2 May 2024

Harnessing foresight: Philea launches futures-thinking guide for philanthropy sector

Brussels, 2 May, 2024 – Today, Philea launched its practical guide for the philanthropy sector on how to apply foresight and futures thinking into their work and strategy.

The publication, “Futures Philanthropy: Anticipation for the Common Good”, explores how and why philanthropy could play a role in fostering anticipation for the common good and what anticipation looks like when it is put in the service of society and common interests.

“By developing a futures culture, philanthropy can stay open and flexible and expand its toolbox with new, non-linear strategies and practices to embrace complexity and uncertainty as a feature of our times”, stated Delphine Moralis, CEO of Philea.

The publication prompts the reader to embed futures thinking and tools in their own contexts, moving from introspection to action in terms of strategy development, programmes and instruments and learning agendas. It maps innovative futures practices and brings together diverse voices from the philanthropy and civil society sectors, shining a light on how transformative change is possible if you adopt systemic approaches, foster trust-based collaboration, focus on discovery, and take the long-term view.

“The philanthropic sector is uniquely positioned to harness the strengths of foresight, unrestricted by the limitations imposed in corporate or policy contexts, with a broad reach that can help it to bridge public, private, civic and academic spheres”, added Daria Krivonos, CEO of the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies (CIFS).

“Futures Philanthropy: Anticipation for the Common Good” is broken down into four parts:

  • FORESIGHT AND PHILANTHROPY provides arguments and know-how, as well as practical insights, cases and methodologies on how to embrace futures thinking holistically.
  • FUTURES OF PHILANTHROPY showcases voices from the dynamic European philanthropy ecosystem sharing practices, learnings, struggles, questions and aspirations. Beyond theoretical insights, these are actionable strategies to shape a better tomorrow.
  • FUTURES OF EUROPE invites us to challenge our assumptions and mental models. Combining data and projections with questions and signals of hope, it aims to unleash imagination and cognitive flexibility.
  • APPLIED FUTURES PHILANTHROPY TOOLS closes the publication with a selection of instruments, including a self-reflection tool and a futures “canvas”, that can help understand how to apply futures philanthropy practices to individual organisations and contexts.

The publication was a joint production by CIFS and Philea. It draws upon a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, including extensive research, interviews, community Think-Labs and Philea’s Exploring 21st Century Philanthropy survey.

For more information, please contact Angela Pauly, Head of Communications or Hanna Stähle, Head of Foresight and Innovation.

View “Futures Philanthropy: Anticipation for the Common Good”


Hanna Stähle
Head of Foresight and Innovation