Next Generation Foresight awards: 2020 winners and fellows

We are delighted to announce the winners and awardees for 2020, our NGFP fellows.

The Next Generation Foresight Practitioners awards (NGFP) seek to identify, support and showcase global, innovative practice in Strategic Foresight. They foster connections and collaborations between pockets of innovative practice and to build links across a new generation of foresight practitioners.

Please join us in congratulating the fellows and all the applicants this year. We have had a fantastic set of applications this year, and this year’s Awardees are such an inspiring group. The Main Award winner is an under 25 year old. A 21 year old Zimbabwean has won one of the Walkabout prizes and 14 different nationalities are represented across the 20 winners.

This year the Joseph Jaworski Main Award was awarded to Raya Bidshahri, an Iranian living and working in the UAE, for her project which aims to create alternative pathways for schooling and help people tackle and prepare for future challenges. We also awarded 17 Special Awards to outstanding applications from different sectors or geographies.

The Main Award recognises one individual or team that our 50 judges (see below) identified as being at the forefront of innovation and shaping the future. The winner receives USD 15,000 to support their project, a free place on the SOIF retreat, and is supported by quarterly mentoring and professional support.

Each of the other Special Awardees is recognised as an NGFP Fellow for their work in a particular sector or geography. This year we awarded seventeen special awards to individual or team applications from different sectors or geographies. We are delighted to support the Africa and Asia Fellows with USD 5,000 in funding. All our Fellows will be supported through the peer-to-peer NGFP Sensing Network, mentoring from international foresight thinkers, training webinars and meet-ups.

The Walkabout prizes were won by Finn Strivens from the UK for his work using participatory methods to help young people and non-scientists to engage with science, and Namatai Kwekweza from Zimbabwe, for her work to to drive youth friendly constitutional and governance reforms in Zimbabwe and disrupt ageist normative frameworks

The Walkabout prizes are a new initiative for NGFP2020, designed for 18-25 year olds. Winners are recognised for their work advocating for futures thinking and change in their communities. Each of the other NGFP Fellows receives a Special Award for their work in a particular sector or geography. This year we awarded seventeen special awards to outstanding individual or team applications from different sectors or geographies, and we are delighted to be able to support the Africa and Asia Fellows with USD 5,000 in funding.

Finally we wanted to say a big thank you to our 2020 judges, and to Omidyar Network who have supported the awards for the last two years. Without their help it would not be possible to make the awards a reality

If you'd like to get in touch, find out more about collaborating with the Sensing Network, and explore how to support the Awards in 2021, then please contact us


Raya Bidshahri

Main Award winner 2020

This year’s main award winner is Raya Bidshahri from Iran, living and working in the UAE. Raya is an entrepreneur, author, futurist and keynote speaker. Her winning project aims to create alternative pathways for schooling and help people tackle and prepare for future challenges. Support first full-time education module focused on transcendence and informed by foresight. Build future fluencies for those in the Middle East. Raya will receive USD 15,000 in funding to develop her foresight work, and will attend SOIF’s flagship annual foresight retreat, as well as receiving other support to help her develop her foresight practice.

Finn Strivens

Walkabout Winner 2020

Finn is a multidisciplinary designer and futurist. He is a recent graduate of Global Innovation Design at the UK’s Imperial College and the Royal College of Art. Finn’s winning project focuses on the use of participatory foresight methods to help young people and non-scientists influence their future and influence scientific research including climate science.

Namatai Kwekweza

Walkabout Winner 2020

Namatai is a youth, peace, democracy and human rights activist. Namatai’s winning project aims to drive youth friendly constitutional and governance reforms in Zimbabwe and disrupt ageist normative frameworks, in the process helping African youth to shape their future and fulfil their generational mandate.

Special Awardees

Alejandro Juan Manuel Repetto, Jimena Califa, Enrique Martín Cortés Funes at Extendidos

South America Special Award, Argentina 2020

For their work to connect and empower foresight practitioners across Latin America with a focus on community, public sector and diffusion of practice.

