Universität Bonn


Desirable Futures: Interdisciplinary Perspectives


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Desirable Futures Interdisciplinary Perspectives

International experts discuss possible and probable futures, and the challenges we face in making these futures desirable. Participants will speak across disciplines to consider ethics, artificial intelligence and resilience among other topics. At each session, a succinct lead presentation will be followed by several specialist commentaries, setting the scene for a substantial, free and open discussion. This is a rare opportunity to engage with globally leading thinkers in the field of futures.
An event organized by the Center for Life Ethics together with the Institute for Science and Ethics and the University of Bonn.
The event will be held in English. Participate in-person or online - please enter your preferred mode in the registration form on the right.

Date, Time and Location

Tuesday, October 25, 2022
11:00 am - 6 pm

Center for Life Ethics
Schaumburg-Lippe-Straße 7
Conference Room
53113 Bonn



Caesar Atuire (speaker)
Miikka Lehtonen
Fatima Tofighi
Farhat Moazam
General discussion

Tina Comes (speaker)
Matthias Scheutz
Brian Head
Ilona Kickbusch
General discussion

Jeroen van den Hoven (speaker)
Frederica Russo
Theresa Veer
Batya Friedman
General discussion


Speakers include:

Caesar Atuire

Caesar Atuire
© Caesar Atuire/University of Oxford

Caesar Atuire is a philosopher and health ethicist from Ghana who is currently the Ethics Lead for the MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine.

Caesar’s interests and research in bioethics are conceptual and empirical. On the former, he works around revisiting some of the underlying conceptual frameworks informing bioethics by drawing on philosophical ideas, African and non-African, that address inequity in the relationships that govern current approaches to global health with an eye to new ethical frontiers, decolonization, and pluriversality. In 2019, he co-edited a volume titled Bioethics in Africa, which discusses bioethical problems from an African perspective.

At the empirical level, he has designed a training package in clinical ethics for nursing trainees in Ghana based on real-life cases, served on IRBS, and contributed to the design and teaching of the first MSc in bioethics at the University of Ghana. He has led empirical research on conceptualizations and ethics of mental healthcare, especially in relation to persons who hold cultural and religious beliefs about the mind.

He is a Member of WHO’s Covid-19 Ethics and Governance Working Group and was heavily invested in designing the ethical allocation framework for the new RTS/S anti-malaria vaccine for the WHO. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Forum for Bioethics in Research.

Tina Comes

Tina Comes
© Tina Comes

Prof. Dr. Tina Comes is Professor on Decision Theory & Information Technology for Resilience at the TU Delft, and at the University of Maastricht, NL. Prof. Comes’ research focuses on AI and decision sciences for (disaster) resilience. She is a member of the Norwegian Academy for Technological Sciences and the Academia Europaea. She serves as the Scientific Director of the 4TU.Centre for Resilience Engineering, and Director of the TPM Resilience Lab, and leads the Disaster Resilience Theme for the Delft Global Initiative. Currently, she chairs the Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) Working Group on the Future of the EU’s Strategic Crisis Management.

Brian Head

Brian Head
© Brian Head/University of Queensland

Brian Head is currently Professor of Public Policy at the University of Queensland. He was also the Director of the Centre for Policy Futures at the same University. Before 2007 he held senior roles in government agencies and the not-for-profit sector. He has published many books and 150 articles on evidence-based policy, wicked problems, social issues, environmental policy, and how to build bridges between academia and other sectors. He teaches in the Public Policy & Governance program and regularly provides keynote presentations for conferences and workshops in Australia and internationally.

His most recent book Wicked Problems in Public Policy (Palgrave 2022) is available as a free download at: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-94580-0

Miikka Lehtonen

Miikka J. Lehtonen (Specially Appointed Associate Professor)
© Kalle Kataila

Miikka J. Lehtonen (PhD) is a multidisciplinary academic and one of the co-founders of the award-winning Nordic Rebels movement.

He is currently working at Rikkyo University College of Business as a Specially Appointed Associate Professor. Prior to joining Rikkyo, Miikka has worked at Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation in the UAE, Aalto University in Finland and the University of Tokyo in Japan.

His current research interests and teaching methods focus on visual methodologies and knowledge production, management and creativity in game companies, design practices and management in contemporary organizations, and (blended) design pedagogies.

Farhat Moazam

Farhat Moazam
© Farhat Moazam/Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation

Dr. Moazam is Professor and Founding Chairperson of the Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Culture (CBEC) of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation in Karachi, Pakistan. Inaugurated in October 2004, CBEC was designated a WHO Collaborative Centre for Bioethics
for the Eastern Mediterranean Region in 2017. Previously Dr. Moazam was Professor and Founding Chairperson of the Department of Surgery (1985-1995) and the first Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education (1995-2000) in the Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi. She is an American board certified pediatric surgeon with an MA in Bioethics and a doctorate (2004) from the Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia, USA.

Her areas of interest include research and education with a focus on cross-cultural ethics in clinical medicine. She is Fellow of the Institute of Practical Ethics and Visiting Professor, Centre for Humanism in Medicine, UVA, and International Fellow of The Hastings Center, New York.

