The NGFP network is extraordinarily diverse. We have members from over 90 countries, who work in a broad range of ways – from academia to facilitating the emergence of shared visions in community art projects, to activism, to consultancy. And we are present across a huge range of sectors – from health to democracy, to nuclear security, to education. We haven’t come across another network quite like this one. Our diversity is our biggest strength. It is a true demonstration that the future doesn’t belong to a sector nor to a profession, but to all of us. And each and everyone has a unique role in shaping it.
As we often see with large networks like ours, sub-networks end up emerging around common causes and purposes. SOIF and the NGFP Practice have responded to the needs and interests of our network members and supported the emergence of sub-networks, or ‘hubs’, as we call them. We see NGFP’s greatest potential for systemic change and impact over the next five years arising from the work of our hubs.
We are broadly seeing two types of hubs arise: regional hubs and sectoral hubs.
Why do people organise themselves geographically? Because:
- Futures and foresight work requires deep contextual knowledge to be effective. Practitioners benefit from being able to exchange knowledge with other practitioners and community members which are familiar with the same local, national, or regional context.
- There is no ‘one way’ of doing futures and foresight work. The methods and approaches need to reflect the worldviews and values of the communities they serve. Regional networks enable new methods, practices and ways of working that best reflect the context and its cultures to emerge and flourish.
- Social transformation often starts at a local level, and requires an ecosystem of allies and supporters. Regional hubs enable members to build their connections and networks locally.
- Foresight work is often lonely and occasionally risky. Our NGFP members are often radical voices on the fringe and make observations that might not be popular. Being able to connect locally to others who ‘get it’ is a critical part of our duty of care.
Why do people organise themselves per sector? Because:
- Futures and foresight work requires deep subject matter expertise and no one can claim they know everything about a certain issue. In-depth knowledge, experiences, and perspective exchanges are essential for a meaningful foresight exercise.
- Foresight is not something that someone does alone. It is a labourious exercise that requires peer support and collaboration between those that care about the same cause.
- Foresight work is often disruptive of the status quo. To have more experts on the same field is a way of building a consistent shared vision, amplifying a colletive voice, and influencing change in a more effective way.
See our Hubs
We have some amazing hubs that have already emerged – our regional network in Africa, and two sectoral hubs focused on climate and emerging technologies. More details about these can be found in the links below.
We also have a number of more fledgling hubs which we will see growing in 2023: an Asia regional hub, a rural futures hub, a health futures hub, an intergenerational fairness hub and a peacebuilding hub. Watch this space for more information throughout the year!
To find out more about our hubs, how to be a part of one, or to start one (!) please contact Passy, our Advocacy Lead & Africa Network Weaver, at email@example.com.
Interested in connecting with NGFP fellows and members, learning more about our projects, or sponsoring us?