Phase 1: June – December 2022

Preparing the ground and kicking off the initiative


To prepare the ground, a landscape mapping was conducted to better understand crises and trends impacting civic space as well as the strengths and weaknesses of (I)CSOs’ responses. The mapping analyses what (I)CSOs have learnt from past and present crises that can inform future scenarios for civil society operating space and identified gaps that require collective sector approaches.

The “Anticipating futures” initiative was kicked off at the International Civic Forum (ICF), the ICSCentre’s annual civic space conference, which brought together 60 civil society representatives to London (UK) on 2-3 November 2022. The ICF 2022 raised awareness why (I)CSOs need to move beyond reactive responses to shrinking space for civil society and become more anticipatory; showed examples of how futures thinking and foresight can be useful; and generated ideas on building collective cross-sector anticipatory capacity and actions.

The initiative was introduced to a broader audience at the ICSCentre’s Global Perspectives virtual conference on 30 November 2022 where a panel discussion was held on the value of anticipation and what is holding the civil society sector back from being more anticipatory.

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