In 2022, Dr. Moazam received the Hastings Center Bioethics Founders’ Award. She has an Honorary
Doctorate from the University of Zurich, Switzerland (2012), and in 2014, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award for “Promotion of bioethics education and efforts to support ethical organ transplantation programs” at the 5th National Bioethics Conference, Bangalore, India. In 2020, she was conferred the “Lifetime Contribution Award,” by the Department of Surgery of AKU. She has served on the Board of Directors (2009-2014) of the International
Association of Bioethics, and has collaborated with WHO on various projects including international guidelines for ethical transplantation of human organs and tissues.

Dr. Moazam has authored numerous articles related to pediatric surgery, medical education, and bioethics in national and international journals. These include The Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, The Hastings Center Report, Asian Bioethics Review, Bioethics, and The Journal of Medical Health and Philosophy. In 2013, she delivered the 5th Annual Renee C. Fox Lecture at the University of Pennsylvania, and has also been an invited keynote speaker in various national and international forums.

Federica Russo

Federica Russo
© Federica Russo

Federica Russo is a philosopher of science, technology, and information. She is Honorary Professor at University College London (Department of Science and Technology Studies), and lectures at the University of Amsterdam (Department of Philosophy and Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies).

At the UvA, Federica carries out research at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, and within the Language and Cognition in Argumentation Group. She has held research, teaching, and visiting positions at several institutions, including the University of Kent, Pittsburgh, and Louvain. Her research concerns epistemological, methodological, and normative aspects they arise in the health and social sciences, with special attention to policy contexts and to the highly technologized character of these fields. 

Federica has published extensively on various themes, such as causation and causal modelling, evidence, and technology, and her latest monograph is titled Techno-Scientific Practices : An Informational Approach (RLI, 2022). Federica has been co-editor in chief (with Phyllis Illari) of the European Journal for Philosophy of Science and is an executive Editor of Philosophy and Technology.

She sits in the Management Team of the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Amsterdam, and is member of the Steering Committee of the European Philosophy of Science Association. 

For more information visit russofederica.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter @federicarusso

Matthias Scheutz

Matthias Scheutz
© Matthias Scheutz/Tufts University

Matthias Scheutz is the Karol Family Applied Technology Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Tufts University and Director of the Human-Robot Interaction lab.  With PhDs in philosophy from the University of Vienna and computer and cognitive science from Indiana University Bloomington, his interdisciplinary research includes over

400 peer-reviewed papers in artificial intelligence and machine learning, cognitive modeling and philosophical foundations, as well as robotics and human-robot interaction.  His current research interests include norm-aware cognitive robots that can interact in natural language with humans and learn new task from human instructions.

Fatima Tofighi

Fatima Tofighi
© Fatima Tofighi

Born in 1985, in Qom (Iran). PhD in Literature and Theology at the University of Glasgow (UK). Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Religions (Qom, Iran). Former EUME fellow at Forum Transregionale Studien (Berlin). Author and translator of a number of books and articles on religion, gender, Qur'anic interpretation, among other things. Author of Paul's Letters and the Construction of the European Self (Bloomsbury, 2017), and Modern Methods in the Interpretation of Scriptures (in Farsi, Tehran: Kargadan, 2022). Currently, temporary research fellow at the International Center for Comparative Theology and Social Issues at the University of Bonn.


Jeroen van den Hove

Jeroen van den Hoven
© Jeroen van den Hoven/Delft University of Technology

Jeroen van den Hoven is university professor and full professor of Ethics and Technology at Delft University of Technology and editor in chief of Ethics and Information Technology. He is currently the scientific director of the Delft Design for Values Institute.

He was the founding scientific director of 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology (2007-2013). In 2009, he won the World Technology Award for Ethics as well as the IFIP prize for ICT and Society for his work in Ethics and ICT. Jeroen van den Hoven was founder, and until 2016 Programme Chair, of the program of the Dutch Research Council on Responsible Innovation. He published Designing in Ethics (Van den Hoven, Miller & Progge eds., Cambridge University Press, 2017) and Evil Online (Cocking & Van den Hoven, Blackwell, 2018). He is a permanent member of the European Group on Ethics (EGE) to the European Commission. In 2017 he was knighted in the Order of the Lion of The Netherlands.

Theresa Veer

Theresa Veer
© Fany Fazii

Prof. Dr. Theresa Veer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at the University of Tübingen where she also is the Academic Director of the Startup Center. As a management scholar and economist, she works at the intersection of sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation with a specific focus on innovation/high-tech entrepreneurship, sustainable entrepreneurial growth and impact, and behavioral entrepreneurship. Her research has been published in internationally highly regarded journals. As the Academic Director of the Startup Center, she significantly shapes the startup culture of the University of Tübingen through a wide variety of (teaching) events and consulting services with a broader impact on the surrounding region.
Theresa holds a Ph.D. from Technical University of Berlin and spent her two-year postdoc scholarship granted by the DAAD at the ESADE Business School in Barcelona. Further, Theresa is partner and founder of your.company, a rising star in the startup scene that aims at democratizing entrepreneurship. Follow her on Twitter: @VeerTheresa

Film and photo notice

The Center for Life Ethics may have photos and film recordings made during this event, which are published on the Internet, in print media and on social media channels as part of its public relations work. By participating in the conference, participants agree to the photographs and filming as well as their storage and publication. Please contact our photographers and cameramen on site if you do not wish to be photographed or filmed.


Dr. Sheena Smith

Tel: +49 228 73 66200

Organized by

© IWE - Institut für Wissenschaft und Ethik
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