How to use the Civil Society Foresight report

Report by Dominique Barron, Rachel Coldicutt, Stephanie Pau, Anna Williams: “This report is for anyone making plans for the future.  In particular, we hope it will be a useful strategic tool for funders, civil society organisations, and policymakers who are developing strategies for long-term change. 

What is it? 

A way of looking ahead that makes it easier to see past the overwhelming present and focus on creating longer-term change. 

It highlights what is missing now; what is too dominant; and it shows that innovation is something driven by people, not technologies. 

How was it created?

The scenarios here were produced through a relational process. (More on that process in our report “A Constellation of Possible Futures”.) Our team brought together thirteen civil society leaders with lived, learned and practice experience; introduced them to some of the “official” futures created by management consultancies, trade bodies and banks (reports that focus on things like retail and transport and financial capital); and we then all participated in a workshop process that took us to 2036 and beyond. 

What does it cover?

The concepts explored in this report include the notion of care in a climate-altered world; a sketch of what happens when a nation welcomes migrants at scale; the psychological toll of social division; and the possible outcomes of technological breakdown. The outputs focussed on ways to reduce fear, overcome entrenched barriers, and increase spirituality and belonging. 

Importantly, the process never asked for agreement or utopia; instead, it held a space for tension, disagreement, and pragmatism. And it surfaced the strategic knowledge of expertise of people in civil society with a wide range of experience…(More)”.