One of four scenarios attempting to answer the question “Why should a research institute exist?”
In this scenario the answer is: To be a rich, supportive interdisciplinary environment where top people share world class socially relevant, high impact results.
Scenario axes: attractive environment for top people, high commitment to organisational culture.
In “Further” everyone contributes to a community culture. From researchers to administration, logistics to strategy, every person offers their best abilities to create a place where knowledge, resources and results are shared. The sharing goes beyond the walls of the institute: their work is embedded in their local community and international networks, who appreciate their world class, socially relevant research. The work they focus on is high risk and long term, likely to achieve high impact in the world. They are aware of the importance of failure in research and embrace curiosity and exploration as key to innovation. The work is challenging as well as rewarding, recognised inside and outside of the institute. Clear communication about the core principles and values of the institute help to reach communities of non-academic researchers. Institute members are eager to be involved with the outside world, contributing and testing hypotheses directly with people who might be impacted by the research. The institute exists in an ecology of partnerships, from renowned universities to trend-setting SMEs and creative collectives. Inside the institute, the “let's go” mentality prevails, a sense of possibility and support. Anyone can propose ideas in the institute's many avenues for sharing: from the informal cafe and collaborative online platforms, to more formal mutual paper reviews and research seminars. All the activities are open to constructive criticism and there is a healthy competition between people, encouraging personal, professional and community development. There is a diversity of skills and interests, with sufficient overlap and complementarity. Many successful collaborative projects start over a cup of tea or a glass of wine in the Further Cafe - the research happens wherever and whenever it wants to. “Further” is a rich intellectual environment whose long term vision is co-created by all, then co-ordinated by transparent and lean management and professional, motivated staff. The curiosity of the people in the institute spills over its walls and into the communities who benefit from their work. Serendipity allows mutual interests to flow from the institute to the communities and back again. Over time, the institute becomes an essential thread in the fabric of society, not only through its research, but also through its social dimension and the overall quality of life it inspires.