The Humanitarian Futures Programme, King’s College London worked over a decade with a wide range of those from the natural and social sciences, governments and community organisations, international and regional governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as the private sector and the military:
to explore the types of humanitarian crises those with relevant responsibilities might have to face in the future
to determine the sorts of issues that need to be considered in planning from the future, such as new approaches to anticipation and adaptation, innovation, collaboration and leadership
to consider the types of organisational adjustments that might be needed to meet the humanitarian challenges of the future
to consider whether after over a half century of modern humanitarian action, the concepts and principles underlying humanitarian action were, are and will be relevant to the needs of the affected.
The extensive range of Humanitarian Futures analyses and policy papers that relate to the issues noted above form the Key Findings section of this website.
These findings are divided into five categories:
New types of crisis drivers, their dimensions and dynamics
The types, dynamics and dimensions of humanitarian crisis drivers are expanding in complexity and impact. This category gives clear examples of the drivers, themselves, and their plausible sources.
Collaboration and Innovation
Mutual self-interest, value-addeds, and comparative advantages are just some of the factors that will determine the ways that different types of organisations will collaborate and communicate in humanitarian action in the future.
Additionally, transformative technologies and their profound impacts on societal resilience and vulnerability require different approaches to adaptive innovation.
Organisational challenges and opportunities
21st century organisations will have to be more anticipatory and adaptive to deal with the speed of change, uncertainty and complexity. This category suggests how.
Leadership and Policy Making
Short-termism, be it in terms of identifying future humanitarian threats, or of developing strategic plans, will all too often leave the humanitarian organisation unprepared for the complexities of the future. As noted, effective policy making and strategic planning requires a different kind of leadership.
Alternative Humanitarian Paradigms
Increasingly traditional humanitarian actors will have to reconcile the assumptions that underpin their approach to humanitarian action with paradigmatically different perspectives. What these alternative perspectives might be is considered here.