Transforming the post-pandemic world— learning from the next generation

The NGFP Sensing Network worldwide

Last week we were invited to share insights about a post-pandemic world by the Omidyar Network. This virtual session, which was hosted by Omidyar’s Exploration & Future Sensing (ExFS) team, had two objectives.

The first was to inspire more expansive imaginations of post-COVID futures by presenting the Futures Manifesto from the voices of Next Generation Foresight Practitioners (NGFP). The second, to introduce NGFP and SOIF to a wider group of “Futures Sensors” and other interested people at The Omidyar Group, and beyond, with an eye towards partnership and advisory opportunities for NGFP network.

Organisations represented at the event included Omidyar Network, Omidyar Group, Luminate, Democracy Fund, Humanity United, Mastercard Foundation, and Gates Foundation.

The Manifesto itself was described as a “welcome jolt”, and there was particular interest in “hidden wonders” from the various stories in the Manifesto. These covered new ways of living and working, to fundamental shifts in models of governance and education. The description of the “Flux Generation” of young people born and living in a world of heightened disruption and upheaval resonated with the audience.

During this session we learned that foundations working towards supporting better futures globally are grappling with issues such as the challenge of doing futures work in partnership with local communities (especially in the global south), unequal access to technology, and insights about weak signals of change at a regional level that are both thin and poor.

We believe that when it comes to thinking about post-pandemic futures, supporting bottom-up agenda setting is critical. We hope this was an introductory session, and it was a pleasure to share the vision and potential of the network with a room full of potential allies, champions, and collaborators. We look forward to nurturing these seeds further in the coming months.