Futures for Intergenerational Equity

How can we foster a mindset that builds solidarity with future generations?

UNESCO supported by UNGP Finland and the HLCP Foresight Network


The experiment explored ways to introduce the concept of intergenerational equity (IGE) and solidarity to organizations. The experiment took a competence-based approach, developing futures tools for building awareness and capabilities in IGE primarily for UN staff and policy makers. Drawing from existing research, seven focal areas for capabilities supporting IGE mainstreaming were identified, including: A Sense of Agency, Intercultural Awareness, and Temporal Empathy. In essence, the experiment sought to incorporate IGE thinking into organizational culture, and in doing so, accelerate its gradual integration into strategies and policies.


The approach recognises that organizational transformation requires new competencies, cultural changes and mindset shifts to create awareness and demand for new approaches. It is not enough to introduce new policy evaluation tools. Organizations need to take conceptual leaps to shift into a more forward-looking and inclusive mode.

Key Lessons

  • Change starts with individuals. To transform organizations, you need to change people’s mindsets and competencies, not just processes.
  • Engaging UN staff and key players in futures work and foresight exercises is fundamental to the mainstreaming of IGE.
  • Open-ended, collaborative and tools-based strategies support participation and internalisation of new concepts.

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