Top insights and provocations from Alumni Event: Reflections from the morning

It’s been a week since our Strategic Foresight ‘Support and Inspire’ Alumni event held at Newspeak House in London​.

Supporting our SOIF community of practice is something we wholeheartedly enjoy and this was a great opportunity for members of our community to come together and learn from what fellow alumni have been doing in the foresight field.

Attendees shared insights on key futures issues and challenges, and also ideas on how to build personal and organisational excellence in foresight.

A week later, these are the points that really resonated from the morning session – that I am still mulling over:

  • “How can we explore, and make space for, the role of serendipity in our strategic foresight endeavours – balancing happen-chance with the act of consciously engaging with the future in a systematic way.”
  • “LOGIC is never going to lead to CHANGE” – Roger Dennis
  • “How can we create rules, institutions and artefacts that are resilient to change and create a flexible legacy rather than lock-in the status quo? What are common features that we can design into systems, e.g. regulation and financing? And how do we connect and join independent but interfacing bits of the system, whether on climate, policing, welfare, humanitarian?”
  • “Intergenerational engagement is something we are actively seeking ways to promote – but many current innovative solutions, e.g. hackathons, are not representative due to barriers to access and voice.  What we need is genuine listening and spaces for deliberation – using ethnographic, convening, social research, participative methods”
  • “In order to build resilience, do we need to re-examine and challenge our need and dependency on control?”

The Strategic foresight and next generation leadership panel also brought out some inspiring and interlacing themes:

  •  the importance of reflective learning and listening to one’s internal self;
  •  the importance of the relational dimension, of sensing and listening to the community;
  •  the need to talk explicitly as a community about values, emotions and of what is valued;
  • the necessary – but not sufficient – link between collective vision and transformation; and
  • the art of balancing experience and history with systematic and structured approaches to the future with an appreciation of synchronicity.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and we look forward to sharing more insights from the day in future posts.

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