Press release


In an increasingly uncertain world, how will younger people shape the future? Supporting future innovators through The Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award

15 August 2018

The School of International Futures (SOIF) presented the inaugural Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award on Wednesday 8th August at Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire, UK as part of SOIF’s annual 5-day strategic foresight retreat, SOIF2018. The award was established to provide a platform to showcase innovative foresight practice from around the world. Rebeca Grynspan (Secretary General of the Ibero American Conference) presented the awards to the overall winner, Pupul Bisht (India) and runner-up Oluwabunmi Ajilore (Nigeria), for their projects on adapting folk storytelling traditions to help empower communities to think about their future, and developing a futures lab to support young professionals across Africa.

The awards, covering fourteen different geographic and sectoral categories, were the culmination of a six week competition run earlier in the summer and open to 18-35 year olds, or those with fewer than ten years experience, working in strategic foresight. Over 75 applications were received from 37 different countries, from Azerbaijan to Zambia, with ideas ranging across a wide variety of themes, from international migration, civic engagement after corruption, energy security, mental health, agriculture, social cohesion, youth development and global risk perception.

The 30 plus international judges used a three-part evaluation process to find the most exciting and challenging proposals for projects in the areas of community futures, sustainability futures, innovative practice and developing ‘foresight with impact’, changing existing conversations and narratives on the future using strategic foresight approaches.

Commenting on the awards SOIF Director, Cat Tully, said:

“People coming together to discuss their futures in an informed and deliberative way is a profound act of political empowerment. One that is increasingly critical to humanity creating a positive common future over this century: one that is sustainable, secure, just, with no-one left behind, as described in the 2030 global goals. We established this award because we want to recognise and support the excellent work shaping the future that is already being done by young foresight practitioners and activists globally, and collaborate in its transformational potential, and, through that process, become a global accelerator for emerging foresight leaders.”

The winners of all awards will receive mentoring from SOIF to help them develop both their project ideas and professional careers, with Pupul receiving a years’ incubator funding worth $25 thousand dollars to help her fully develop her initiative. Additionally, Pupul and Oluwabunmi received free invitations to attend SOIF’s summer foresight retreat (SOIF2018) and all participants will be invited to join, and help co-develop, a new global sensing-network of future-alert activists.

The Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award was developed by The School of International Futures with the support of Omidyar Network, Joseph Jaworski and Generon International. Commenting on the competition, Tulika Raj from Omidyar Network said:

“Omidyar Network is excited to support the Next Generation Foresight Practitioner (NGFP) Award 2018. The award is an inventive way of shining a light on the next generation’s endeavours 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 need to harness emerging opportunities and tackle looming risks facing communities globally. This generation already has the vision and energy – we hope efforts like these will empower it to have voice on the global stage, and create a platform to seek change that we hope builds a future that is bright, inclusive, diverse and empowering.

The NGFP award and School of International Futures’ (SOIF) commitment to young innovators through ongoing mentorship and access to its networks will amplify the impact and visibility for novel endeavours, and better equip innovators to continue their missions. This award is also a wonderful opportunity to create a strong network of young entrepreneurs, leaders, innovators and system changers who can collaborate globally to solve locally. We’re excited to partner with SOIF on this new adventure.”

Applications for the 2019 Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners competition will open in December 2018.


About the award

The Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners award was established in spring 2018 and will run annually and be open to global participation.

SOIF chose to name the award in recognition of Joseph Jaworski, a seminal futurist and author of Synchronicity. Joseph has championed the need for foresight to be united with profound leadership in order to achieve social transformation. He inspires us across generations, being a vocal advocate for over 50 years on the kind of service-leadership that is necessary for the 21st century. As one of the architects of Theory U, he reminds us to put the heart and values at the centre of all foresight activity.

More information on the competition and awards can be found at

Award winners


Main award
Award Winner Project
Main Award Pupul Bisht (India / 26) Developing a novel, non-Western approach to foresight inspired by folk-storytelling tradition, Kaavad, from Rajasthan, India, this tool is the first and only foresight method directly derived from a non-western practice/tradition. Pupul will be broadening the approach to non-native speakers through translation of her approach, and workshops with multilingual communities
Runner-Up and Africa Special Award Oluwabunmi Ajilore (Nigeria / 35) Developing a futures lab to bring participatory foresight approaches to young professionals across Africa
Special Awards
Award Winner Project
North America Maggie Greyson (Canada / 42) Developing a personal experiential futures technique inspired by theatre and creative design approaches
Europe Cathy Madge (UK / 33) Developing a collaboration to introduce futures approaches to 15-17 year olds in schools in Wales and then internationally
South America Aline Roldan (Brazil / 29) A 7 year collaboration exploring the futures of marginalised communities
Asia Veerappan Swaminathan (Singapore / 33) Developing futures-based communities and a toolkit to help people imagine and design their own futures
Oceania Elliot Brennan (Australia / 33) Developing a new communications platform combining foresight, early warning and conflict analysis to address potential political crises and disasters
Development Emily Empel (USA / 30) A foresight project to understand representations of female genitalia in popular culture
Humanitarian Daniel Olarte (Columbia / 32) Exploring how Colombians feel about a peaceful future through developing ‘future memorials’ and developing a collective memory toolkit
Community Justyna Król (Poland / 32) Supporting citizens and their cities to actively prepare for the future through participatory methods including future tables, future maps, games and prototyping
Education (Joint award) Erica Bol (Holland / 42) Developing a pilot project in the Netherlands to embed futures work into Primary and Secondary schools alongside teachers in training programmes
Education (Joint award) Aileen Moeck (Germany / 28) Bringing futures-thinking to schools to help kids deal with complexity and uncertainty and become an entrepreneur of their own future
International Policy Özge Aydogan (Turkey / 35) Developing a crowd-sourcing platform to identify emerging issues that will impact future societies and contribute to the UN’s Agenda 2030
National/Local Policy Juan Manuel Avalos (Mexico / 29) Developing a centre for prospective and strategic thinking in Latin America to take advantage of disruptive technologies and the fourth industrial revolution

Press Images

To obtain copies of the original size images, please see the Additional Information section.

