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Miriam Lueck Avery is a research manager in the Health Horizons program at the Institute for the Future, researching a broad range of topics and managing a broad range of projects. She began interning with the Institute in 2003. As an ethnographer, her overarching interest lies in how the rhythms and choices in people’s everyday lives individually and collectively shape the future. More specifically she explores how food connects people to each other, to their health and bodies, and to natural and built environments. Before coming to the Institute these questions took her from homeless shelters in Berkeley to organic farms in Japan.
Miriam is currently working on projects around the intersection of food and agriculture, human health and well-being, and sustainability and resilience. In examining the unfolding relationship between wellness and sustainability, she has been working her way along the food chain from purchasing decisions to climate and agricultural science, and along health efforts from self-care to participatory public health.
Together with Vivian Distler, Miriam received an inaugural Amara Fund grant for a pro-bono project in partnership with Collective Roots to bring futures thinking to food system change curriculum for middle and high school students in East Palo Alto and across the Bay Area.
Her work on the Boomers: The Next 20 Years project has also kindled her interest in how demographics and age cohorts shape changes in the future (from youth growing up to boomers growing older, as well as the impacts of immigration and mobility). Wildcard interests in personal monitoring and gaming have led her to contribute to work around the futures of such diverse topics as waiting, reality, leadership and work itself.
Miriam holds a Bachelors degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. Outside of work, Miriam enjoys reading speculative fiction and playing guitar. She keeps a personal blog, Ever More Perfect Eyes.