University of Lahore and AGAHI Sign a Collaboration Agreement to Leverage Skills on Futures Research

LAHORE: AGAHI a not-for-profit organization and the country partner of the Millennium-Project, a Global Futures Studies & Research participatory think-tank signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Lahore focusing on establishing Pakistan’s first ever Foresight Lab; envisioning a knowledge exchange initiative that would beacon an effective and efficient way for attaining mutually compatible goals of technological innovation, enhancing national competitiveness, performing as an engine for inclusive prosperity by involving a wide range of exchange mechanisms linking academic fraternity from all disciplines within the ambit of futures research.

The MoU signing ceremony was held at the University of Lahore. The purpose of this collaboration with University of Lahore is to engage academic fraternity along with other stakeholders to make well informed choices and decisions about policies, programmes to anticipate future trends and foster an ecology of Futures research perspectives in Pakistan, thereby; enabling the policymakers to opt for an appropriate policy choices. The Partnership will effectively communicate futures research relating to the changing dynamics of various challenges at a National Scale and improve the capacity of existing academic professionals and their values that would intrinsically improve the overall inclusive prosperity and reprioritize the decision-makers towards developing innovation-generating processes focusing on the role of technology change and knowledge, by engaging with various actors contributing on them. Awais Raoof, Chairman University of Lahore acknowledged the role of AGAHI and Interactive Group of companies in engaging their academic faculty in contributing their expert acumen on Futures research. He further deliberated, The initiative will bring together experts from different disciplinary and academic backgrounds to roadmap their expert opinion and adapt existing methods and models to combine techniques to envision a broader range of insights in to futures research and development contributing towards publishing of Pakistan State of the Future Index (PK-SOFI).

Foresight Lab, a community driven facilitative platform developed by AGAHI in collaboration with the Interactive Group of Companies is focusing on improving public service delivery by developing better clarity amongst decision makers about challenges confronting the society, equipping them with tools required to create distinct opportunity to connect and enhance their capacity to access public services. Speaking on the occasion, the co-Founder of the Foresight Lab, CEO and Chairman Interactive Group of Companies Dr. Shahid Mahmud stressed the need for cooperation to meet the challenges of a fast progressing world that make the times we live in both exciting and frightening; sharing knowledge and furthering ideas like never before. It’s time for a new way of thinking that’s driven by data; Foresight Lab aims to accomplish this.

The idea that policymaking and its subsequently developed solutions and models, should be evidence-based is becoming ever more ingrained in the mind of policymakers around the globe. AGAHI with its local partners Interactive Group of Companies and Eikon7 along with other leading academic institutions are creating a Foresight model that will have the ability to track expected state of the future over time at national, provincial and district levels – that will enable decision-makers to opt for the most informed policy choice. The inception of Foresight Lab is not based on prediction, rather it will serve as a prescriptive knowledge-based diagnostic mechanism to test assumptions; which is in itself an ongoing process of thinking through the unchartered territories forming new neural pathways to chalk out alternate possibilities for future trends. The Foresight Lab aspires to help the decision makers in improving the state of the people by providing relevant tools and instruments for information creation, knowledge generation, strategic narrative and policy design. Puruesh Chaudhary, the Founder and President of AGAHI emphasized that “ the extended partnership with the academia is to improve the quality decision-making whilst developing advanced knowledge of futures research empowering the knowledge workers in the country to improve the wellbeing of the people of Pakistan.

AGAHI is a not for profit organization established in Islamabad in 2011 under the Society Registration Act 1860. Its primary function is to create non-paid communication strategies, content intelligence structures, development collaterals and tools for diverse sectors and organizations. AGAHI encourages and advises individuals and institutions in pursuing and supporting initiatives to improve the state of development in Pakistan. It works on developmental frameworks facilitating information and knowledge sharing platforms on understanding challenges in global perspective. Its research work mainly focuses on national and international security, ICT, competitiveness, human security, and governance. AGAHI in association with several leading national and international partners focuses on creating shared spaces for interactive learning, collaborative thinking, and knowledge sharing. It is at the forefront of devising foresight research and future scenarios work in Pakistan. AGAHI works with highly motivated and qualified professionals who have substantial experience in learning and leadership development.

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Published in The Balochistan Point on August 18, 2017

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