3 May 2021

“Imagination, Regeneration and Foresight”, the EFC launches a new Community of Practice

The kick-off meeting of the EFC’s newest Community of Practice, Imagination, Regeneration and Foresight, convened in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund, brought together participants from 19 philanthropic organisations to explore how they can support their organisation to adapt to a long crisis, to consider innovative approaches to building strategies and to wrestle with the role of horizon-scanning and foresight in philanthropy and civil society.

Most philanthropic organisations have access to powerful tools through which they can influence change; grants, investments, expertise, networks, vantage points of a whole field and the agency and the ability needed to define their own strategies and time horizons. However, the last year has left many of us unsure of how to design our funding to go beyond the immediate needs of the present. Responsive crisis funding is still very much needed but many in philanthropy recognise that there are much greater shifts at play, further potential crisis’s on the horizon, and the need to rethink existing systems and resource the creation of entirely new ones.

To go beyond reaction and redress, we need different tools and practices, and a community to explore them with. This will help those of us working in philanthropy to see more equitable and preferred futures, and not retreat back to ‘normal.’

The first sessions of the new community provided an opportunity for the members of the group to introduce themselves, offer some useful framings for the sessions, and some practical examples of how the National Lottery Community Fund is planning to adopt new future-focussed practices to build strategic foresight capability and share horizon scanning practices and collective imagination.

Gemma Mortensen and Iris Andrews, the New Constellations, shared some of their work, talking about why this is a moment in time to orient towards different futures, a new constellation, and took participants on a short experiential journey.

The next session of the community will take place on 20 May.

For more information contact Stefanos Oikonomou.