Research Framework

In 2017 it is clear that the world faces a number of key sociocultural challenges: unprecedented economic inequality; climate change; religious conflict; tensions between nationalism and globalization, indigeneity and colonization; the rise of technology and a growing alienation from nature. By 2050 the world’s population is predicted to peak at around 10 billion people, exacerbating the tensions that are already present. Furthermore, the rise of emerging economies will mean that the 20th century world order dominated by European and American values will give way to a more multipolar world, with no one value system dominant.

Our aim is to empower individuals and societies with new approaches to knowledge and strategies for action that will meet 21st century challenges and help create sustainable futures. To do so we will foster disciplinary innovation and embrace synthesis across cultures and disciplines in our research methods. Our research framework forms around four key themes, Axiology, Planetarity, Pedagogy, and Spirituality (APPS).

Our researchers and associates work on their own research projects that are related to these four key themes. Through meetings, workshops and networking events, they learn from each other, develop academic leadership skills, and see how to situate their research so as to contribute to a flourishing and equitable future for the planet.


How do we develop ways of valuing for integrated social, economic, and ecological wellbeing in a world of 10 billion human beings?


Recognizing our shared planetary home, how do we live with diversity and build a sustainable future in a multipolar world without resorting to fundamentalism, separatism, and ethnic violence?


How do we develop modes of education to equip future generations to face challenges that are as yet unknown?


How do we foster meaning and spiritual purpose in a world transformed by technology and facing the existential threat of climate change?