7 June 2021

Considering the soil of the work with the Imagination, Regeneration and Foresight community

The second session of the new EFC Community of Practice on Imagination, Regeneration and Foresight on 20 May placed at the heart of the discussion the question, “whose voices, ideas and worldviews are organisations using to inform their strategic foresight and imagination practices?”. The two speakers, Amahra Spence, MAIA, and Baljeet Sandhu, Centre for Knowledge Equity, made a powerful case for empowering the most marginalised members of society and communities with lived experience of injustice to shape preferred and plural futures.

Baljeet Sandhu shared with participants about the notion of ‘knowledge equity’ and how privileging one form of knowledge will inevitably lead to inequitable futures.  The Imagination Observatory in the UK, gives leaders with lived experience of injustice the tools and skills to become futurist thinkers, apply foresight techniques in their own organisations, and imagine together with their communities. As Baljeet put it poignantly, ‘we need to democratise futurism to create democracy in the future.”

In her remarks Amahra Spence reflected that the people most disconnected from resources are the ones that need to make change happen.

The cultural programming of MAIA, serves people that the systems do not, rooted in the values of joy, access, care, and justice; and aims to uplift radical black imagination into strategic planning and foresight work. Amhara stressed the need to move beyond extractive practices; re-evaluate racialised metrics; and not lose sight that strategic foresight should always be liberation- and freedom-focused.

The final part of the session morphed into a peer-led discussion that surfaced how these strategic approaches and practices resonated in the context of the peers’ participating organisations.

The kick-off series of the community has been made possible thanks to the partnership of the EFC with Cassie Robinson from The National Lottery Community Fund.

For more information contact Stefanos Oikonomou.