Scanning the Horizon

This collaborative platform helps CSOs prepare for disruption and benefit from change.

With members including leading ICSOs, national CSO umbrella organisations, plus academic departments, multilateral organisations and corporations, the platform address the need for collaborative trend analysis in the sector. Futurists, strategists, trend analysts and organisational learning and research specialists form a cross-sector community of experts and practitioners to share insights, explore key trends and develop relevant strategies. The platform also enables mutual learning and the pooling of resources.

Current members are: Accenture Development Partnerships, ADRA Germany, Amnesty International, Care International, Direct Impact Group, IFRC, InterAction, Mercy Corps, Oxfam International, Plan International, Save the Children International, Terre des Hommes, WaterAid and World Vision International. Other partners include: CISU – Civil Society in Development, Global Focus – Danish CSOs for Development Cooperation, Habitat for Humanity International, Partos, and Syracuse University.

A monthly community newsletter is produced, with the valued support of the Direct Impact Group, to share information on planned collaborations, partner updates, events and resources.

The members meet monthly online to learn and share from each others’ insights, as well as thought-provoking content from external contributors, on future scenarios and foresight. Upcoming topics include:

  • promoting positive public image and working in partnership to counter political and regulatory impediments to ICSO’s ability to function,
  • future scenarios generated at the Global Perspectives 2018 conference on Engaging a #New Generation, on attracting young talent and supporters in a future ICSO from 2030.

An annual in-person meeting allows the opportunity to collaboratively explore one particularly ‘hot’ or impactful futures topic in much greater depth.

For 2019, the planned topic will be the implications of China’s rise on the future work of ICSOs. The main focus will be peer exchange, and contributions from external analysts, on how ICSOs are dealing with the multi-faceted implications which the Chinese ‘big development model’ has for ICSO’s advocacy, policy and programming work around the world. The meeting will be held in Asia in May/June 2019.

Past topics include: transformation in development cooperation and the changing roles of CSOs and business, how new technologies create new solutions, business models and income streams for CSOs’ mandates, and the future of Africa and ICSOs’ roles, digitalisation and growing political polarisation.

The community was started in 2015 with seed funding by The Rockefeller Foundation but is currently self-sustained as an active peer learning platform by its members. Membership is open to other individuals and organisations working in this space and interested in these topics.