on images of futures in various settings and contexts. In 2014, Agence Future completed a three-year exchange project MAONO that brought students from Brussels (Belgium) and Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo) together with Congolese artists to develop cooperative of images of the future, culminating in a campus event and a one-month exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp.

Maya’s other projects include analysis of futures orientation of non-profit, private and institutional actors in Brussels for the Free University of Brussels’ (VUB) Prospective Research programme of the Brussels Capital Region, and a host of projects for the King Baudouin Foundation, Belgium, Flemish parliament’s Society and Technology Institute, European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) network, the European Commission, the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) framework, and UNESCO. Her work has been exhibited in a number of museums and art galleries.

Shamim Miah

Senior Research Fellow

Shamim Miah, Senior Lecturer at the School of Education, University of Huddersfield, is a sociologist and expert on youth and identity. His research is concerned with the framing of race and religion in public policy and promoting futures literacy amongst young people. His books include, Muslims, Schooling and the Question of Self-Segregation (Palgrave, 2015) and Muslims and the Question of Security: Trojan Horse, Prevent and Racialised Politics (Palgrave, 2017).

Shamim has over twenty years’ experience of voluntary youth work, community development and inter-faith work in Oldham, England. He worked as a Senior Policy Advisor and a Youth Worker for Oldham Council for many years.

Scott Jordan


Scott Jordan, philosopher and political scientist, is attached to the Asian World Center at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He is a member of the Nonkilling Consortium International, and has worked with an international summer camp in China through the Soong Ching Ling Foundation. A regular contributor to the quarterly Critical Muslim, he hosts a radio podcast show, Tea Talk Asia. His research is focused on the postnormal dimensions of international policy, politics and governance, which he often explores through films.

Linda Hyökki


Linda Hyökki is a specialist in language and culture and a researcher on Islamophobia. She is a regular contributor to the European Islamophobia Report project and reports on issues regarding Muslims and Islam in Finland to the research platform Euro-Islam.info. The focus of her current research, at the Alliance of Civilizations Institute in Istanbul, is on Islamophobia as a lived experience among Finnish converts to Islam. She combines futures studies and postnormal times theory with her research on Islamophobia, the impact of anti- Muslim bigotry on an individual's identity construction, and issues of minorities in European societies.

In addition to Finnish, her native language, Linda is fluent in English, German, and Swedish; reads French; and is currently learning Turkish.