Who Gets To Own The Future?

Whose version of progress are we pushing in the world of impact?

Why It Matters

Critical questions for impact-focused organizations: How do we talk about the future in vulnerable contexts? How about in contexts where young people do not necessarily feel that they have full agency over their own destiny? What about spaces where Indigenous culture and history were overtaken by colonial markers of progress? Here are some things to reflect upon, right now.

Which visions of the future ought to prevail?

Global humanitarian and development efforts have traditionally pushed a rigid view of what progress looks like, steeped in pillars of a Northern-dominated world order.

We can argue that the systems and frameworks that have served humanity to date may have improved development outcomes for many, but it hasn’t done so equally, and it has been at a significant cost. The world we inhabit today is increasingly sleepwalking into climate catastrophe, is more unequal, more disconnected, and more divided than before.


The fast-growing practice of humanitarian futures and strategic foresight is one that challenges practitioners to understand this: Past hegemonies don’t necessitate a similar future state.

Humanitarian futures and strategic foresight seeks to better understand not just what future worlds

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