Humanitarian Futures: Capacities for 21st century humanitarian organizations

The types, dimensions, and dynamics of humanitarian crises are increasing – in some instances exponentially. The challenge for those with humanitarian roles and responsibilities is to have the capacity to deal with ever increasing complexity and uncertainty. A starting point is to appreciate that much of the future will have decreasing links with the past, that planning from the future offers a far more creative way to prepare for dealing with plausible crisis threats of the future.

Taking aim at this challenge, recent work has helped create a new set of tools and resources for enhancing organizational and inter-organizational capability to assess the extent to which organizations’ current thinking and behaviour reflects truly anticipatory and adaptive capacities, embraces new approaches to innovation and innovative practices, and fosters new forms of collaboration and leadership that go well beyond the humanitarian norm.

On 12 December, PHAP organized an online briefing providing participants with an introduction to “strategic foresight” and to a new set of tools developed for this purpose. Beris Gwynne from Incitāre and Randolph Kent and Joanne Burke, creators of the Humanitarian Futures Platform, explored the capacities that can help humanitarian organizations ensure that they are “fit” for the future.

Read interview with Randolph Kent on the concept of “humanitarian futures” and how it is being used by actors in the sector

Why should you watch the recording?

To get an introduction to the concept of humanitarian futures, and to learn about capacities and new tools that your organization can develop and use in your strategic exercises.

Audio and video recordings of the session will be soon available here.

Target audience

This event was open to the public but specifically targeted those within humanitarian organizations concerned with longer-term strategic planning, decision-making, and organizational development.

Recommended resources

Guest experts

Randolph Kent

Director, Humanitarian Futures Platform

Joanne Burke

Project Consultant, Humanitarian Futures Platform

Beris Gwynne

Director, Incitāre

Event host

Markus Forsberg

Collaboration Center Manager, PHAP

Geneva Humanitarian Connector

This event was made possible through the Geneva Humanitarian Connector, an initiative of PHAP supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

December 12th, 2017 3:00 PM   through   4:15 PM

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