Sarah Woods

Visiting Researcher at Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER)

Visiting Researcher, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), University of Cambridge

Sarah is an award-winning playwright, creative systems thinker and teacher and currently Associate Professor at the Denmark National School of Performing Arts and Director of the London based think tank New Weather, Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (2023-4). At CSER, she works on the project People & Patterns: transforming the ways we think and connect when everything is at risk.

Using a variety of tools to describe the dysfunctions behind the hazards that drive existential risk and adopting inclusive points of departure, the project draws diverse people into co-creative processes, including workshops, live narratives, dialogues and online platforms. It explores and develops effective ways to empower and energise people’s commitment to working together with complexity, imagining diverse futures that hold positive promise as well as those with sobering warnings.

Engaging on a variety of global catastrophic risks, the project aims at understanding how transformations in our collective thinking and approaches can lead to significant improvement in our capacities to manage and reduce risk and to find ways to let go of dysfunctional patterns and move towards those that reinforce relationship, respect and peace.

Her new version of Tocqueville’s On Democracy was recently broadcasted on BBC Radio 4, one of 4 of her BBC audio dramas just released by Penguin as A Better World: Stories of Marxism, Democracy and Consumerism Retold.