Pontus Strimling

Associate Professor, Economics

I am a research leader at the Institute for Future Studies, on the theme “New Technologies and the future of humanity”, and assistant manager at the Centre for Cultural Evolution.

I am a methodically broad researcher of social science who investigates how culture changes. At the moment I am actively working on how AI will influence society in the coming 15 years and why values and norms change.

In my work I focus on changes of patterns on a societal level depending on large quantities of individual events. Examples of central variables that my explanations are based on are: what governs purchasing decisions, what behaviours are most likely to be punished or what arguments lie behind different values. With a starting point in these events on an individual level, I make mathematical models that predict societal changes such as changes in the public opinion, or which AI applications that are being spread. 




Emma Engström

PhD, Environmental Modeling, MSc Engineering Physics, BSc Political Economics

I defended my PhD thesis on predictive modeling of groundwater contamination at the Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering (SEED), KTH, Royal Institute of Technology in 2015. During my PhD studies I spent a year as a Fulbright visiting student researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. I have also worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Division of Systems Analysis and Economics, KTH, and as a research scientist at Folksam Insurance Group in Stockholm.

My previous studies regard discrete car type choice models and the impact of climate policys in Sweden, as well as transport externalities such as traffic risks, health effects of air pollution, and models to predict the transport and diffusion of contaminants.

At the Institute for Futures Studies I study Artificial Intelligence (AI); the ambition is to develop methods to predict the diffusion of AI-applications with the overall aim of better understanding their social impacts.




Karim Jebari

PhD, Philosophy

I am a researcher at the Institute for Futures Studies. I defended my doctoral thesis in December 2014 at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). My thesis is about applied ethics and in particular how we should relate to the risks and opportunities of technological innovation.

I am interested in issues related to political philosophy, bioethics and the philosophy of science. My main interests right now are the risks and possibilities associated with AI, global catastrophic risks and humanity’s long-term future.



Niels Selling

PhD, Political Science

In 2018, I obtained my Ph.D. in political science from the European University Institute (EUI). In my dissertation, titled ”Unity or Fracture? Explaining Political Preference Formation Among Large American, British, and German Firms” I studied corporate political preference formation. My research interests focus on corporate political activity, business power, political economy, and elites.

At the Institute for Futures Studies, I have previously worked within the research project ”Subterranean politics: The world and work of policy professionals”, which explored the growing category of professionals employed to influence politics without having a formal political mandate to do so.

In my current project – “Firms as Political Activists: The Scope and Nature of Corporate Political Responsibility” – I explore corporate lobbying on issues pertaining to cultural diversity, environmentalism, lifestyle choices, nationalism, and immigration. Since this type of political involvement neither addresses core operations of the firm nor offer clear and direct financial returns, it presents scholars with a puzzle.



Irina Vartanova

PhD, Psychology

In my research, I use survey data, such as World Values Survey, to study social norms and their change in different cultures. At the Institute, I work with Pontus Strimling and Kimmo Eriksson on a project in which we explain moral opinion change by what type of arguments are used in favour or against certain moral position. I specialize in applying advanced statistical and computational methods in social research.



Olle Häggström

Professor, Mathematical Statistics

I am a professor of mathematical statistics at Chalmers University of Technology and a board member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA) and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).

My main research is in theory of statistics and in statistical mechanics. In recent years I have broadened my research interests and work for instance with applied statistics, philosophy, climate science, artificial intelligence and social consequences of future technologies.



Björn Lundgren

PhD, Philosophy

I am a researcher at the Institute for Futures Studies. In 2018 I defended my thesis at The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). My dissertation concerned ethical and epistemical challenges in the information society. My research is primarily about information, information security, privacy, anonymity, and AI-technology. But I have also written about questions concerning metaphysics and the concept of social housing.

Currently, I am leading a project on self-driving cars, funded by Trafikverket (the Swedish Transport Administration). The project is part of the Institute’s theme: New technologies and the future of humanity.