Summer Research Seminar 2023

The Quaker Institute for the Future’s 2023 Summer Research Seminar will be held from July 17-21 using Zoom. There will be no registration fee; instead, participants in QIF videoconferencing seminars are encouraged to make a donation to QIF that is within their means. Youth Grants in the amount of $500 are available to support activist/researchers 18-35 (see details below).

Please share this notice with Monthly and Yearly Meetings, Quaker groups and anyone else who might be interested in participating.

QIF Summer Research Seminars create a venue for spirit-led research using Quaker methods of discernment and reflection. The seminars are centered around research presentations that occur within a setting of collaborative discernment conducted as a “meeting for worship for sharing.” Emphasis is placed on supporting those who choose to present the work that they are doing through worship together, along with additional time for questions, clarification, and discussion. Time is also reserved for theme-based discussions, worship sharing, artistic and other creative sharing, and informal interactions among participants. More information about summer research seminars is available here.

This year, which marks 20 years since QIF was established, the SRS will put less emphasis on presentation and discernment of individual research projects and more on theme-based discernment, led by groups of people interested in introducing and facilitating a theme-based session. Example themes of possible interest include:
– Moving past colonial legacies and systemic racism
– Climate change and related ecological crises
– Economics, money, and the impossibility of infinite economic growth
– Overcoming political and social polarization
The connections among issues are of special interest, since past failures to address any of the preceding issues have impeded progress on others. We also invite SRS participants to propose additional themes when they register. Following registration, SRS organizers will help facilitate brief preparatory sessions for those involved in each theme-based discussion.

Youth Grants for Activists and Researchers

This year, QIF is offering $500 stipends to applicants aged 18 to 35 years old to make a presentation on research or activism that resonates with the QIF mission of advancing a global future of inclusion, social justice, and ecological integrity through Spirit-led participatory research and discernment. This is part of a year long program of Youth Grants. NOTE: People may choose to apply for a Youth Grant independently of the Summer Research Seminar and use it for purposes other than to develop a presentation at the SRS. For more information on the Youth Grants, see: Youth Grants for Activist Researchers 2023

Registration and More Information

We welcome those who wish to present a project that will be followed by worshipful discernment including all in attendance, those who wish to participate in introducing and facilitating a theme-based discussion, as well as those who just wish to attend and participate without taking on either a presentation or theme-based facilitation.

Please register for project presentation proposals and for theme-based topics by June 16. Please indicate the theme-based discussion you would like to help prepare, introduce, or facilitate from the list above, or propose an additional theme. Registration for other participants will be open throughout the SRS.

Please fill out this registration form to attend and/or present.

You may contact Gray Cox at for additional information about the SRS, including more about the stipends and how to apply for them.

Schedule and Supporting Information

To help create a safe space for all, we invite participants to use the “Ouch, Whoa, Oops” model: Ouch Whoa Oops Handout

Monday: Moving Beyond Colonial Legacies
1 – 4 pm EDT (10 am – 1 pm PDT)
– Welcome, introduction, and worship
– Panel on “Moving Beyond Colonial Legacies”
4:30 – 5:15 pm EDT (1:30 – 2:15 PDT) Get acquainted groups (optional)
6 – 8 pm EDT (3 – 5 pm PDT) Territories of Life and Sacrifice Zones

Tuesday: Acting on Environmental and Social Crises
12:30 – 1:00 pm EDT (9:30 – 10 am PDT) Meeting for Worship
1 – 4 pm EDT (10 am – 1 pm PDT)
– 1. Crafting a Community Vow 2 Act Toward Right as Just Response to the Global Ecological Crisis
– 2. AI Nonproliferation – Creating the Context for Collective Wisdom in the Era of Artificial Intelligence
4:30 – 5:15 pm EDT (1:30 – 2:15 PDT) Interest and get acquainted groups (optional)
6 – 8 pm EDT (3 – 5 pm PDT) The Money System and the World We Seek I

Wednesday: Building Social Change
12:30 – 1:00 pm EDT (9:30 – 10 am PDT) Meeting for Worship
1 – 4 pm EDT (10 am – 1 pm PDT)
– 1. The Money System and the World We Seek II
– 2. Polarization and Social Change
4:30 – 5:15 pm EDT (1:30 – 2:15 PDT) Interest groups (optional)
6 – 8 pm EDT (3 – 5 pm PDT) Reflections in a Rear View Mirror – Post Pandemic Socio-Economic Landscape in Flux: Representation and Reflections through Visual Arts and Monuments

Thursday: Seeking a Better Future
12:30 – 1:00 pm EDT (9:30 – 10 am PDT) Meeting for Worship
1 – 4 pm EDT (10 am – 1 pm PDT)
– 1. Beginning to Think about How to Control Corporations
– 2. Modeling Subjective Wellbeing
4:30 – 5:15 pm EDT (1:30 – 2:15 PDT) Interest groups (optional)
6 – 8 pm EDT (3 – 5 pm PDT) Research as Devotion: Spiritual Accountability and the Quaker Gathered Meeting

Friday: Bridging Polarities
12:30 – 1:00 pm EDT (9:30 – 10 am PDT) Meeting for Worship
1 – 4 pm EDT (10 am – 1 pm PDT)
– 1. Bridging Polarities Circle of Discernment
– 2. Deep Listening
– 3. Plea to the Rich for the Future of All
5 – 6 pm EDT (2 – 3 pm PDT) Summing up: what emerged during the week? Where do I see hope? What’s next?

Quaker Institute for the Future