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Catalysts for change: vizualizing the horizon of poverty

Catalysts for change: vizualizing the horizon of poverty Purpose – The Institute for the Future (IFTF) has collaborated with the Rockefeller Foundation and its Searchlight function to create a framework for broad engagement in strategic thinking about ways to catalyze change in the lives of poor or vulnerable communities. This paper seeks to focus on this broad‐based approach. Design/methodology/approach – Starting from the top‐down horizon scan of the foundation's Searchlight partners – a network of horizon scanning organizations – IFTF created a public database of signals of innovation and disruption in the domain of poverty and social change. This signals database was used to build a visual map of catalysts for change, creating a simple hierarchy of four catalyst types, each containing four action zones and a pivotal challenge. This map provided the language and framework for engaging a global community in a serious game to extend the vision of the Searchlight function and capture novel ideas for innovations that could improve the lives of those in marginalized communities. Findings – With an estimated global reach of 160,000 views and 1,600 game players from 79 countries, the game produced more than 18,000 ideas about catalysts for change. Originality/value – This framework of foresight (the signals database) to insight (the visual map of catalysts for change) to action (global strategic game) demonstrates a way to integrate top‐down expert foresight with bottom‐up strategic ideation on a global scale. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png foresight Emerald Publishing

Catalysts for change: vizualizing the horizon of poverty

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1463-6689
DOI
10.1108/14636681211284917
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The Institute for the Future (IFTF) has collaborated with the Rockefeller Foundation and its Searchlight function to create a framework for broad engagement in strategic thinking about ways to catalyze change in the lives of poor or vulnerable communities. This paper seeks to focus on this broad‐based approach. Design/methodology/approach – Starting from the top‐down horizon scan of the foundation's Searchlight partners – a network of horizon scanning organizations – IFTF created a public database of signals of innovation and disruption in the domain of poverty and social change. This signals database was used to build a visual map of catalysts for change, creating a simple hierarchy of four catalyst types, each containing four action zones and a pivotal challenge. This map provided the language and framework for engaging a global community in a serious game to extend the vision of the Searchlight function and capture novel ideas for innovations that could improve the lives of those in marginalized communities. Findings – With an estimated global reach of 160,000 views and 1,600 game players from 79 countries, the game produced more than 18,000 ideas about catalysts for change. Originality/value – This framework of foresight (the signals database) to insight (the visual map of catalysts for change) to action (global strategic game) demonstrates a way to integrate top‐down expert foresight with bottom‐up strategic ideation on a global scale.

Journal

foresightEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 2, 2012

Keywords: Signal; Mapping; Visualization; Crowd‐sourcing; Searchlight function; Engaged forecasting; Poverty; Strategic planning; Disadvantaged groups; Communities

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