WFSF Members participate in UNESCO International Expert Meetings.
UNESCO Futures Literacy Summit 2020 (8-12 December)
From 8 to 12 December 2020, the UNESCO High-Level Futures Literacy Summit provided testimonials from around the world that being futures literate changes what people see and do. From high ranking leaders in the public and private sector to activists, artists, students and professors, the Summit showed how people become futures literate and the impact it has on all aspects of life (click here to read more).
UNESCO Participation Program has funded several WFSF projects.
Joint WFSF-UNESCO publications include: “The Futures of Culture” Series (1990-1993) by Eleonora B. Masini, WFSF President (1981-1990).
World Futures Learning Lab (LEALA) is a UNESCO Participation Program project approved in 2012-2013 with pilots in DR Congo, Cairo and Penang, and approved in 2014-2015 for pilots in Haiti, Mexico and the Philippines.
WFSF-UNESCO – Partners since 1974
“WFSF represents one of the most extensive and long-established international future studies networks. UNESCO maintains close and regular relations with it and has on many occasions supported its activities, both intellectually and financially.”
– UNESCO Website
Cooperation between WFSF and UNESCO has taken many forms, including:
• UNESCO financed participants from developing countries to attend WFSF events until 1990;
• Introductory Courses in Futures Studies in the Asia Pacific Region (early 1990s), Budapest (1999-2005); Egypt, DR Congo & Malaysia (2013-14).
• WFSF Members participate in UNESCO International Expert Meetings.
• WFSF contributes to written consultations by UNESCO.
Joint WFSF-UNESCO publications include: The Futures of Culture Series (1990-1993) coordinated and edited by Professor Eleonora B. Masini, WFSF President (1981-1990):
Futures of Culture Volume 1, Eleonora B. Masini [Working Group on the Futures of Culture, Paris, January 1990]
Futures of Culture Volume 2: Eleonora B. Masini [The Prospects for Africa and Latin America, 1992]
Futures of Asian Cultures Volume 3: Eleonora B. Masini & Yogesh Atal [Futures of Asian Cultures, 1993]
Keeping an eye on tomorrow is one of the guiding principles of UNESCO, where the foresight function plays an essential part in identifying possible futures and exploring new paths for action in all its fields of competence. Serving as a laboratory of ideas, UNESCO is called to tackle today’s challenges and prepare for those of tomorrow, as well. Anticipation and foresight are interdisciplinary activities aiming at enriching the international public debates.
However, there is no longer a separate Foresight Section of UNESCO. Foresight is currently integrated across a variety of programs and sectors.
As an integral part of the Division of Social Transformations and Intercultural Dialogues (within the Social and Human Sciences Sector), there is a Research, Policy and Foresight Section. Chief of this section is John Crowley.
Also within the Division of Social Transformations and Intercultural Dialogues there is a Public Policies Capacity Building Section. One of the staff members in this section is Specialist – Anticipation and Foresight: Steven Riel Miller (WFSF Fellow & former Executive Board Member).
Within the Education Sector, there is Education Research & Foresight (ERF). ED/ERF aims to strengthen UNESCO’s function as an international laboratory of ideas and to reaffirm its position as the intellectual leader in the worldwide education debate and reflection on critical emerging trends and challenges, providing global innovative leadership and strategic orientations for education policy development and practice in all regions and all Member States, mobilising policy- and decision-makers, researchers, practitioners, public and private sectors, governmental and non-governmental organizations , based on cutting-edge research evidence. Senior Program Specialist for ERF is Sobhi Tawil.
There have been over the years a range of events at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and elsewhere as a contribution to global debates on some of the key challenges of our time:
• The UNESCO Future Forum series brings together leading scientists, intellectuals, artists and decision-makers from all parts of the world in a spirit of forward-looking interdisciplinary inquiry.
• The UNESCO Future Lectures cycle offers world-renowned personalities to share their views with an audience including representatives of the Member States, the Secretariat, intellectual and scientific communities, the media and the public at large.
• The UNESCO Future Seminars in 2009 & 2010 gathered high-level experts on select strategic and technical issues including several WFSF members.
UNESCO Participation Program
UNESCO Participation Program has funded several WFSF projects including:
• Futures courses for young people in Budapest from 1999-2005;
• WFSF World Conference in Budapest in 2005;
• An Online Centre for Pedagogical Resources PP: 2006-2007 (implemented 2008).
The aim of the OCPR in Futures Studies was to develop an interactive global repository to act as a hub to gather, store and interlink the diversity of futures pedagogical resources being created globally (including school, undergraduate, graduate, professional and lifelong learning). This encourages participation and collaboration in the ongoing establishment and development of the futures field, particularly through furthering access to leading-edge pedagogical research and practice.
World Futures Learning Lab (LEALA)
World Futures Learning Lab (LEALA) is co-funded by WFSF and the UNESCO Participation Program (2012-2013). LEALA continues the development of the OCPR and introduces three pilot projects in DR Congo, Egypt and Malaysia.
World Futures Learning Lab (LEALA 2)
LEALA 2 is co-funded by WFSF and the UNESCO Participation Program (2014-2015). It introduces three new pilots in Mexico, Haiti and the Philippines. Read More Here.