Strategic Foresight, Philippine Futures Literacy and beyond

The last few months were pretty brilliant!  Iwas able to co-organize, co-facilitate, present, attend and keynote a number of futures literacy and strategic foresight courses, workshops and related conferences here and abroad:

  1. I partnered with the Department of Agrarian Reform and facilitated a two-day foresight driven planning and capacity building workshop for women cooperatives in Banna, Ilocos Norte;
  2. Keynoted the 26th League of Local Planners and Development Coordinators of the Philippines 2015 Conference held in General Santos City, Philippines. Around 1,200 participants mostly municipal, city and provincial planning and development coordinators attended the plenary session;
  3. Co-hosted and organized with the Rotary Club of Padre Faura Manila the Future Agenda on the Future of Food and Water 2040 at the Casino De Espanol Restaurant Manila;
  4. Facilitated a one-day futures literacy workshop for 120 school administrators and educators in collaboration with the DIWA Learning Systems and the Private Schools Association of the provinces of Tarlac and La Union;
  5. Co-designed and co-facilitated UNESCO Bangkok and Chulalongkorn University’s Futures Literacy Knowledge Lab workshop “Rethinking Education through Imagining Future Scenarios”; 
  6. Presented at the Philippine Sociological Society of Mariano Marcos State University’s forum on the Future of Gender and Philippine Women’s Rights;
  7. Organized a series of meetings with networks and partners to organize, advance and promote via a series of foresight and futures courses and forums in the Philippines.
  8. and two upcoming publications!

Happy to share some yehey! moments and yes! action learning photos of recent events and projects:

UNESCO Bangkok and Chulalongkorn University Futures Literacy KnowLab workshop @ the Faculty of Education, Chula Uni, 2015
1,200 Philippine Planners attended the conference, General Santos City
@ Annual Planning Conference. 1,200 planners attended the future of Philippine cities and strategic foresight plenary, General Santos City, Mindanao, Philippines
Philippine Planners Conference, Gen San!
Philippine Planners Conference, Gen San!
Futures Literacy for Philippine Millennials, 2015 Laoag City
Futures Literacy for Philippine Millennials, 2015 Laoag City
With DIWA Learning Systems! San Fernando City
With DIWA Learning Systems! San Fernando City
With DIWA Learning Systems, Baguio City!
With DIWA Learning Systems, Baguio City!
Future of Food and Water with Future Agenda 2.0 Manila
Future of Food and Water with Future Agenda and the Rotary Club of Padre Faura Manila, 2015, Manila
Community based foresight planning DAR event, Banna, Ilocos Norte, 2015
Community based foresight planning DAR event, Banna, Ilocos Norte, 2015
Community based foresight planning with the Department of Agrarian Reform, Banna Ilocos Norte, 2015
Community based foresight planning with the Department of Agrarian Reform, Banna Ilocos Norte, 2015

Futures with an Asian Flavour: The 1st Asia Pacific Futures Network Conference



Representatives from a number of nations – Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Iran, the Philippines, and Taiwan – met from March 19-20th at Tamkang University, Tamsui to partner and co-create an Asia-Pacific Foresight Network. Many of the participants were futurists working in their respective Prime Minister’s Office and others were academics working at universities.

Participants expressed a need to create such a network as the types of questions futurists in the Asia-Pacific region ask differ from their Western counterparts. The Asia-Pacific region, the president of Tamkang University, Flora Chang noted, had undergone a dramatic shift in wealth, with the creation of a new middle class. But it was not just wealth that was increasing but changes the region was in the midle of shifts in the nature of family, changes in demographics (ageing and depopulation), gender equity, and for some the beginning of an Asia that no longer copied the West but inventing and innovating, indeed, leading the way.


Participants agreed that Futures Studies could grow quicker if the partner institutions worked with each other in sharing research, finding internships for graduate students, and developing an Asian foresight approach or flavour. Currently some nations are stronger at futures studies at the university level; others at futures studies for national and Ministerial decision-makers and still others at futures studies for local cities and communities. By creating a network, each node of the network could learn from each other, strengthening research and action for all.


Among the next steps agreed on was: 1. the creation of an Asia-Pacific Futures course for university students to be held at Tamkang University in 2016. Participants should not just be students but executives from major Asian multinationals, representatives from local, state and national governments ie policymakers and community organizations. 2. The sharing of curricula from the region so that researchers could learn what works best in pedagogy. 3. The development of a futures camp for young people. This could have four strands: wealth management and prosperity; the greening of the city; and wellness and health. Futures studies methods and tools would integrate these strands. 4. The next network meeting was to be held at Tamkang University in March of 2016. 5. It was intended that by 2017, the course and the network conference could be held in other localities such as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, possibly hosted by the Malaysian government Myforesight Centre. 6. To work closely with global organizations such as UNDP and UNESCO in developing foresight throughout the region. And: 7. To edit a book on the best of Foresight in the Asia-Pacific region.


Representatives also were clear that they did not wish to create another bureaucracy or a single vision of Futures Studies. Rather, they wished to create partnerships where the community as a whole gained from each others’ differences, creating a “Food Court” of Asia-Pacific Futures Studies.

Report written by Dr. Sohail Inayatullah (2015) for Tamkang Times and the Asia Pacific Futures Network and photo credits to Tamkang University and the Futures Era Media/News/Publishing.

Some action photos here.










Strategic Foresight Forum at the University of the Philippines Manila

UP Manila Forum

“The Future as a Space of Becoming: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Philippine Futures” A Strategic Foresight Lecture at the University of the Philippines, Manila Social Science Week Celebration on February 9, 2013

To cap the University of the Philippines Manila’s 40th  Social Science Week Celebration, Prof. Dennis Morgan, futurist and professor at Hankuk University, Seoul, South Korea, the Center for Engaged Foresight and the Department of the Social Sciences will hold a strategic foresight lecture for the graduate students of the Graduate School of the Arts and Science of UP Manila. The Forum will explore ways on how Filipinos can “indigenize futures thinking.” The how do we construct our futures will be discussed.

The forum will be on Feb. 9, 2013 2-5 PM at the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Conference Room.