IFF operates in circumstances where the conceptual emergency is evident - where paradox, ambiguity and complexity characterise the landscape, where new frames and new language are needed to outgrow old mindsets, where releasing human potential could make all the difference, where rapid change means yesterday’s solution no longer works, where long term needs require a long term logic, and where only genuine innovation has any chance of success.
IFF has pursued such work initially in Scotland, where IFF has its home, and increasingly elsewhere - always in a global context.
We have worked with a range of clients and partners on a variety of challenging issues. More detail on some of these projects is available on our programme pages. Here are some examples:
- 10,000 year thinking about the care of radioactive waste and the challenges of managing the long term in a short term political and economic culture (for UK Nirex Ltd);
- tackling climate change and energy security at the same time, beyond the narrow search for win-win policies (for a consortium of UK Government Departments, supported by Shell);
- addressing the growing burden of mental distress and mental illness around the world including through developing the psychological capacity of organisations (funded by World Economic Forum, NESTA and the Foundation for Advanced Cardiac Therapies);
- tackling the problems of overload on the infrastructure in a thriving city region (funded by BT for Edinburgh city region);
- fostering the long term sustainability of the arts and cultural creative ecosystem in the UK (funded by a consortium led by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Accenture and others);
- 21 st century regeneration thinking for an old industrial region in transition (for the My Future’s in Falkirk partnership led by Falkirk Council, BP and Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley).
- helping to imagine and design an appropriate education system for the 21st century (for a range of partners including Scottish Government, Learn Direct Scotland, the REAL Partnership Glasgow, North Lanarkshire Council);
- helping a UK philanthropic foundation extend its thinking and establish a context for developing its future work programme in the area of promoting democracy (for Carnegie UK Trust).
- supporting the design and establishment of two significant new institutions: the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and the Scottish Parliament Futures Forum.
We are also keen to share the learning from this wide experience more widely for the greater good. People caught up in intractable circumstances often do not have the necessary initial resources to break into new patterns of action. Governments, foundations and other agencies have resources but no effective local or global structure to support transformation and end up throwing good money after bad.
IFF increasingly operates in a brokering role between those in over their heads in the 21 st century and traditional structures of support struggling to respond. Hence IFF is also constituted as a charity for this purpose to which all profits from IFF Praxis Ltd are contributed.