Exploring the next thirty years of potential social justice trajectories, the Horizons Project engaged over a hundred leaders to strategize for a more just and equitable future.

Every day movement leaders, organizers, and countless others across the social justice sector sit in today and plan for tomorrow. We plan for the coming year, the coming legislative cycle, the coming election—all the urgent moments of opportunity and crisis that we see around the corner. But how are we preparing to shape the coming decade? Or to face conditions we don’t control and still win our worldview into the common sense that drives our policy decisions, practices, norms, and culture in the next thirty years? 

What do we need to do and build now to create a country in twenty years in which dominant, broadly shared common sense drives our public policy, shared action, and private practice toward care in moments of crisis and opportunity?

That is the question that more than one hundred leaders from the social justice ecosystem grappled with through seven half-day future scenario sessions as part of the Social and Economic Justice Leaders Project’s (SEJ) Horizons Project. Our demographically diverse participants came from a range of roles within the US progressive ecosystem—they are campaigners, organizers, narrative strategists, artists, researchers, elected officials, policy analysts, and more.

Through the Horizons Project, we dropped participants into a dire 2032 and a more promising 2052, asking what capacities, roles, relationships, and infrastructure are needed to stem a more repressive future and seed a more joyful, just, and beautiful future beyond. Participants inhabited these future scenarios to draw insights for today—for what we should do (or not do) and how we should be.

Our interim report, Dispatches From Possible Futures, synthesizes what emerged, especially the insights and lessons for present-day practice, and invites you to participate in this project by sharing your reflections with us or letting us know you’d like to join us in future learning at info@sejleaders.org.

The Horizons Project sessions surfaced sobering, widely held reflections: that we’re both ill-prepared and ill preparing for what is coming in the next decade—all while our communities, our institutions, and our familiar modes of making change are exhausted. We face both known and unknown threats, but our strategies and institutions are not evolving to respond. 

At the same time, we find a throughline of hope, a willingness to look clearly at what’s needed, and an appetite for experimentation and risk-taking regarding more effective approaches.


Read the report.


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