Innovators for the Future: a Global Open Call to Action

Registration for 2020 has now closed

As the world lives through a crisis unprecedented in recent history, we have launched our first Global Open Call to Action for Innovators for the Future. The COVID-19 crisis exposes the vulnerabilities of our connected societies, our economies, our ways of life. Rarely has even the near future been less certain. Even though pandemics have been part of human history throughout the centuries, we realise that we are not prepared. And it shows more than ever the need for collective action, shared knowledge, solidarity and creativity.

In our Call for Innovators we look for innovative projects and initiatives in our focus areas of Life, Empowerment, and Society. We look for projects that are making positive and substantial impacts on communities and their futures, by addressing the urgency of the moment and staying committed to the future. We will recognise exemplary projects through our digital platforms and networks, and at our Flagship Conference we will select the best projects to The Futures Project’s Social Impact Accelerator, a customised training and mentoring program designed to support innovators in growing their impact.

Registration Closed

Registration for the 2020 Call is now closed. We invite you to keep working on your project and register next year. 

Sponsors and Partners

This Call to Action is organised by The Futures Project as a contribution to the UN75 Global Conversation Initiative:

In the face of the current unprecedented global challenge, we need unprecedented solidarity, collaboration, and commitment to action. The Futures Project Call to Action brings these values, which are also at the heart of the UN@75 initiative and digital cooperation, to life. Now more than ever, we must work together on a global scale to build our shared future, through innovation, creativity, and technologies for good. I am proud to welcome The Futures Project Call to Action and its vital contribution to rising to the urgency of the moment.

Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond

Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General

What We’re Looking For

We seek to identify projects that help communities, building on our motto: innovation is the future delivered. You can nominate an initiative you know of, or self-nominate a project you’re affiliated with. We 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. Submitted projects should target one or more of The Futures Project’s focus areas:

Empowerment

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

Life

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

Society

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

We’re looking for projects that are:

  • 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.

What We Offer

Our selection process will include several stages of evaluation, including expert review and a jury process. Ultimately, we will choose those ideas that have the imminent power and potential to address the challenges of the time and change our futures for the better. Our panel of experts and international jury consist of outstanding individuals from academia, business, politics, arts and civil society. They will be assisted by a global team of volunteers.

The top 75 projects will be portrayed online in a widely shared digital yearbook.

The top 75 inspiring and impactful projects will be recognized as part of the UN75 Global Conversation project. They will be portrayed online in a widely shared digital yearbook.

The top 15 projects will be invited to pitch their projects in front of this Jury at the Futures Project Flagship Conference in Munich in December 2020, and they will receive individualised mentoring and pitch preparation support.

The 15 semi-finalists will 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.

Up to 5 winning projects will participate in a 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 the TFP global network, and an intensive 5-7 day, in-person training week in Berlin. Furthermore, the selected projects will receive individualised mentorship for a full year, launching their projects into the next phases of impact for the future.

For general inquiries about the Call for Innovators, please contact us at:

contact [at] futures-project.org.

Sponsors and Partners

The Call for Innovators is made possible by generous support from our sponsors and partners. In particular, TFP gratefully acknowledges the support of Bertelsmann Foundation and BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt.

To learn more about partnering with us or sponsoring the call for innovators, contact Futures Project CEO Dr. Julia Stamm at

julia.stamm [at] futures-project.org.

Get Involved

The Futures Project is seeking committed volunteer staff to join our Call for Innovators project team! Like many who are responding to the current crisis, we are aiming to make as much positive impact as possible with few material resources. We are looking for dynamic and passionate individuals who are interested in making a difference to join our team as volunteer staff members and to be a part of making a worldwide impact.

We are seeking volunteers with a range of skills and competencies. As a Volunteer Staff Member, you will be an integral part of launching this project  Depending on your skill-set and interests, Volunteer Staff roles and responsibilities may fall under the following focus areas:

  • Communication and outreach, including social media, video, press releases, website content

  • Research

  • Support the application process, including interacting with and supporting applicants

  • Support the evaluation and selection process, including administrative screening of applications and supporting expert judges and jurors

  • Publications support, such as creating print and web publications

Applicants will be asked to submit a CV and a letter of interest. Current students may be able to use this role to fulfill an internship requirement. Read more details about the role and learn how to apply here!