Call for papers - The Futures Project's Innovators for the Future 2020

Call for papers - The Futures Project's Innovators for the Future 2020

Organization Name: The Futures Project

Apply By: 15 Jul 2020


Presentation Date: 07 Dec. 2020 - 08 Dec. 2020

About the Organization:

The Futures Project is a global initiative to envision and create our futures with life-centred innovation. Building on the UN 2030 Agenda, they want to change the discourse about our futures by making it pluralistic, informed and action-oriented. They connect thinkers and doers globally across sectors, disciplines and generations to identify the most pressing challenges of tomorrow and help create future-oriented specific solutions. They catalyse innovation by bringing together integrated thinking, targeted approaches, talent and funding.

Call for Innovators for the Future

As the world lives through a crisis unprecedented in recent history, they launch their first Global Open Call to Action for Innovators for the Future. They solicit your help to turn this severe global challenge into an opportunity - an opportunity to address the urgencies of the moment and the problems of their futures. This Call to Action is organized by the Futures Project as a contribution to the UN75 Global Conversation Initiative.

What they focus on:

Submitted projects should target one or more of The Futures Project's focus areas:

Empowerment (e.g. education, equality, future of work, financial services)

  • Solutions that ingeniously enfranchise the marginalised, bridge gaps, ensure continuity of learning and work in times of disruption, raise awareness, provide universal access to solutions and safeguard futures of communities.

Life (e.g. health, protection of biodiversity, food, energy, sustainable cities)

  • Current projects that consciously inform, sustain and protect life on our planet, ideas that support responsible management of natural resources, means to aid well-being of individuals and communities alike, solutions in times of crises that are conscious of future impacts, movements that propagate sustainable solutions.

Society (e.g. governance, social cohesion, peace).

  • Mechanisms that bring people together, agile networks to mobilise collective action, critical assessments of interventions, means to foster solidarity in times of crisis, ways to mitigate conflicts.

They encourage the applicants or those nominating to consider solutions in the range of areas mentioned. Solutions that address more than one area simultaneously are preferred.

What they look for:

They seek to identify projects that help communities, building on their motto: innovation is the future delivered. You can nominate an initiative you know of, or self-nominate a project you're affiliated with. They are especially interested in learning about work that may have gone unrecognized on the global stage, whether these initiatives are very recent or more established, provided they are relevant for today and the future.

These are the qualities that they look for in their innovators and their projects:

  • Future-oriented & optimistic: Believing in our capacity to inspire positive change and build a better world and a better future for all.
  • Unorthodox & passionate: Bold ideas that show ingenuity, passion and dedication and that move beyond traditional definitions, concerns and binaries.
  • Sustainable & responsible: Ideas that use resources with care and do not come at the cost of the well-being of others.

Specific & impact-driven: Projects that target clear needs of communities and their environment. Ideas that are meaningful to people.

Their selection process will include several stages of evaluation. Ultimately, they will choose those ideas that have the imminent power and potential to address the challenges of the time and change their futures for the better. Their international jury consists of outstanding individuals from academia, business, politics, arts and civil society. They will be assisted by a global team of volunteers.

What they offer:

Top 75

  • The Call for Innovators will select the top 75 inspiring and impactful projects and recognize them in as part of the UN75 Global Conversation project. These projects will be portrayed online in a digital yearbook as recognition of the Innovators’ work. Their work will be shared through The Futures Project’s network.

Top 15

  • Of these 75 projects, 15 semi-finalists will additionally have their projects reviewed by and receive feedback from our Jury of Leaders, comprised of CEOs, NGO directors, political leaders, impact fund managers, foundation executives, and leaders from other fields. Participants will receive feedback from this jury of leaders and training and practical support on pitch preparation.

Top 5

  • The Futures Project will select up to 5 winning projects to participate in our highly-customised Social Impact Accelerator in Spring 2021. This four-month experience will include one-on-one mentoring with experts and industry leaders, interaction with our global network, and an intensive 5-7 days, in-person training week in Berlin. While the Accelerator programme will last for 4 months, participants will receive individualised mentorship for a full year. Through participation in this programme, Innovators will receive practical training and opportunities for collaboration that will launch their projects into the next phases of impact for the future.


  • The call: Ends July 15th,2020
  • Expert Evaluation: Starts August 4, 2020
  • Jury Review: Starts September 15, 2020
  • Munich Conference: Dec 7 and 8, 2020, Munich
  • Accelerator Programme: Spring 2021

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