24 April 2023

Philea launches Futures Philanthropy initiative

Philea has launched the Futures Philanthropy initiative, a programme that offers learning and collaboration opportunities and aims to create and share futures literacy in context of philanthropy and civil society.

The Futures Philanthropy initiative will bring together foundations and philanthropic organisations in a community to strengthen future thinking capability in the sector and ignite partnership with other sectors. At the core of the programme is futures literacy – the capability to use anticipation and imagination to make better strategic decisions, understand key drivers of change and explore emerging and future opportunities. The programme will benefit from the cooperation with the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, a non-profit think tank with expertise in strategic foresight.

There is growing awareness in the philanthropic community about the need to better prepare for an uncertain future and address issues that will be relevant tomorrow, today, while ensuring intergenerational fairness and the resilience of our societies. In the face of uncertainty, it is imperative to work strategically with the future, to be equipped with relevant tools and methodologies and to be aware of potential risks and opportunities.

The scale of challenges is unprecedented and requires the philanthropy sector to foster collaboration on complex and interconnected issues – ongoing full-fledged war in Ukraine, devastating, deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria, climate crisis, food insecurity, economic stagnation, rising inequalities, societal polarisation, the rise of authoritarianism and eroding trust in public institutions. These crises have been catalysts for the philanthropic sector to think and work more collaboratively and creatively.

“While we are busy responding to the problems of yesterday, we are confronted with new challenges coming our way tomorrow. Philanthropy of all sectors has unique role in thinking longer term, in creating spaces to imagine a radically different tomorrow. Whatever we do, solutions will be richer, smarter and more sustainable if we conceive and craft them together, in multi-stakeholder and intergenerational approaches” said Delphine Moralis, CEO, Philea at the launch event on 20 April.

“Our vision is a diverse, future-fit European philanthropy that rises to the challenges of our times and keeps asking relevant questions”, shared Hanna Stähle, Head of Foresight and Innovation, Philea, while inviting attendees to explore emerging and future issues impacting society and philanthropy and galvanising collective action at the launch event.

“Amidst a rising global emphasis on futures thinking, foresight, and representation of future generations, these concepts are increasingly being embraced across multilaterals, public and private sectors. Philanthropy and the broader civic space with all its diversity and reach, must be part of this movement, and ideally as trailblazers with a unique responsibility in planting seeds for the futures we seek and need” explained Nicklas Larsen, Senior Advisor, the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, and Co-Chair Anticipatory Leadership and Futures Capabilities, UNESCO.

Get involved

To better understand the key drivers of change and critical uncertainties impacting society and philanthropy in the long term, Philea invites philanthropic organisations and networks, civil society organisations, businesses, governments, media and research institutions to join the conversation on the future of philanthropy and society by contributing insights to the survey “EXPLORING 21st century philanthropy survey” by 26 May.


Hanna Stähle
Head of Foresight and Innovation