Next Generation Foresight Practitioners
Launched in 2018 by the School of International Futures (SOIF), the Next Generation Foresight Practitioners (NGFP) is a network of almost 600 people from all over the world who are using futures and foresight to create positive impact and systemic transformation globally.
Our members come from various geographies, areas of expertise, and walks of life – from working with food systems in India to developing new technologies in Kenya to reshaping the future of elections in the US to redesigning interspecies friendly cities in Germany. What they all have in common are exceptional projects and ideas with the potential to shape the future of communities, countries, and sectors.
Through SOIF’s expertise of doing foresight with impact, its connections with the broader futures and foresight field, and the support of the NGFP team, we offer our members a nurturing environment and enabling conditions for their projects and ideas to flourish and expand their positive impact in the world. This includes providing:
- foresight capacity building
- safe spaces for collaboration with peers
- participation in relevant events around the world
- visibility in the media, and
- meaningful connections with decision-makers at the highest levels.
Our ultimate objective is to democratise the futures and foresight field, so we have diverse voices from younger generations participating equally in the co-creation of better, fairer, and more equitable futures for all.
We foresee transformed and more inclusive futures envisioned and shaped by diverse voices.
Our mission is to identify, accelerate, amplify, and connect a Global South-anchored network of emerging next-generation foresight practitioners to leverage power for transformation.
Our Guiding Principles
- We recognise youth’s powerful role in guiding and forming futures development strategies.
- We are driven by non-extractive and mutually supportive engagement.
- We believe compensation for collaboration should always be made, and based on specific needs.
- We value clear communication with our members and openness around their expectations and needs.
- We will ensure changemakers and community leaders have access to and use contextually appropriate and locally informed futures tools to drive transformation.
- We strive for a world with more foresight and futures tools and frameworks emerging from the Global South and being widely used.
- We aim to achieve fair funding and compensation for foresight practices at all levels.
- We want the next generation of changemakers to challenge and inform policy and funding decisions.
- We aspire for diverse organisations to look to NGFP for the latest thinking and cutting-edge collaborators.
- We want the next generation of leaders to find solidarity, support, and connections as they take risks to challenge the status quo.
- Purpose: we are focused on changing the world and making a better future for all.
- Collaborating for Impact: our way of working is participatory. We believe in shared responsibility.
- Diversity & Inclusion: we are committed to futures’ democratisation. Nothing about us without us.
- Respect and equity: we nurture respectful and peer relationships with everyone.
- Reciprocity: we establish win-win relationships, with fair exchange of value
- Innovation and Learning: we build capacity for impact/change among ourselves and beyond
The Next Generation Foresight Practitioners (NGFP) was launched in 2018 by The School of International Futures (SOIF) as an awards programme in order to recognise the endeavours of the next generation in shaping the future. The NGFP Awards were designed to identify, celebrate, amplify and accelerate the work of a diverse group of young leaders and innovators around the world using futures and foresight to drive positive change.
Besides recognising and working with winners, over the years, NGFP has welcomed a broader group of awards applicants who have future-focused projects aligned with our values to join the network. We are currently one of the largest global networks of next-generation future-alert changemakers around the world. We have members in over 90 countries across 6 continents. Together, we make a collaborative community of foresight practice engaged with key global issues that can only be tackled with collective voice, expertise, and action.
As we are constantly evolving and responding to the needs of our members, in 2020 we launched two new initiatives to celebrate the curiosity and sense of exploration in younger futures practitioners. The Walkabout Prizes recognised projects of 18 to 25-year-olds. The Young Voices Awards, created in partnership with Teach the Future, acknowledge ideas of 12 to 17-year-olds on how to make the world a better place.
In 2021, we created our Impact Fund – an opportunity for network members to collaborate with each other in new projects and access extra funds to realise them. Additionally, in collaboration with the Small Foundation and Omidyar Network, we launched our first regional network for our members in Africa. We believe regional networks are a good strategy to help overcome some challenges in foresight. First, foresight is very contextual and it can never be done by one person alone. We need local ecosystems and networks to participate in foresight exercises and share their perspectives and experiences about the present, identified signals, trends, and drivers of change, as well as visions of future scenarios. Second, foresight can be considered quite radical in some contexts and face resistance. Regional networks are useful for peer to peer support and for joining efforts and driving change.
Over time, NGFP has transitioned from being an Awards Programme to becoming a fellowship. After being selected, our fellows not only receive a small grant to be able to dedicate more time to their projects, but also go on a year-long journey of learning and exchange. With the fellowship, they gain invaluable skills, build relationships, and develop and strengthen their foresight projects to generate meaningful transformation in their communities. Furthermore, they remain part of our network beyond the Fellowship year, receiving continued support and having access to a series of opportunities.
In 2023, we are particularly incentivizing fellowship applications from young practitioners working on Global Challenges to our collective future. And we will invest in creating more regional and sectoral hubs to increase and strengthen the level of collaboration between our members to tackle the most pressing issues for the future of humanity.