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May & June 2024 APF's Chair Report

Dear Members!


I would like to begin this report by expressing my gratitude to each of you for your unwavering commitment to our field and association. It has been a pleasure working with you over the past years.


Due to some unforeseen personal and family matters that require my full attention at this time, I need to inform you that I will be taking a three-month leave of absence from my role as Chair of the APF Board of Directors from July 1, 2024.


My official board term is set to conclude at the end of this year, marking the end of my 1+3 years of service. During my absence, the board will continue to operate under the capable leadership of our Vice Chair Miguel Jiménez and other dedicated board members. I have full confidence in their ability to maintain the progress we have achieved together.


After the three-month period I will assess how I can best support the Board and the organization without imposing and help ensure a smooth transition to the new Chair for 2025. I remain deeply committed to the APF's mission and values and look forward to returning to ensure a smooth handover as my term concludes.


Thank you for your understanding and support.


Without further ado, here are the highlights of the past two months:

  • In May and June, we have strengthened our partnerships and made some operational changes to the APF.

  • The Board is bringing our Strategic Plan to life, and we are keen to involve the entire APF in this endeavor.

  • We are also very happy to announce the winners of the APF Student Awards for this year!

  • To keep updated on the new changes to the APF, you may read the minutes of our Board meetings here.


As always, your feedback is valuable and you can reach out to us at any time to learn more about how to get involved.


Best regards,

Tanja Schindler

Chair on Leave, APF Board of Directors


 

Content


REVIEW


REPORT ON OUR INITIATIVES


OUTLOOK


 

👥Board Updates

  • The APF has officially handed in an application to be registered to participate in the Summit of the Future being held on September 20 - 23, 2024 in New York. Once accepted, APF hopes to contributevaluable insights and methodologies that align with the UN's sustainable development goals, helping to shape policies and initiatives that address future challenges effectively. If you are attending the Summit, join the APF WhatsApp group and easily communicate with other community members participating!

  • The APF is working on creating a Foresight Wiki, and is in the first steps of planning content and setting up the platform. If you are interested to participate, reach out to the Zan Chandler (zan@apf.org).

  • The APF and Dubai Future Foundation are collaborating on several proposed research topics, and we are looking forward to sharing more details with you on how you can participate.

  • Discussions have started on hosting in-person gatherings in 2024 and 2025, and we eagerly support any initiatives to host local meet-ups! You can reach out to members in your region through the regional channels on the APF Discord, and also by reaching out to the Regional Director for your area.


🤝 Our Dynamic Collaborations & Partnerships


Long-Term Strategic Planning Conference

The 2024 Long-Term Strategic Planning Conference was held on June 20-21! Last year's all-virtual conference on the more general topic of sustainability saw 1000-1200 registrants. If you missed the conference, recordings are available if you register, and APF members are eligible to receive a 45% full ticket discount when you register within the first three months. A separate link and code will be sent to APF members in the monthly Newsletter!

 

🌐Regional Gatherings


On June 5, we had the first Oceania Fireside Chat featuring James Balzer! Members from the Oceania region and beyond happily participated in his discussion on Creating Better Extreme Heat Governance Futures. There are more events to come for the Oceania region, and you can read more below about the second Oceania Fireside Chat scheduled for July.



The APF board Regional Directors are currently creating plans and support infrastructure to promote the development of Oceania, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, and North America. The regions with the most APF members have made quicker progress as to be expected, but the regional directors will be assisting, learning from, and supporting each other for success across all regions. We are still in need of regional directors for Middle East and Africa. Oceania has already been active with instituting a regular Fireside Chats event featuring their members.


The North American advisory group already has teams working on creating a master calendar of foresight events, a template for hub webpages, guidelines for hub establishment, and a “cookbook” full of “recipes” for hosting successful events of all sizes. If you are interested in assisting with the development of your own region or partnering with APF members in your vicinity to create a hub in your area, please reach out to your respective regional director. The North American region is already planning a smaller gathering for the fall and a major gathering for early 2025 which we hope to make official announcements about soon. As we continue to build capacity, I encourage member discussions to take place on the APF’s new Discord server in the regional channels. Thank you and stay tuned for more during this exciting organizational change!