Christy Casey and Nour Batyne, Resilience 2032

North America Special Award, United States 2020

For their aim to democratize and scale futures thinking by leveraging social media theater to inspire widespread civic engagement with a focus on climate, data-driven technologies and systemic inequality.

Claire Marshall and Mel Rumble

Oceania Special Award, Australia 2020

For their participatory approach to encourage futures literacy, which enables the co-creation and sharing of preferred futures through the Museum of Futures, an interactive physical and online exhibition series.

Ioanna Sotiriou and Thomas Tsoulias

Government Policy Special Award, Greece 2020

For their work and ambition to establish Epoch Labs and its network as a dedicated strategic foresight institute and resource for the Mediterranean.

Jorge Camacho, Fernanda Bonilla, Emma Herrera and Jaime González from Diagonal

Team Special Award, Mexico 2020

For their project will build on their work in MMexico City to explore post-pandemic futures with excluded communities and give them agency over their futures.

Madhumitha Ardhanari

Environment Special Award, Singapore 2020

For her project to tackle the unsustainable use of sand for land reclamation in Singapore, and its environmental impact beyond the country.

Mansi Parikh

Development Special Award, India 2020

For her work to transform the Future Tense Community in India into a Collective experimenting with applied, indigenous, culturally contextual and inclusive futures.

Markus Becker

Corporate Special Award, South Africa 2020

For his project which will help companies in South Africa address systemic issues using foresight, shifting corporate culture and creating better futures.

Mathew Markman

International Policy Special Award, United States 2020

For his work on academic freedom and ambition to use foresight to protect our freedom of thought from nefarious actors.

Olga Remneva, Anna Peplova, Irina Danilicheva, and Anastasia Evgrafova from Future Culture Lab

Humanitarian Special Award, Russia 2020

For their work combining agency, motivation challenges, foresight through art perspectives and creative challenges and ambition to scale their work.

Oliver Bream McIntosh

Education Special Award, United Kingdom 2020

For his ambition to expand the impact of his work taking futures literacy and his participatory futures methods to a broader group of change-makers in the global student community.

Otto Tähkäpää

Europe Special Award, Finland 2020

For his ambition to promote and scale futures literacy and futures education by developing a series of picture books for children and educators, building on the narratives and stories co-created with children through his Tulevaisuuskoulu (Futures School) initiative

Rohan Patankar and Aditya Prakash from Quicksand

Asia Special Awardee, India 2020

For their research on capacity building for on-ground humanitarian workers and communities to solve their own problems through the creation of a Humanitarian Futures Lab.

Samantha Matters

Community Special Award, Canada 2020

For her project which aims to develop an online course that draws on the concept of ancestral accountability to catalyze Canadian foresight practitioners to become champions of reconciliation.

Seble Samuel

Cities Special Award, Canada 2020

For the collaborative project Menged Le Sew, which tackles threats of rising air pollution, public health decline and unsafe streets through urban futures and sustainable urban design and transport planning in Ethiopia.

Tolu Oni

Africa Special Awardee, Nigeria 2020

Her project proposes to establish an emergency health foresight platform and movement to co-develop and implement a Marshall Plan for urban health in Africa and to co-design, test and evaluate interventions in cities in Africa.

Virkein Dhar

Entrepreneur Special Award, India 2020

For her "Futures from the Periphery" approach that uncovers the rituals, inherited knowledge and lived experiences of people in cities through intimate stories, as a means to challenge mono-cultural imaginations of the future.

Our 2020 Judges

Aarathi Krishnan

Humanitarian Futures and Strategic Foresight Advisor

Ali Hersi

Saferworld’s Somalia/Somaliland Director

Amy Zalman

Professor, Culture, Communications & Technology Program, Georgetown University

Arndt Husar

Senior Public Management Specialist (Digital Transformation), Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Arthur Muliro

Deputy Managing Director, Society for International Development

Brian Chandler


Brooke Mitchell

Congressional Nuclear Security Fellow.

