Who we are: The Fellows, National Advisory Board, and Home Team


Our 26 fellows applied from around the United States and Canada.   People applied because they believed a futures approach would accelerate and deepen their own practice as social work scholars, educators, researchers, students and practitioners.  All of them had deep commitments to the topic of the future of health broadly defined.   We utilized a creative application process where each of our fellows submitted not only a statement of interest and overall direction, but an “artifact from the future” as a speculative futures exercise to express their own vision about the aspirational future they were most interested in.  We’re currently considering how we want to use those initial artifacts for a possible upcoming project.

Over this month, as you’ve seen, we’ll be sharing profiles of each fellow and our national advisory group to give you a sense of the people behind the scenes who are working and learning together.  

We also enjoy the input and guidance of a National Advisory Committee composed of social work leaders from around the country.   They have participated in some of our learning and contribute regularly as we navigate our changing world and the evolution of the social work profession.  Our national program office is staffed by myself, our “Futures Coach” – Dr. Jake Dunagan, Governance Futures Research Lab Director from the Institute for the Future,  and our intrepid MSW/MPH Student Assistant, Mackenzie Barron – who has also been a wonderful contributor to our overall effort.

Each member of the lab brings a unique perspective to his/her/their work and the variety of their interests, approaches and ideas is exciting.    We’re entering a phase where we look forward to even more interactions with other interested social workers.     Over the next month, we’ll be sharing posts that introduce the fellows, advisors and program team to you and give you a sense of the futures they are most interested in – and begin to provide opportunities for you to get involved and learn about futures thinking and practice.

We can’t wait to meet you and begin to build/expand a network of passionate futures thinkers on the future of health, health equity and the social determinants of health.  Look forward to working together!! 



Written by Laura Nissen

Written by Laura Nissen