QUAKER INSTITUTE FOR THE FUTURE
QIF envisions a global future in which humanity is in right relationship with the commonwealth of life.
Our concern is global – as well as local.
The mission of QIF is to advance a global future of inclusion, social and economic justice, and ecological well being through participatory research and discernment.
We see inclusion as people having secure and equitable access to the decision-making processes that affect their lives and the common good of their environments.
We see social and economic justice as people having secure and equitable access to the means of life, and to the opportunity for making a contribution to their communities.
We see ecological well-being as the resilience of a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship and the continuous renewal of the whole commonwealth of life.
We see participatory research and discernment as essential for creating the social and ecological wisdom that advances the common good.
QIF adds a Quaker voice to public discourse. It calls on Quaker experience and approaches that contribute to the advance of governance for the common good, and the promotion of values necessary for social and ecological well-being. Underpinned by coherent and systemic analysis that supports strategic intervention and social action, QIF shares its work in various forms, including books, pamphlets, reports, newsletters, website, conferences, workshops and seminars.
Research & Discernment on Economics, Ecology & Public Policy for the Common Good
“The Society of Friends has a great intellectual task ahead of it… [this] task is spiritual as well as intellectual, in the sense that it involves not merely abstract knowledge, but love and community…. The search …. today is for a human identity which will permit [ humanity] to live in peace …. the true world community for which we all long. In the establishment of this world community the Society of Friends has a great pioneering work to do.”
— Kenneth Boulding, “The Evolutionary Potential of Quakerism”, Backhouse Memorial Lecture, Australia Yearly Meeting, 1965
Focus of Our Concern
– Moving from economic policies and practices that undermine Earth’s capacity to support life to an ecologically based economy that works for the security, vitality, and resilience of human communities, and for the well-being of the entire commonwealth of life.
– Bringing the governance of the common good into the regulation of technologies, and holding ourselves responsible for the future well-being of humanity and the Earth.
– Reducing structural violence arising from economic privilege, social exclusion, environmental degradation, and militarism through the expansion of equitable sharing, inclusion, justice, and ecosystem restoration.
– Reversing the growing segregation of people into enclaves of privilege and deprivation through public policies and public trust institutions that facilitate equity of access to the means of life.
– Engaging the complexity of global interdependence and its demands on governance systems, institutional accountability, and citizens’ responsibilities.
– Moving from societal norms of aggressive individualism, winner-take-all competition, and economic aggrandizement to the practices of cooperation, collaboration, common wealth sharing, and an economy keyed to strengthening the common good.
I have been suggesting that one of the things we could do with is an institute for the study of clouded crystal balls … The great predicament of the human race is that all experiences are of the past but all our decisions are about the future. Unless we at least think we know something about the future, decisions are impossible, for all decisions involve choices among images of alternative futures. This is why the study of the future is more than an intellectual curiosity; it is essential to the survival of humankind itself.
Kenneth E. Boulding, The Future: Images and Processes