The Peaceful Futures project was initiated by four organisations: VZOR Lab, Global Education Futures, School of International Futures (SOIF), and Next Generation Foresight Practitioners (NGFP). Today, the world is torn apart by over 30 conflicts on all continents. Peacebuilding can be very focussed on these immediate conflicts and emergencies. The aim of this project was to support community peacebuilders to think about the longer term. It aimed to use foresight as a structured facilitation tool that enables parties on different sides of conflict to come together to think about the future.
This project intentionally brought together a set of intergenerational perspectives of: foresight practitioners with lived experience of conflict, those with direct experience of peacebuilding – both at community and diplomacy levels, and foresight practitioners with experience of driving system transformation.
Through a series of workshops held between June and December 2022, a global group of participants from over 30 countries were invited to dream about the possibility of a peaceful future, and imagine the conditions that would need to be in place for the achievement of global peace within half a century – less than a human being’s lifetime. During the workshops, we explored trends, drivers of change, and ideas that can help prevent wars and establish a peace-based world through culture, education and future thinking. We also activated participants’ hivemind and asked them to map and share existing best practices and opportunities available to social entrepreneurs, artists, educators, and changemakers to advance peace.
The project explored new narratives and new pathways to establish a global peace-based civilization within the next 50 years. It also sets out actions that can be undertaken now by social entrepreneurs, artists, educators, and changemakers. As the result of the first stage of the project, contributors from over 30 countries have produced the Peaceful Futures Whitepaper, Roadmap,and the visionary Manifesto that reveal the possibility of making peace prevail on Earth.
Results also inspired NGFP, VZOR Lab, and Global Education Futures to organise storytelling workshops with 11 NGFP members with various peacebuilding-related areas of expertise to create fiction stories of a peace-based world 50 years from now. These stories are designed to be provocations, not as realistic predictions. They demonstrate the concerns and hopes of their authors, and together surface a collective of insights and actions that must be taken to shape the course of the future.