Future Generations University was founded in 2003 with the goal of increasing the effectiveness of community change practicioners around the world. It grew out of a UNICEF-sponsored study of successful community change work and the application of SEED-SCALE, a process for facilitating change based on human energy. The masters degree builds the skills and capacity of mid-career community leaders; we have trained community leaders from 40 countries. Future Generations University is headquartered in Franklin, West Virginia, USA.
Future Generations University teaches and enables a process for achieving equitable change that empowers communities to shape their futures.
Future Generations was established in 1992 with a research mandate from UNICEF to understand how to scale up community-based social change. The global family of Future Generations organizations seeks a global shift in practice that promotes partnerships between communities, governments, and organizations to achieve community change and conservation, and action that builds from successes in every community, guided by evidence, with a focus on changing behaviors as the outcome so as to achieve just and lasting futures for these communities. The organization will promote a vision of "100 nodes of change" or demonstrations that are evolving more effective practices that fit local ecology, culture, and economy- to grow a better world for present generations and generations yet to come.
This University promotes respect for all life and the conditions for harmonious coexistence. It recognizes the dignity of every human being with particular interest in the well-being of families, children, and community. This program adopts a holistic and ecological approach to community change. It emphasizes equity, empowerment, and self-confidence, especially among marginalized members of the community. Future Generations University commits itself to ethical standards of community change, sustainable livelihoods, conservation, and peacebuilding. The University is also committed to freedom of expression and the pursuit of truth in teaching and learning.
Future Generations is the collective name for an international network of non-governmental organizations. The original charitable organization, Future Generations, was incorporated in 1992 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2003, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission gave approval for Future Generations to offer a Masters in Applied Community Change and Conservation on the condition that the organization would begin the process to seek accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The first Masters class began in 2003. In 2006, Future Generations took action to create Future Generations Graduate School as a separate legal organization to run the academic programs. IRS recognition for Future Generations Graduate School of Research and Applied Studies in Community Change (EIN 20-4093450) was granted in 2006. In 2010, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools granted the Graduate School full accreditation. In 2017, the school changed its name to Future Generations University in order to better represent the growing range of course offerings.
Future Generations University is a private nonprofit institution and recognized as such by Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). Future Generations University is governed by its Board of Trustees.
Future Generations University and Future Generations operate as two legally separate entities under one organizational mission. Both organizations have separate governing boards and budgets, however these two organizations closely collaborate with each other and the independent Future Generations organizations in a growing number of countries.