The Future Society

Boston, MA
Round
Spring-Summer 2021
Project Type
Full team
Project Focus
Operations Review,
Strategic Planning
Organization Type
Education

Organization

The Future Society (TFS) seeks to advance the responsible adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies for the benefit of humanity. TFS provides research, advisory services, platforms, fora, education programs and products that enable society to harness the opportunities presented by AI while mitigating their risks. Over the past 3 years, TFS’s presence and impact on the global scale have increased, through projects with global players including the World Bank, UN, Microsoft, and Stanford University Center for Human-Centered AI. In 2020, TFS formalized this recognition in official projects and partnerships with the main actors in the governance of AI: the AI Policy Observatory (part of the Organization for Economic Co-Cooperation and Development) and the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI). TFS has also been selected as one of the ‘Best Think Tanks for Artificial Intelligence,’ as ranked by University of Pennsylvania Lauder Institute’s Global Go To Think Tank Index. 

Issue

What is The Future Society’s unique and actionable theory of change and value proposition, and how should they be applied to prioritize limited resources for greatest impact?

Situation

A lot needs to happen to ensure the responsible adoption of AI and other emerging technologies, and TFS doesn’t hesitate to seize every opportunity for impact. As a result, TFS is sometimes described as “all over the place” - even by allies that know the organization best. As a small organization, it is particularly important for TFS to focus limited resources and operate efficiently to maximize impact. Finding a coherent identity and unifying theory of impact for TFS’s activities would help TFS be better understood and achieve brand recognition by external stakeholders, while also enabling staff to focus on highest impact initiatives.

Project Objectives

The Future Society is asking ACT to develop a clear and actionable articulation of its theory of change and value proposition, based on an assessment of TFS’s unique selling points, weaknesses, and competitive differentiation. TFS is then asking ACT to apply this work in developing a framework for prioritizing the organization’s project pipeline, and to provide a diagnostic of and recommendations for improving efficiency within projects and across the project portfolio. (Note: this project might be divided into two distinct work streams: one focusing on TFS’s theory of change and value proposition and the other on operational efficiencies. Please note, in your volunteer application, should you have a preference for work streams.)

Other

This is a Full Team project:

  • Scope: High-priority organizational challenge involving strategy or management
  • Team Size: 4 consultants, including 1project leader
  • Project Duration: 5-6 months
  • Estimated time Contribution: Team member: 3-4 hrs/week, Project leader: 5-6 hrs/week

Read more about the Full Team Project Consultant role and the Project Leader role.