Foresight as an engine of change

Inspire Engage Practice Foresight. SOIF Summer Retreat  
Irene Coletto. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Artwork by NGFP Fellow Irene Coletto. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

SOIF’s 10th anniversary Summer Retreat in Strategic foresight brings together a group of extraordinary individuals from 28 countries to inspire, engage and practice foresight. 

This is a post by NGFP Fellow Marcela Capaja, who shares her reflections from the first day of the retreat.

I am thrilled to join this Retreat in a dual role. I am a participant and facilitator across the five days, which are structured to build strategic foresight capacity, intertwined with network weaving for social purpose and moments of delight and connection. 

The participants have come from very different walks of life, professional backgrounds, and geographical locations. Talking to them it quickly becomes clear that we are on this journey because we are change-makers. Talking in our learning pairs, in working groups, and over dinner, we are all inspired by opportunities to move mountains, break ground, and use foresight methods along the way.

Engage Practice Inspire SOIF Summer Retreat 2022. 
Irene Coletto.
CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Artwork by NGFP Fellow Irene Coletto. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

However, we are reminded in the exercises that whilst we are extraordinary people, we are ‘people’. We feel, we reflect, we dream. This sets us up for a personal learning journey. One that isn’t just about picking up tools and frameworks but a journey of reflection around the question we have all asked ourselves at least once – ‘how to embed foresight in our organisations?’

In his keynote address, Nils Gilman raised the challenge of why some claims about the future compel action when others don’t.  Glenda Eoyang engaged us in inquiry about self-organising change. Nina Murray inspired us to take risks and imagine what the futures might feel like.

Director Cat Tully points out that ‘insights are an engine, not a camera’, a powerful phrase encapsulating our intentions with strategic foresight. I look forward to learning how we can get this engine running and learn more about how to use foresight to drive social transformation.