Turning Experience into Foresight for Young Children and Families

“We face the future fortified only with the lessons we have learned from the past. It is today that we must create the world of the future. Spinoza, I think, pointed out that we ourselves can make experience valuable when, by imagination and reason, we turn it into foresight. It is that foresight we must acquire.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Capita and KnowledgeWorks’ most recent gathering of early childhood stakeholders opened with this quote from Tomorrow is Now, which Eleanor Roosevelt wrote near the end of her life. As our two organizations develop our forecast for the futures of young children and families, her insight reminds us that we should not only explore future possibilities but also examine the past, the present and our lived experiences of change.

Twenty high-level leaders from early-childhood focused philanthropies, businesses and policy organizations gathered in Redwood City, CA, to take on Roosevelt’s charge. Using trends and emerging issues that have surfaced during our researchand drawing upon their own expertise, they created scenarios exploring what life might be like for children, families, communities and society in 2028. A few key themes from their scenarios and reflections appear below.

Hilary Rikard