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.
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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 nextgenforesight.org