Hello! So you’ve heard about signals of change and you want to hone your senses to spot them in the wild. You’re in the right place! Here’s a starter kit that will take you through everything from what a signal is to how to pick them out from the clutter. You’ll be a whizz in no time.

Let’s begin!

What is a signal of change?

A signal of change is like a seed of a possible future. It can be any development, idea or innovation that points to a future possibility different to today’s norms. …


Part three in a series of four exploring the future of how we govern and organise. This time, we explore how people think governance happens today and challenge five commonly held governance myths.

Co-written by Sean Andrew, Louise Armstrong and Anna Birney

If you’re arriving at this blog fresh, you might want to read our first piece on how we organise for change as it provides some context about our governance inquiry.

The past 18 months of living and working in a global pandemic have unravelled many assumptions we used to hold, including of how we organise and work together. As we continue to traverse and transition through this new normal landscape we will cross thresholds that give us the opportunity to reconstellate the structures and patterns that make up how we organise.


Governance can be transformational. When we set our sights on changing the world, we also know that governing well goes beyond preparing our own organisation, network or movement for the future. How do move beyond tweaking the way things currently work and apply governance to transform the ‘systems’ that operate in our society that maintain injustice, oppression and inequality (such as race, patriarchy and class)?

Written by Transformational Governance Stewarding Group — Asif Afridi (), Joe Doran (Lankelly Chase), Jasmine Castledine (School of System Change), Kate Swade (Shared Assets), Louise Armstrong (Forum for the Future), Sarah McAdam (Transition Network)

This…


What are the current governance approaches and ways of organising that are being used in attempts to create systems change? What would more systemic governance approaches for our work look/feel like and how might we transition to these?

Part one in a series of three exploring the future of how we govern and organise. Co-written by Sean Andrew, Louise Armstrong and Anna Birney

“Every attempt to write a new human story converges upon just one mundane, heartbreaking problem: How shall we come together, work together, create together? How shall we organise?”

Nilsson, Paddock and Temmink, 2021, Changing the way we…


Can the crisis compel us to put care at the heart of family support systems? Anna Simpson reflects on emerging possibilities that could lead to a better balance.

Photo by Foto Phanatic on Unsplash

“What makes the household a family is that each member will care about each other member and be available in time of need with no expiration date on that availability. This includes a commitment to sharing the experience of facing death.”

So wrote the influential peace worker and futurist Elise Boulding in her 1978 pamphlet ‘The Family as a Way into the Future’, seeking a definition beyond blood ties, legal frameworks or…


What does the future of women look like post-COVID? Joy Green explores conflicting emerging trends and signals and says it’s time to call for feminist recovery plans.

We used to have a trend on the previous version of this site called ‘The Female Century’ — referencing the wealth of indicators that nearly all pointed in one direction — towards the steadily increasing emancipation of women. But now, in the wake of COVID-19, that trend has taken a serious hit. …


Here’s a selection of top resources to get you started.

Three Horizons is a popular futures model that helps us contemplate long term change. Source: The Futures Centre

Are you interested in starting (or advancing) your futures journey? Here’s our pick of futures strategy resources to build your capacity for futures practice, including:
- top three futures reads
- a directory of futures tools and resources
- a selection of futures institutions and communities
to follow or join

Futures is a way of thinking in uncertain times. After such a year as 2020, we all know what it’s like to live in uncertainty. We know we can no longer trust in those assumptions upon which we used to…


Our insights on the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5°C

Ramin Khatibi, Unsplash

The release of the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5°C has, quite rightly, caused much reflection (although insufficient furore) amongst the corporate sustainability community. Here are four insights we took from reading the report, along with our thoughts on the implications for our corporate partners (or, indeed, any company aspiring to be a climate leader).

1) There’s still a chance of staying under 1.5°C, and we have to grab it!

The 2015 Paris Agreement saw the nations of the world agree to keep “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts…


‘What are we actually breathing?’, asks Emily Walsh from Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

‘What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over’, or so the saying goes. But it’s not a phrase that holds up in a world of pervasive air pollution.

Particle pollution, more specifically, is a term that describes the mixture of liquid and solid droplets in our air. There are a variety of substances that fit under this term, some of the most common being pollen, metals, soot, and organic compounds. We are breathing in particles every second, whether they are visible or not. The smaller the particles are, the more risk they present for our bodies.

News stories…


Climate Specialist, Iain Watt, on why science based targets alone won’t cut it.

Science-based targets have quickly become de rigueur for companies with aspirations to be leaders on climate change. And quite right too. The idea that corporate targets should be based on what’s required, rather than what feels achievable, is something Forum for the Future has been advocating for some time.

But I’m becoming increasingly cynical about how science-based targets are playing out in practice.

Firstly, the targets that are emerging through the official process aren’t quite as ambitious as they might be. This is partly because the official process is aligned with giving ourselves a 66% chance of staying within 2°C…

Futures Centre

Join us in tracking and understanding change, to make better decisions for a sustainable world. Powered by Forum for the Future www.thefuturescentre.org

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