About Us

Distinctive Niche in Higher Education:

Place of learning is community at Future Generations University—not a classroom in a building as at most universities (though we do meet in actual places), neither simulated online learning (though we use computers a lot). Community-based learning is how we shall advance your learning to your work which will improve lives and also the environment.


Your fellow students are very similar to you, seeking to improve their learning. Some may be around the world, and others will be in the town next door, and you will get together with them physically and electronically. What you then learn is applying knowledge and skills to improve life in your community, raising justice, promoting sustainability, making a real difference in the quality of life, an inclusive result for all.

Institutional Scope:

Future Generations University was founded in 2003 with the goal of increasing the effectiveness of community change practitioners around the world. The university grew out of and is one among now a quarter-century old global family of Future Generations organizations. They grew out of a UNICEF-sponsored study of successful community change work and the evolution of SEED-SCALE, a process for facilitating change based on resources all communities have access to advancing change that can begin now. The Masters degree and certificates the university offers build skills and capacity especially targeted to mid-career community leaders. We have trained community leaders now from 40 countries. Future Generations University is headquartered in Franklin, West Virginia, USA, and reaches especially to similar rural communities around the world.



Future Generations University promotes research, learning and action to achieve inclusive and sustainable change worldwide.



The initial Future Generations organization was established in 1992 building from a research charge from UNICEF to understand how to scale up community-based social change. The global family of Future Generations organizations that has subsequently grown seeks a global shift in practice that promotes partnerships between communities, governments, and organizations to achieve community change and conservation. This action that builds from successes in every community, guided by evidence has a focus on changing behaviors as the outcome so as to achieve just and lasting futures for these communities. Thus, the global family promotes a vision of "100 nodes of change" or demonstrations that are evolving more effective practices that fit local ecology, culture, and economy. Their objective is to grow a better world for present generations and generations yet to come.


Core Values:

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.



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. The first Masters class began in 2003. In 2006, Future Generations Graduate School became a separate legal organization chaptered in West Virginia to run the academic programs. IRS recognition followed in 2003 for Future Generations Graduate School of Research and Applied Studies in Community Change. In 2010, the Higher Learning Commission (under license from the U.S. Department of Education) 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, and this change has been recognized by West Virginia Higher Education Policy commission, accrediting body The Higher Learning Commission, and allow the federal IRS.



Future Generations University is a private non-profit institution and recognized as such by Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) with the advantageous university status of being exempt from the public support test. Future Generations University is governed by its Board of Trustees.


Operating Structure:

Future Generations University and Future Generations Inc. operate as two legally separate entities under one organizational mission. These two organizations are affiliated with parallel organizations also bearing the name Future Generations in: India, China, Peru, Afghanistan, and Haiti. Each organization in the global family has separate governing boards and budgets, however they closely collaborate with each other (see www.Future.Org) and also with a series of other independent partner organizations in a growing number of countries.



Organization Chart