Catalysts for change: vizualizing the horizon of poverty
Purpose ‐ The Institute for the Future (IFTF) has collaborated with the Rockefeller Foundation and its Searchlight function to create a framework for broad engagement in strategic thinking about ways to catalyze change in the lives of poor or vulnerable
communities. This paper seeks to focus on this broad-based approach. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Starting from the top-down horizon scan of the foundation's Searchlight partners ‐ a network of horizon scanning organizations ‐ IFTF
created a public database of signals of innovation and disruption in the domain of poverty and social change. This signals database was used to build a visual map of catalysts for change, creating a simple hierarchy of four catalyst types, each containing four action zones and a pivotal challenge.
This map provided the language and framework for engaging a global community in a serious game to extend the vision of the Searchlight function and capture novel ideas for innovations that could improve the lives of those in marginalized communities. Findings
‐ With an estimated global reach of 160,000 views and 1,600 game players from 79 countries, the game produced more than 18,000 ideas about catalysts for change. Originality/value ‐ This framework of foresight (the signals database)
to insight (the visual map of catalysts for change) to action (global strategic game) demonstrates a way to integrate top-down expert foresight with bottom-up strategic ideation on a global scale.