Scanning the Horizon

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

With members including leading ICSOs, national CSO umbrella organisations, and private sector companies,  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 include: Accenture Development Partnerships, ActionAid UK, Alliance2015, Americares, Amnesty International, Care International, Direct Impact Group, Dóchas, Fingo – Finnish Development NGOs, Global Dialogue/Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society (FICS), Habitat for Humanity International, Hichert & Associates Consulting, InterAction, International Women’s Development Association (IWDA), Islamic Relief Worldwide, Mercy Corps, Oxfam International, Partos, Plan International, Save the Children International, Sightsavers International, SOS Children’s Villages International, Stiftung Asienhaus, Transparency International, Tyto Alba Consulting, WaterAid, Wikimedia Germany, World YMCA and World Vision International.

A monthly community newsletter is carefully curated to share information on planned collaborations, partner updates, events and resources.

The members meet online every quarter learn and share from each others’ insights, as well as thought-provoking content from external contributors, on future scenarios and foresight.

An annual meeting allows the opportunity to collaboratively explore one particularly ‘hot’ or impactful futures topic in much greater depth, and explore exciting new futures initiatives from and beyond community members.

From 2020-21, we have looked together at the interconnectedness of global trends and strategic decision-making in times of complexity and uncertainty, in two online meetings. Outcomes are shared below and with our new Sector Guide on ‘Strategic Decision-Making in a Whirly World’.

Our learning topic from 2022 will be on climate just and biodiverse futures. We will use the big developments from 2021 coming out of COP26 commitments on climate change and the new global biodiversity goals to 2050 being agreed, as the starting point to generate new insights and share organisational approaches and strategies being used to contribute effectively towards net zero and nature-positive futures.

The community was started in 2015 with seed funding by The Rockefeller Foundation. Other project funders since 2018 have been the Stiftung Mercator and the Ford Foundation. The peer learning platform is also part-supported by its members. Membership is open to other individuals and organisations working in this space and interested in these topics.

Past projects

In 2019, our first Sector Guide explored the implications of China’s rise on the future work of ICSOs on how these organisations can strengthen their capacities to deal with the multi-faceted implications of the Chinese ‘big development model’ for their work around the world.

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Scanning the Horizon Monthly Newsletter


Head of Futures and Innovation

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