 

Seth Harrell

APF Director of North America Affairs


 

🏆Student Awards


For this year's awards, four schools participated:

  1. University of the Sunshine Coast (PhD category)

  2. University of Houston  (Masters Individual and Group)

  3. OCAD (Masters University and Group)

  4. Stellenbosch (Masters Individual)

 

Sixteen pieces of work were submitted, and fourteen judges assisted with each piece being graded by three judges.

 

We are forever grateful to Peter Hayward and Charles Brass for continuing to manage the Student Awards!


We would also like to thank our judges for this year: Josh Calder, Sam Miller, Sabine Lehman, Verne Wheelwright, Maggie Greyson, Jim Burke, Paul Tero, Zabrina Epps, Terry Grim, Tim Morgan, Tim Mack, Barbara Bok, John Sweeney, and Jim Breaux.


A big congratulations to our winners! We will be posting more information about their award winning work soon, and you can also learn more about their work on FuturePod.


PhD Category

Winner                  Kimberly Camrass – Regenerative Futures - USC

Honorable Mention   

  • Gil Douglas – Transilient Futures - USC

 

Masters Individual Category

Winner                 E Lane – Investigating the Futures Community - OCAD

Honorable Mention   

  • Lavonne Leong – The Futures of the Museums - Houston

  • A McKie – Dark Tourism-  SBS

  • J Law – Disinformation Futures -OCAD

 

Masters Group Category

Winner                  Olbert et al Houston – Masters Plan Game – Houston

Honorable Mention     

  • Tzouras et al – Housing as Reconciliation – OCAD

  • Castillo et al – 2043 Nunavut Wildlife conservation - OCAD

 

🌟 Member-DRIVEN Initiatives

If you haven’t signed up to participate or lead a member-driven initiative, you can still do so through this form


These initiatives are:

  • Code of Ethics led by Terry Grim

    • The Association of Professional Futurists is undertaking a collaborative initiative to develop a Code of Ethics (CoE). This effort recognizes the role of ethical best practices in defining professional conduct, fostering trust with clients, and distinguishing APF members in the global foresight community. Given the unique challenges of our evolving and globally dispersed discipline, we've adopted a phased approach. The initial draft, focused on foresight methods and practices, has been developed with input from diverse futurists and is currently under peer review worldwide. Concurrently, we're establishing an Ethics Advisory Committee to address member queries and collect insights for future phases. This iterative process allows us to start with core principles while laying the groundwork for a more comprehensive code that will evolve with our profession. The CoE aims to not only guide member behavior but also to stimulate ongoing discussions on ethical norms in foresight, ultimately elevating our field's professional standards and public trust.

  • Foresight Evaluation led by Annette Gardner

    • The 8-member Steering Committee of the APF Foresight Evaluation Initiative is developing a foresight evaluation guide for foeresight practitioners with some evaluation expertise. It is also developing an online foresight evaluation toolkit that is a companion to the guide and will be hosted on the BetterEvaluation website. Both resources will be available in September. Also, the Steering Committee is developing an Evaluation Enthusiasts community of practice and will engage the APF membership in September in sharing of resources, networking, cases, and mentoring.  For more information, please contact Initiative Chair, Annette Gardner, PHD. 

  • Book Club

    • A member of our community has already stepped up to lead this initiative, and we will be sharing more exciting news with you once plans have been finalized!


Other initiatives waiting to be kicked off:

  • Online Learning & Webinars - organizing learning events and webinars for APF members and the public

  • Regional & City Gatherings - organizing regional in-person gatherings

  • Futures-X - launching a new speaking platform for Futurists

  • Regional ProDevs - organizing regional Professional Development seminars

  • Manifesto - composing a futures manifesto for the APF

  • Diversity & Inclusion - creating processes to ensure that the APF has diversity and inclusion at the core of its operations

  • Advanced Fellowship - organizing an Advanced Fellowship Programme for members, and establishing a mentoring network

  • Government Relations - advocating for the recognition of futurists and their potential contributions to government and policymaking



 

💬WhatsApp Group and Discord Server

Join the Community Hubs on WhatsApp and Discord to:

🔹 Network with fellow members

🔹 Participate in discussions

🔹 Share valuable resources

🔹 Stay updated on APF news and events


While these channels are open to non-members, there are special channels in the Discord server for members-only, so don’t forget to verify your account through this form.





