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:

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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

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“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer remains” Eric Hoffler, Philosopher (extracted from UNESCO’s How Do We Identify Great Opportunities? A Reflective report, 2015)

Welcome to the Future!

To paraphrase a brainy quote from the great Yogi Berra, the future isn’t what it used to be and the setting in which the country operates is shifting rapidly at the local and global levels. The direction, shape and provision of higher education, learning, research, industry demands, workplace settings and society will be very different from what we see today.

Roughly three to four months ago, the board of directors of Northwestern University (NWU) Laoag approved the creation of the Philippine Center for Foresight Education and Innovation Research (PhilForesight). PhilForesight was establish to  advance forward knowledge, futures awareness, education and research and the application of futures studies and strategic foresight in the Philippines. The idea to establish a center dedicated to futures studies and foresight was conceived in one of many after conference conversations we’ve had at the UNESCO Laoag futures literacy knowledge lab forum-workshop.

As a forerunner of futures studies and strategic foresight in the Philippines, the PhilForesight is a hub for futures and strategic foresight teaching (theories, knowledge, content), research (method), innovation and action-learning (applied).   Philforesight aims to advance futures studies and strategic foresight on a social and wider scale.

An after UNESCO FL KnowLab forum workshop open space and dinner for facilitators and organizers hosted by Northwestern University last year

An after UNESCO Futures Literacy Knowledge Laboratory forum workshop  dinner and open space for facilitators and organizers hosted by Northwestern University last year

Northwestern University through the University Center for Research and Development (UCRD) took a case study approach to create and shape the operating design and framework of the PhilForesight center. NWU took note and learned much from real life and learning by acting examples, skype and email conversations and engagements with six of the top futures and foresight institutes and international organizations in the world – the Hawaii Research Institute of Futures Studies at the University of Hawaii, the Graduate institute of Futures Studies at Tamkang University Taiwan, the Center for Engaged Foresight, the UNESCO Chair in Anticipatory Systems at the University of Trento, Italy, the UNESCO HQ Foresight Section and the World Futures Studies Federation.

Also, last summer, Northwestern University via its institutional planning office and Philforesight funded and organized  a six days foresight driven strategic planning forum-workshop for its middle and senior level managers and supervisors to explore and create the university’s alternative and preferred futures and to identify emerging opportunities or to borrow UNESCO’s context, “great opportunities” ahead. NWU hopes to share  its learning by doing experiences on how foresight drives and informs Northwestern University’s strategic and scenario plans, human resource, organizational development, leadership and decision-making.

Maree Conway lecture on foresight driven planning and planning beyond the status quo at the 2015 NWU Strategic Planning Conference.

Maree Conway lecture on foresight driven planning and at the 2015 NWU Strategic Planning Conference

This month, PhilForesight in partnership with the World Futures Studies Federation, Step Beyond and the University of Northern Philippines hosted and organized the WFSF’s Learning Lab project on futures literacy for women city leaders in Vigan City and in partnership with the Rotary Club of Manila, the future agenda forum on the future of food and water.

WFSF Learning Lab on futures literacy for women city leaders, Vigan City, 2015

WFSF Learning Lab on futures literacy for women city leaders, Vigan City, 2015

Future of Food and Water and the World in 2025. Casino De Espanol De Manila.

Future of Food and Water and the World in 2025. Casino De Espanol De Manila. Future Agenda 2.0. 2015.

PhilForesight Director Shermon Cruz at the Asia Pacific Foresight Network Conference at Tamkang University, Taiwan

PhilForesight at the Asia Pacific Foresight Network Conference at Tamkang University, Taiwan. 2015.

In a nutshell, PhilForesight’s objectives and services are: 1. To contribute to the global effort of creating spaces and opportunities for futures thinking, education, networking, leadership and development – theory and applied; 2. Offer futures thinking courses (for NWU students and its communities), workshops and events and activities and opportunities for internships – international and local; 3. Become a knowledge incubator and build partnerships with the private sector, industry, government, international organizations, think tanks, super-empowered individuals, futurists among others.

The goal of any organization is to empower, PhilForesight provides avenues to capacitate individuals and organizations to develop alternative and innovative ways to create their preferred future.

For more about PhilForesight and Northwestern University, please check these links –

https://www.facebook.com/PhilForesight?ref=br_rs

http://www.nwu.edu.ph/