Imagine The Future Inc is a very small project-based
cultural development and futures organisation dedicated
to the values of social justice, cultural pluralism
and ecological sustainability.
organisation emerged from a series of small gatherings of like
minded people in 1989/90 in Melbourne, Australia,
and was auspiced by the Australian Conservation
Foundation in 1990/91.
The Future was formally incorporated as an independent
not-for-profit association in Victoria, in February
1996 (Reg. No. A0032709J).
1992, after months of submission writing by ITF members,
the Victorian Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia's
Commission for Missions provided seed
funding which allowed ITF to establish a small secretariat
and the world's first Ecoversity in the ACF building
in Fitzroy, an inner Melbourne suburb.
vision of the future is of culturally rich and diverse
communities in which all people live more harmoniously
with themselves, with one another, and with the biological
communities on which we all depend. ITF has no religious
nor political affiliations.
work is guided by our philosophy and goals, and is managed by a committee of members. All our social innovations,
including Re-imagining your neighbourhood, Redreaming the
plains and the ecoversity, are project-based
and depend on external funding.
ITF's sponsors have included the Australia Council, Australian
Film Commission, Reichstein Foundation, Sidney Myer
Fund, Commission for Missions of the Uniting Church
in Australia (Victorian Synod), Vicnet, Victorian Health
Promotion Foundation, Norwich Financial Services Group,
RMIT University, Victoria University and the municipal
councils of Brimbank and Port Phillip. Many other
organisations have also contributed in-kind support,
including the Australian Conservation Foundation, Arts
Victoria and the Australian Multicultural Foundation.
ITF gratefully acknowledges their support.
The Future's statement of philosophy was defined collaboratively
in 1990 and 1991 in a series of small public meetings
facilitated with in-kind support from Arts Victoria,
the Australian Multicultural Foundation and the Australian
Conservation Foundation. Many people from a very broad
range of backgrounds participated in this process, from
which the following statement of philosophy emerged.
associated with Imagine The Future work, both individually
and collectively, towards creating a society in which
we live more harmoniously with ourselves, with one
another and with our 'natural' environment.
future is created by everything that has happened
in the past, and especially by what each of us does
in the present. We humans thus have the power to shape
or envisaging is a first stage in creating a better
world. By imagining the sort of future we want, we
can then work, both individually and collectively,
to make it happen.
contemplating the future, many of us feel powerless
to effect change. Imagine The Future Inc will link
people of all ages and all backgrounds in the common
task of creating a future that works for all.
Imagine The Future's
objectives were collaboratively defined, along with its
statement of philosophy, in
1990/91. They are as follows.
explore what a diverse, caring and ecologically sustainable
society would look and feel like (ie to collectively
promote public discussion about how we can achieve
such a society.
open new pathways and support actions that help to
build such a society.
encourage and promote research & development programs
that will contribute to creating such a society.
develop public awareness programs which focus community
attention on this process and invite participation.
nurture links with other agencies, institutions and
organisations and with all sectors of the general
community, including marginalised groups; to share
resources with them; to establish an effective and
encourage people of all ages and all cultural backgrounds
to imagine the kind of future they would personally
like, describe what that world would look and feel
like, then define how they could bring it about; to
provide them with support in this process through
the ITF network.
foster personal and community growth.
validate and celebrate people's achievements that
bring us closer to our goal of creating a diverse,
caring and ecologically sustainable world.
MANAGEMENT TEAM 2004
22 July 2004 ITF's management team consists of the following
members:Peter Kinrade, president (elected July 22, 2004);
Stancia Vichie, secretary and public officer; Peter
Baker, CPA, financial manager/treasurer (elected July
22, 2004); Daryl Taylor, Jose Ramos, William Kelly,
and Merrill Findlay,
projects director, and web editor/content manager.
the early 1990s Imagine The Future Inc. has been acknowledged
as a significant social innovator and futures 'think-tank'.
Its strategic interventions, such as the ecoversity,
the East Timorese youth ambassador
project (1992-93), the urban design event, What's
good urban design (1996), the youth futures
your neighbourhood, and the bioregional futures
project Painting the future
real continue to have an impact on people's lives.
ongoing social innovations include Redreaming
the plains, and Redreaming
1992 this small non-profit organisation established
the Ecoversity in the Australian
Conservation Foundation building in Melbourne, with seed funding from the Commission for Missions of the Uniting Church
in Australia (Victorian Synod). Between 1992 and 1996
it facilitated many seasons of public forums to explore the concept of sustainability
with some of Australia's freshest thinkers. The proceedings
of some of some forums are available as Cappuccino Papers (itf 1995). Audio tapes of all ecoversity events, along
with the ecoversity fitout, were acquired by Museum
Victoria in 2002 and now are available for research.
In 1992-93 ITF initiated the East
Timorese Youth Ambassador Project in partnership
with Melbourne's East Timorese community, the Human
Rights Office of the Australian Council for Overseas
Aid and other advocacy organizations in Australia and
the United States, for example, after founder Merrill
Findlay petitioned the UN
Special Committee on Decolonisation, New York, on
behalf of ACFOA and the East Timor Talks Committee,
in August 1991.
project was developed to skill and empower young East
Timorese refugees within their own communities at a
time when their interests were being ignored by mainstream
institutions, and followed a period of extreme human
rights violations and massacres in East Timor and ,
part of this project ITF facilitated a four week tour
of North America by six young East Timorese in 1993.
The young people met members of Congress and various
national delegations to the United Nations, and spoke
at university campuses and other venues. This pioneering
project has become a model for other organisations working
with marginalised communities, and all the young people
involved have continued to contribute to their communities
in significant ways. All documentation from this period
is archived and available for research.
March 1996 itf facilitated Victoria's response to the
Prime Minister's Urban Design Task Force Report, in
association with the City of Port Phillip, Urban Design
Forum, the Australian Conservation Foundation, and the
Commonwealth Department of Regional Development,and
hosted a special ecoversity event, What's
Good Urban Design, in the ballroom of the George
Hotel, in inner-urban St Kilda.
innovations include the bioregional futures research
and development project, Re-dreaming
the Plains, and the futures education program, Re-imagining your Neighbourhood.
last revised 16 July 2005.