 

🧭 Compass: Food and Futures Issue Available Now


In the latest issue of Compass, we scratch the surface of the topic food and futures, in addition to an article about the art of asking profound questions, an article about the United Nations' Summit of the Future, and a list of science fiction books that every futurist should consider reading.


Thank you to Stephen Dupont, editor, and Harmanjot Kaur, design director, for bringing this latest issue of Compass together.



 

🎬 Past APF Events: Access Recordings


🔈In June, James Balzer from the APF Oceania Community discussed how he has used futures methodologies to understand, map and influence the future of extreme heat governance in Singapore, and what he learned from this experience.


🎥 The recording of the session will be available for members soon! In the meantime, please check out our past recordings!






🔈APF First Friday for June featured Randy Lubin, where he presented on How to codesign a foresight game, especially with non-game design partners.


🎥 The recording of the session is available for members here.









If there are people you are interested in hearing from, or topics you are interested in hearing about for an APF First Friday please fill out this Suggestion Form! 💭💭💭


If you would like to be featured during a First Friday session to share something you are working on with other members, you can also fill out this interest form and we will get in touch with you! 🗣️🗣️🗣️



Did you miss any other First Friday Recording? Watch them in the Members Area:


Visit the APF YouTube Channel for more Videos


 

📅 Upcoming APF Events: Mark your Calendar

To keep updated with all the upcoming events, join our Discord channel and subscribe to the Member Calendar.



Oceania Fireside Chat: The integration of behavioural science research into strategic foresight methodologies provides a multi-disciplinary perspective that allows for the development of robust public policy that is able to respond to the complexities of an increasingly uncertain world. Dr Lavery has pioneered a method of putting human behaviour at the centre of strategic foresight processes to bring a more nuanced understanding of how humans respond to societal disruptions. By drawing upon a rich body of behavioural scientific literature, Dr Lavery brings to light the complexities of human behaviour and provide examples of how people might respond to change in ways that may at first seem surprising, irrational or unexpected. Register here.



First Friday: In the July session of First Friday, Estefania Simon-Sasyk will present TRANSFORM which is an innovative methodology that leverages the power of shared food preparation to facilitate meaningful dialogue and collaboration around shaping collective futures. Register here.


 

🌍  What's Next: july & august at APF

The Association of Professional Futurists has exciting plans for July and August, and we invite you to take part in the APF's journey.


  1. Review Membership Levels and Application Process: We aim to ensure our membership structure meets the diverse needs of our community.

  2. Improve Member Application and Onboarding Process: Streamlining these processes will make joining and integrating into APF smoother and more welcoming.

  3. Enhance User Experience and Content Library on Our Website: Upgrading our website to provide a better user experience and a richer content library.

  4. Transition APF to a Sustainable Organization: We plan to establish more member-driven volunteer committees for content, operations, and communications, ensuring APF's long-term sustainability and member engagement.


📣 Join the Foresight Revolution

  • Futures Thinkers Wanted: If you're not yet a member, there's no better time to join our community of visionary change-makers. Join Us

  • Member's Location, Pin Your Location: Pin your location let other members know where you're making a difference. Member Area


✨ Closing Thoughts


The APF is much more than the person who holds the Chair position; it is a member-driven organization built on the dedication and passion of each one of you. Your commitment gives the organization its strength and vitality. Together, we have achieved so much, and I am confident that with your continued support, we will reach even greater heights.


Thank you for your understanding and support during this period. I remain deeply committed to the APF's mission and values and look forward to returning to help ensure a smooth transition to the new Chair for 2025.


Together, we will continue to advance our goals and strengthen our community.

Let's keep working together to make APF a vibrant, inclusive, and forward-thinking organization.



CHEERS, TANJA

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