Images (from left to right): Cat Tully (SOIF Director) / Hartwell House / Rebeca Grynspan (Secretary General of the Ibero American Conference) / Pupul Bisht / Rebeca Grynspan & Pupul Bisht / Pupul Bisht / Rebeca Grynspan & Oluwabunmi Ajilore / Oluwabunmi Ajilore / Elliot Brennan (winner of the Oceania special award) / Pupul Bisht / Oluwabunmi Ajilore / Pupul Bisht & Oluwabunmi Ajilore

About SOIF2018

The annual SOIF five-day Summer Retreat teaches the science and art of Strategic foresight, the skills needed to understand change and disruption and how to create future-ready organisations in an uncertain and increasingly volatile world.

The SOIF Summer Retreat provides a unique combination of executive education, insight, and understanding of how to use foresight with impact. Attendees learn how to take a systematic and imaginative approach to the future, to identify emerging opportunities and threats, build resilience, and critically to connect future insights back to policy and decision-making today.

Further information can be found at

About School of International Futures

The School of International Futures (SOIF) helps policy-makers, business leaders and communities make strategic choices, manage risk and become future-ready. Our foresight work focuses on the transmission of insights about the future into decisions today. We design for impact, complexity and participation.

We have worked to apply foresight and strategy at the highest levels of government, private and NGO sectors. As foresight and strategic foresight experts, we have introduced strategic foresight to over 600 senior leaders from over 50 countries as varied as Switzerland, South Korea, Oman, Tunisia, Chile and Russia.

We have advised national governments and United Nations on the use of foresight and strategy and have worked with organisations around the world to build their capacity, develop insight and support their long-term sustainability. We advocate for the use of foresight and the need to put people at the heart of the future.

Further information can be found at



About Omidyar Network


Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Digital Identity, Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights.

To learn more, visit, and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork #PositiveReturns

The judges

The judges represent a diverse group of foresight experts, activists, users, innovators and commissioners from around the world. They are professional colleagues who were invited to take part in the judging process due to their knowledge of futures and strategic foresight, their deep individual commitment to the values of the Award and their sense of adventure in supporting this pilot endeavour!

2018 judges

  • Anita Sykes-Kelleher Co-Founder, The Centre for Australian Foresight
  • Banning Garrett Faculty, Singularity University
  • Beris Gwynne Founder and Director, Incitaire
  • Cat Tully Director & Founder, School of International Futures
  • Daniel Dobos Co-president of the gluoNNet association
  • Danièle Rechard Head of Global Trends Unit, European Parliamentary Research Service
  • Darcy Winslow President, Academy for Systems Change
  • David Snowden Founder and chief scientific officer, Cognitive Edge
  • Fátima Azevedo Head of Division of Foresight & Planning Services, General Secretariat of the Ministry of the Environment, Portugal
  • Gautam Goswami Director, Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), India
  • Geci Karuri-Sebina Director, Southern African Node of the Millennium Project
  • Indy Johar Architect, co-founder of and Senior Innovation Associate with the Young Foundation
  • Jane Davidson Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement and Sustainability at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • John Sweeney COO & Chief Futurist – ETCH
  • Marius Oosthuizen Member of faculty, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Mathew Burrows Director, Foresight, Strategy and Risks Initiative, Atlantic Council, Washington DC
  • Monica Mendez Strategic thinker specialist in Mexican public sector
  • Prabhat Ranjan Vice Chancellor of D Y Patil International University
  • Peter Bishop Executive Director, Teach the Future
  • Puruesh Chaudhary Founder and President AGAHI, Founder Foresight Lab
  • Rahul Chandran Executive Director, Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation
  • Ricardo Borges de Castro Adviser on Strategic Foresight, European Political Strategy Centre, European Commission
  • Riel Miller Head of Futures Literacy, UNESCO
  • Roger Dennis Serendipity Architect
  • Rosemarie Forsythe Former Director, International Strategy, Exxon Mobil Corporation; former Director, Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs, US National Security Council
  • Serge Kapto Policy Specialist, Data for Development, UNDP
  • Sergio Bitar Senior Fellow Inter American Dialogue; President Consejo Chileno de Prospectiva y Estrategia
  • Sohail Inayatullah UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies
  • Sultan Khair Partner, Al-Bayan Investments Firm
  • Tulika Raj Omidyar Network
  • Vinay Gupta Founder Hexayurt Capital and Mattereum

Additional information

To discuss The Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award in more detail, speak to the award winners about their projects, hear the perspectives of the project’s supporting organisations or find out more about SOIF and the work we do, further interviews and media resources can be arranged.

Please contact Guy Yeomans (

Stay in touch

Sign up for our latest news, thinking, retreats and more.