On April 27, 2023, Cooperation Canada hosted the inception workshop of its Global Cooperation Futures Initiative. The initiative, launched in October 2022 with funding from the International Development Research Centre, aims to reimagine the next generation of international cooperation by developing three scenarios of plausible futures of cooperation in the next seven to ten years. 

In her opening remarks, Kate Higgins, Cooperation Canada’s Chief Executive Officer, expressed gratitude to the initiative’s Strategic Advisory Committee  shared her hopes that the Futures Initiative will help strengthen the capacity of Canadian civil society organizations engaged in international cooperation think systematically about the future, and adapt to changing dynamics in the international ecosystem.   

Andy Ouedraogo, Cooperation Canada’s Research and Program Officer and workshop facilitator, presented the project’s objectives, the temporal and geographical scope, impact pathway, consultant teams, and expected outputs. She introduced strategic foresight as a useful tool and method for better future preparedness and policy innovation for actors in global development cooperation.  

The lively discussions that took place during this workshop attest to the interest in this initiative of the over 60 participants from the Cooperation Canada membership and beyond, including organizations based in Africa, Asia, and Europe. At the start of the workshop, a survey captured the participants’ understanding of strategic foresight, and their organizations’ future preparedness. 84% of respondents admitted that their organizations spent more time responding to challenges than anticipating them. On their knowledge of strategic foresight, 50% claimed to have satisfactory knowledge of the discipline. These insights will be considered in the planning and evaluation of the initiative’s next activities. 

At Cooperation Canada, we’re excited to engage with Cooperation Canada members and others on this initiative, to prepare and position ourselves to be relevant, and have impact, in a fast-changing Canadian and global context.  We look forward to your continued engagement!