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Wealth, funding and investment practice
Imagination infrastructures

Next Frontiers 2024: save the date

For the last two years, JRF and a range of partners have convened the Next Frontiers conference. Here we set out our plans for the 2024 conference.

Written by:
Sophia Parker
Date published:
Reading time:
4 minutes

When we decided to create the Next Frontiers conference, we set out to explore and platform pioneering practice and emerging thinking in the fields of investment and philanthropy. For the last 2 years, we’ve curated programmes that were expansive and challenging, inspirational and practical. Last year we hosted over 60 speakers and over 1,000 participants in the room and online.

Next Frontiers challenged my thinking. An injection of new concepts, and a glue to join together ideas that were already buzzing around my mind.

Leah Black

We are delighted to announce that on 13 June we will be hosting this conference once again. The event will be taking place in Kings Place, London. You can also join remotely if you prefer. Sign up to ‘Emerging Futures updates’ to be notified when registration opens.

Over the last few months we’ve been thinking hard about the purpose of this year’s conference. In many ways it shares similar intentions to the last two years. But this year, we also want to bring a sharper focus on two more questions: ‘so what now?’ and ‘how shall we act together?’

To help us in this task we are bringing together an incredible programme of contributors from around the world. Together they will help us explore and unpack some of this year’s conference themes:

What is the moment we are in, and what is ours to do?

We run this conference at a time when the polycrisis - the intersecting forces of ecological breakdown, social and political instability, and exponential technological development - is impossible to ignore. It is a time of sharp increases in extreme wealth and extreme poverty. It is also a time of great innovation and new possibilities - in fields as diverse as food, energy, biodiversity and company governance. This is a time of crisis and opportunity. Will we be brave enough to face the multiple challenges, with the grief and loss they entail - and still act from a place of hope?

Where does wealth need to flow to, to better serve people and planet?

There are already inspiring examples of where funding and investment is flowing differently, to better serve people and planet. This work is being led by businesses, co-operatives and social enterprises who have rejected traditional models of financing and funding because they are not aligned with the regenerative, reparative principles of their missions. Their work gives us a clear insight into the new models of philanthropy and investment that might be needed to support and speed up the transition to more equitable futures. 

We want to platform some of these thinkers and practitioners, to underline the case for shifting traditional models of philanthropy and investment. Are we able to see past ‘the way we do things now’ to really engage with what these pioneers need?

How can we redirect wealth? 

We do this work as the Great Wealth Transfer - where up to $70 trillion of private wealth shifts hands from the post-World War 2 generation to millennials - unfolds over the next 20 years. There is a growing movement of progressive wealth holders wanting to do something different with their money - who are confronted by a ‘wealth defence industry’ unable to answer their questions. Alongside these wealth holders, around the world, there are amazing people ‘hacking’ finance systems from within to design new financial instruments rooted in regenerative rather than extractive principles. There are people exploring different models of regulation and governance that are centred on long-term gains for communities, rather than short-term shareholder gains. 

Can we be imaginative enough to redirect flows of capital to be in service of people and planet, rather than upholding the unfair economic models that are failing us all? What is needed to sustain this innovative work and ensure it takes root?

The conference will be a mix of panels, provocations, masterclasses and discussions. Contributors will be drawn from a diverse range of experiences and perspectives, spanning progressive wealth holders, experts on the psychology of wealth, practitioners building alternative futures, insiders from the wealth defence industry, the ‘boring revolutionaries’ reimagining regulatory and legal frameworks, and investors developing new asset classes and financial instruments.

The one thing all the contributors share is a deep commitment to mobilising more wealth to support and speed up the transition towards futures of human and planetary flourishing. If you share that commitment, we would love to see you there.

We are grateful to be working with Vicki Purewal and Ashanti Kunene as this year’s conference curators. Look out for our next blog from them outlining the emerging shape of the programme.

Two men standing next to a sign that says "keep growing the love".

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