Lauren Withycombe Keeler is an assistant research professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University. She has a doctorate and master's in sustainability science. Her master's research focused on defining the knowledge and skills necessary for undergraduate and graduate sustainability education. She has consulted with universities in the U.S., Europe and Mexico, helping them develop sustainability degree programs. Her doctoral studies focused on the use of foresight methods to explore complex governance challenges in sustainability, including climate governance, water governance, the governance of emerging technologies, and urban planning for sustainability.
In her research, Professor Keeler studies how different people with different professional responsibilities understand and make sense of the future and how futures are created through professional practice. She creates and utilizes foresight methods to anticipate the future impacts of emerging technologies, policies and other interventions on organizations, communities and cities. Her work focuses on building capacity among individuals and groups to think about the future in ways that yield more inclusive and sustainable futures and develop strategies to make those futures a reality. As a part of this work, she creates games that help players create and contend with alternative futures and address urgent sustainability problems. She has worked in the U.S. and Germany on issues of sustainability and responsible innovation and the role of universities and international university partnerships in facilitating local sustainability transitions.