The Apiary Fellowship launches “Future Visioning Conversations” initiative, calls for additional members
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > The Apiary Fellowship launches “Future Visioning Conversations” initiative, calls for additional members

The Apiary Fellowship launches “Future Visioning Conversations” initiative, calls for additional members

by Jason Roberts

January 24, 2023

The Apiary Fellowship, an initiative created to foster collective leadership, collaboration and the ability to bring about lasting change in early learning, has launched Future Visioning Conversations with Children, an initiative designed to articulate a collective vision of what early learning might look like in the future. 


The creation of a vision for early learning in Australia supports the development of strategies and pathways, discovery of shared aspirations, and a shared sense of purpose and connection, to transform the early learning system into one where every child, family and community can thrive.


“Together with children and families, we can create visions for the future of early learning that reflect the optimism, quality, diversity, cultural safety and sustainability that we know help children thrive. We can’t wait to see the outputs from the community, and share back the insights from across Australia,” said project lead Mel Hill. 


“The release of our first interim report provides an excellent summary of the why and how of this trailblazing set of initiatives.” 


Capturing visions of ECEC – three “futuring methods” deployed 


The Apiary’s future visioning work started in 2019, as the Apiary Fellows recognised an opportunity to take action and bring together the diverse perspectives of those working with and for children.


The Apiary’s work into the impact of future visioning on systems resulted in the October 2022 inaugural Early Learning Visioning Summit at which 100 participants from across the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector convened to explore a range of innovative and interactive methods to help uncover unique insights into what a future ECEC sector might look like.


Three distinct ‘futuring’ methods were used throughout the Summit, to allow for creative and divergent thinking, and to encourage participants to think about innovative solutions for the future, namely:


Method 1: Postcards to the future (photo elicitation)


Each participant was provided with a set of five photos. They were asked to choose the photo that resonated with them the most and answered the question: What is your vision for the early learning system?


Method 2: Landscapes of the future (3D system modelling)


Thirteen groups worked together to create a unique physical landscape of their vision for an ECEC community using a range of loose parts such as ribbons, buttons, foam, paper, cardboard and much more to create a model of their desired future.


Method 3: Transformative futures (narrative scenario development)


Thirteen groups developed and then articulated a transformative scenario which captured a set of five key principles that would underwrite their future vision for the early learning community.


“The value of our inaugural visioning summit was huge. Having such a vast array of talent and experience from across the ECEC sector come together to collectively create their vision of the future of the sector was incredibly powerful,” Ms Hill said. 


“The insights, themes and feedback collected has already been presented to senior policy makers from both state and commonwealth governments and will ultimately contribute to informing key stakeholders of exactly what the sector could, and should look like in years to come.”


Opportunities to participate still open as the Apiary steps up visoning input 


After the successful completion of the Early Learning Visioning Summit, the Apiary team are now stepping up their search for new fellows to support additional input into their Visioning Conversations with Children. 


The team are looking for volunteers to host future visioning conversations in their organisation or community that will enable participants to think about desired futures for early learning and environments that would enable them to thrive. 


Two of the activities are intended to be run in the same way with children and have been designed to make them meaningful, and at the same time allowing for comparisons to be drawn across adult contributions from the same activities. 


This means that children’s voices can be included and have equal weight in shaping collaborative future visions for early learning and influencing policy.


All Future Visioning Leaders will be well supported with Information Pack, containing all the resources needed to support the process, and a large body of existing Apiary fellows at hand to provide insights, experience and friendship. 


For more information, or to sign up to host a conversation, please see here

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