When facing a world of challenges and opportunities—both those that are well known, and the many more that will come into prominence in the future—how do we choose where to devote our time and resources? One method to inform such choices, which the Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) is testing with The Rockefeller Foundation: convening diverse, creative, and future-minded people to discuss their unique perspectives on challenges, trends, and opportunities in today’s changing world. As part of the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City, GKI and The Rockefeller Foundation brought together approximately 50 innovators from around the world through our SCAN initiative for an Insight Sourcing Workshop. The workshop attracted participants from private sector companies ranging from Shell Energy to cosmetics company Sephora, and hailing from countries in North and South America, and Europe. This diverse group served as a breeding ground for new, intriguing ideas.
Featured on Fast Company’s website as a highlight of the Innovation Festival, the workshop invited participants to build off GKI’s insights on the changing nature of cities and offer new ways of framing problems, innovative solutions, gaps in funding / policy, and signals of change. Many of these insights drew from a similar, yet even more in-depth, Insight Sourcing Workshop held in Bangkok in early November. After writing newspaper headlines for the year 2025 inspired by the generated ideas, the innovators imagined the innovations that could make that ideal future a reality. The workshop elicited bold, exciting insights that will feed into The Rockefeller Foundation’s process for developing new programs and and maximizing social impact.