How Good Futures turns big trends into actions for the third sector
Good Futures is a new subscription giving the charity sector the ‘so what’ behind big trends and turning smart insights into clear actions. Our very own Director of Big Bets, Daisy O’Reilly-Weinstock, reveals Good Futures’ origins, where it’s headed and how you can sign up.
Where did the idea for Good Futures come from?
When I started my new role in the middle of the pandemic, one of the first things I did was to have lots of conversations with directors and heads of fundraising, innovation and income, to understand the challenges they were facing and how they were going about solving them.
What became apparent was that everybody was looking over the parapet, not just of their organisation, or the sector, or the pandemic, but also more broadly, trying to work out what was coming up in the future so they could be more prepared now.
Pre-pandemic, people were going to conferences, subscribing to hundreds of newsletters and blogs and podcasts, attempting to gather and digest and reflect on all this information. But there was a universal challenge: they were massively time-poor.
I’d spoken to one Director who’d said “the ‘read’ flag in my inbox currently has over a thousand items, and I want to read all of them, I don’t want to delete them, but I do not have the time to read them, let alone think about what that means for my organisation.”
There’s this need to look at what’s coming up, and to do the reflecting to get to the ‘so what’ for the third sector. Offers like Trendwatching, Springwise and Sifted are incredible at looking at big change, and there’s a lot of in-sector, in-product insight, but nothing translating what’s coming up on the horizon that will change the world, and what that means for the third sector. That’s where Good Futures came from.
What does Good Futures offer that’s new?
We work with a team of futurists who are outside of the sector and experts in the big trends. They’re constantly looking at what’s coming up, how the world is changing, and how it will change in the future as a result.
We bring their research in-house and consider what’s interesting and important for the sector, so we can produce the ‘so what’. That’s the USP of Good Futures: it gets to the ‘so what’ for the sector. We think not just about how this trend is going to change society, but about what impact it’s going to have on your beneficiaries, your supporters, your operation and your mission and therefore what questions do you need to start asking now, to prepare for what’s next.
We give you actionable insights, by distilling what you need to consider, challenge, explore, and experiment with now. Then we bring that to life through an in-depth Paradigm Shift report and an in-person Inspiration Safari. That’s something that makes Good Futures different from other trend subscriptions: the opportunity to get your feet on the ground and speak to the business leaders and experts who are driving these changes.
What’s included in the subscription?
1) Good Futures Fortnightly includes a trend you need to act on right now, a trend coming up on the horizon that you need to prepare for, and a little bit of cultural intelligence to spark your creativity. All our trends are delivered using the formula: what is it, why should I care, who’s doing it, so what? 26 editions a year gives you 52 trends unpacked.
2) The Paradigm Shift is our deep-dive report into a macro trend, explored through a number of different lenses. Because some trends are too big to explore in a four-minute read! Our first report is on 5G (read a sample here) and our next, launching in July, is on the future of community. There are six of these a year.
3) Inspiration Safari is an in-person event to go with the Paradigm Shift report, in two parts:
- A one-day event which brings subscribers together at a location and takes you on a tour, where you’ll meet business leaders and experts in their field, to talk about how they are exploring and unpacking the trend. (We video the tour too so if you can’t make it on the day, it’s there to watch later)
- The Reunion’, which brings all subscribers back together a week later, whether or not they could attend on the day, to reflect, share further thoughts, and explore what they’re going to do next. It’s an action-oriented session.
Our first safari on 25th June will all about 5G. We’re hoping to be able to go behind the scenes at the one the Labs currently experimenting with XR and events. We’re also talking to an expert on privacy and security in the age of 5G. We’ve got some really exciting businesses lined up … but I want to keep some of it a surprise on the day.
We’re doing the safari in person to give people an opportunity to reconnect after spending so long on Zoom. The conversations you get to have after these talks are the most powerful part of the experience, because you’ll be inspired not only by the experts, but also by your peers.
4) Our Content Archive gives you access to all our content – articles, reports, videos, safaris. It’s a searchable mine of information that you can use whenever you’re researching a topic.
How do you see Good Futures developing over time?
We've got some really exciting plans for Good Futures. We want to create a community of subscribers who can share learnings, help scout what’s coming up and start to co-create the topics that we cover.