Chris Jackson

Founder + Director, We Create Futures

Dale Van Der Lingen

Policy and Strategy Analyst & Head: Strategic Foresight, Western Cape Government, South Africa

Danièle Rechard

Head of Global Trends Unit, European Parliamentary Research Service

Darcy Winslow

President / Co-Founder, Academy for Systems Change

David Snowden

Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge

Edward Walekhwa

Strategic Communications and Systems Thinking Specialist

Fatima Azevedo

Advisor, Office for Economic Policy and International Affairs, Ministry of Finance

Geci Karuri-Sabina

Director, Southern African Node of the Millennium Project

Gianluca Misuraca

Senior Scientist, Digital Government Transformation, European commission

Gina Lucarelli

Team Leader, Knowledge and Innovation at United Nations Development Programme

Guillermina Benavides Rincon

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) en The University of Texas at Arlington

Jan Bezuidenhout

Senior Manager at EY Advisory

Jim Maltby

Senior Strategic Analyst, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

John Sweeney

Assistant Prof. Narxoz University, Director QRIFS

Jonathan Cherry

MPhil In Futures Studies (Cum Laude) from Stellenbosch University, an active member of the Association of Professional Futurists [APF]

Jose Manuel Roche

Researcher and consultant in International Development, Research Associate at the Oxford Department of International Development

Julie Jenson Bennett

Principle, SOIF

Kofi Kankam

Co-chair; Africa Regional Mechanism of Major Groups and other Stakeholders (ARMMGoS)

Laurie Smith

Principle Researcher, NESTA

Marius Oosthuizen

Programme Coordinator, The University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science

Mark McCartney

Leadership Coach

Mathew Burrows

Director, Foresight, Strategy and Risks Initiative, Atlantic Council, Washington DC

Miguel Jimenez

CEO and Founder, FFWD - Futures Intelligence & Strategic Foresight

Monica Mendez

Strategic thinker specialist in Mexican public sector

Moutaz Al Riyami

Executive Director in Petroleum Development Oman

Peter Glenday

Director of Research, SOIF

Pierre Schoonerad

Head of Research and Development, Centre for Public Service Innovation

Prabhat Ranjan

Vice Chancellor of D Y Patil International University, Pune, India

Prateeksha Singh

Head of Experimentation, UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Innovation Centre

Prof Sudarshan Ramaswamy

Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP), O.P. Jindal Global University

Puruesh Chaudhary

Founder and President AGAHI, Founder Foresight Lab

Ricardo Borges de Castro

Former Adviser on Strategic Foresight to the European Political Strategy Centre, European Commission

Richard Sanford

Professor of Heritage Evidence, Foresight and Policy at UCL’s Institute for Sustainable Heritage

Richard Walsh

Fellow at SAMI Consulting

Riel Miller

Head of Futures Literacy, UNESCO

Roger Spitz

Founder of Techistential, Foresight Strategy & Futures Intelligence, San Francisco

Sohail Inayatullah

Inaugural UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies. Tamkang University. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Sultan Khair

Partner, Al-Bayan Investments Firm

Tanja Hichert

Research associate at University of Stellenbosch’s Centre for Complex System in Transition, fellow at the European School of Governance, director of the South African Node of the Millennium Project

Tom Burin

Security and Threat Intelligence Manager, Solvay

Torben Riise


An initative of

Supported by

We are excited to support School of International Futures (SOIF) and the Next Generation Foresight Practitioner (NGFP) Award 2020. The award is an inventive way of shining a light on the next generation and their bold leadership in shaping the future. The world around us is changing at an unprecedented pace. Young people will inherit the present and mould the future—they will harness emerging opportunities and tackle looming risks facing communities globally, and inspire us all to do the same. We hope efforts like these will create a platform and network they can use to seek change that builds a future that is bright, inclusive, diverse, and empowering.

— Omidyar Network

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