This directory and the associated database has been created as part of a project aiming to start to capture the breadth and depth of the sector—including in the Global South—while providing a tool that can enable the inclusion of new actors in this space.
The directory has been developed to try to support people to engage and connect with people working in foresight and futures thinking in different countries. In this first beta version, we have focused on helping people to explore and connect. While we have added some profile information, you will see that we are also encouraging people to connect by email or LinkedIn.
In a future iteration of the database we will be giving people the opportunity to enhance their profiles—adding more information, resources and opportunities to showcase their work. For now, please explore the directory and we hope it will help you find new and interesting people to engage with.
SOIF is the School of International Futures. We are a global non-profit collective of practitioners in strategy and policy for future generations. We work to ensure that leaders, organisations and citizens are connected to the power to make change for a better, fairer and more sustainable world for future generations.
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts. They champion and fund research and innovation (including strategic foresight work) within and alongside developing regions to drive global change. IDRC invests in high-quality research in developing countries, shares knowledge with researchers and policymakers for greater uptake and use, and mobilizes global alliances to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.
To have a better understanding of who works in strategic foresight and futures work in the Global South, in particular since the field seemed overwhelmingly dominated by actors in the Global North. IDRC worked with SOIF to develop a database of actors living, working or supporting capability-strengthening in the Global South, with a view to gaining a better understanding of the actors in this space. Together we realized how useful it could be to others, and given our commitment to the principles of open access, SOIF decided to turn it into an on-line searchable database available for everyone to use.
SOIF also thought that the results might surface some interesting insights in terms of what we found.
SOIF appreciates that there are existing directories and resources that help showcase actors in the field. We are not trying to replace these but hope that this directory will become a complementary resource.
While this mapping exercise has helped surface the fact that different regions of the world use different terms and tools, and have different understandings, the definitions SOIF is using are as follows:
Futures is an umbrella term for a global transdisciplinary field of study, methods, and tools, which focus on future-oriented analysis. It includes a range of activities and methods associated with longer range of planning and alternative futures scenarios (APF, 2020; IDRC; Gidley, 2017). It is plural, because there is always more than one future to explore.
Foresight is the capacity and capability to think systematically about the future to inform decision making today (Maree Conway, 2015).
Yes. In this first phase of mapping SOIF included organizations and individuals who were doing work that fit with the definitions above, who were engaged in different more formal foresight and futures networks, or who were referred to by other known actors working in this field of study. However, we quickly realized that different regions have interpreted and adapted this field of study, its tools and methodologies, to fit their specific country or regional contexts. So if the work of organizations and individuals fit with the spirit of this enterprise, we also included them.
SOIF is very mindful of privacy considerations. The only information we have included on this site is information that is already publicly available. If you wish to remove your name or organization, please feel free to contact the site administrators.
Alternatively, you can register and claim your entry to update your own information.
This database in no way claims to be comprehensive. Rather it is a first effort to map the community of actors working on foresight, futures and other similar methodologies. Working across a number of different networks we knew, and through on-line surveys and interviews to surface other networks, we managed to map more than 650 individuals or organizations.
The initial research was focused on the Global South and we have not yet mapped many of the actors in other regions. SOIF also had limited capacity and resource for the project.
But we knew we wouldn’t capture everyone, and never intended to. So if you are reading this, it probably means we have found one more name to add. Feel free to create an account and add yourself to the directory.
If there is already a record in the database relating to you or your institution you can claim this record. There are two ways to do this:
In the event that multiple people claim an account—which may well be the case for networks and associations—or if the account is already associated with another user, we will work with you to ensure that the account is owned by the relevant person. It is possible for multiple users to maintain a single record.
This site simply maps who is working globally on strategic foresight and futures thinking. Inclusion in the database does not qualify as an endorsement of your organization or you as an individual, nor is it a testament to the quality of your work.
We have tried to ensure that every entry in the database is a legitimate organisation or individual working in futures or foresight. If you have a concern about one of the entries you can flag this to us by contacting the administrators. We will be adding a feature in the future to allow you to flag this through the directory. We reserve the right to keep or remove any entries at our discretion and will take any feedback seriously.
We have been very mindful of trying to map strategic foresight and futures actors in all the regions of the world. Where coverage was limited in some regions, we doubled down our efforts. But our networks and research have only managed to surface so much. We also had limited resource to develop the map. It therefore, currently reflects what we found, not all the actors that exist. If you would like to suggest records to be added or help us to develop the directory then please get in touch.
This is a first effort to map the community of actors working on foresight, futures and other similar methodologies. In future iterations, we hope to add additional languages to make this more accessible to other actors. If you would like to suggest another language please contact the team.
We are happy that you have been testing and trying the site. We need feedback from you to know what is working, and what isn’t. Please fill in this short form to let us know what isn’t working, and we will work to remedy the situation.