IFTF Welcomes Seven New Future for 
Good Fellows!

Over the past decade, the IFTF Future for Good Fellowship Program has supported social movement leaders and changemakers in applying futures thinking to the critical challenges of the 21st century. This year's cohort of Fellows will spend the next 10 months collaborating with the IFTF team and informing our work on the Equitable Enterprise Initiative–a  two-year project to identify actions businesses, financial institutions, health organizations, schools, and civic institutions can take to create more equitable ways of creating value and distributing assets. Our 2022 Fellows have been selected specifically because they are directly creating various forms of equitable enterprise or working on policies that promote more equitable economies.      


Meet the Fellows! 

Adriana Abizadeh
Executive Director, Kensington Corridor Trust

Adriana Abizadeh is currently the executive director of the Kensington Corridor Trust (KCT) in Philadelphia. The mission, duty and purpose of the KCT is to help the Kensington community reclaim control over a once thriving commercial corridor by reactivating real estate, fostering local entrepreneurship and reinvesting capital in the neighborhood. The KCT supports sustainable corridor development through thoughtful real estate acquisition, community engagement, and broad local ownership. Prior to serving as KCT’s executive director, Adriana was the executive director of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) in Trenton, NJ. While there she expanded LALDEF’s direct services by increasing staff fourfold, raised the organization’s visibility, tripled the operating budget, and boosted overall capacity. All of Adriana's professional working experience has been in the nonprofit sector and she is passionate about serving others. She has committed herself to serving on several boards that reflect some of her deepest passions: immigration, racial and health equity, and youth development. Read more about Adriana.

Philly’s Kensington Corridor Is Taking Back Power Over Economic Development | Next City
Mia Birdsong
Executive Director, Next River
Senior Fellow, Economic Security Project

Mia Birdsong is a pathfinder, author, and facilitator who steadily engages the leadership and wisdom of people experiencing injustice to chart new visions of American life. In her book How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community (Hachette, 2020), Mia maps swaths of community life and points us toward the promise of our collective vitality. Previously, as founding Co-Director of Family Story, Mia lifted up a new national story about what makes a good family. As Vice President of the Family Independence Initiative, she leveraged the power of data and stories to illuminate and accelerate the initiative low-income families take to improve their lives. Believing that, taken collectively, we are the guides we most need, Mia has made an art out of inviting people into rich explorations of how we map paths forward. Mia is the founding Executive Director of Next River, an institute that moves conversations, culture, and resources to nourish the people and communities whose ways of being, doing, and relating can move us toward a liberated future. Read more about Mia.

Mia Birdsong on Freedom, Equity, and Interdependence | Deem
 Mariela Cedeño 
Partner, Manzanita Capital Collective
MemberEFOD Collaborative and ChairEFOD Fund
MemberThe People's Land Fund
Community Advisory Committee memberOlamina Fund

Mariela Cedeño is the product of her Venezuelan birthplace, El Salvadoran roots, and Bay Area upbringing. For the past 15 years she has cultivated local economies and resilient food systems, and catalyzed new models of investment and economic opportunity that center and uplift BIPOC entrepreneurs, farmers, and community-based organizations. She recently co-founded Manzanita Capital Collective, a collective working to advance racial and economic justice in food and agriculture by shifting power and capital. Prior to Manzanita, Mariela was the Interim Executive Director of Mandela Partners – an Oakland based non-profit organization that works to increase access to healthy food, good jobs, and ownership opportunities. In a decade at Mandela Partners, Mariela seeded and grew economic development projects, wealth building initiatives, entrepreneurship programming, and non-extractive capital resources. Mariela holds a wide breadth of experience in community rooted economic development, small business advising, alternative capital, financial planning, non-profit management, and much more. Read more about Mariela.
Esteban Kelly
Executive Director, US Federation of Worker Cooperatives 
Founder, Guilded and AORTA

Esteban Kelly is the Executive Director for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) and is a worker-owner and co-founder of AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance), a worker co-op that has built capacity for hundreds of social justice projects through intersectional training and consulting. Esteban is a compassionate leader and visionary strategist who inspires organizers by drawing on science fiction, democratic community organizing, and social theory to expand worker ownership and the solidarity economy. Esteban served as a mayoral appointee and co-chair of the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council and was elected to the board of the international worker co-op association, “CICOPA.” Currently he is a Ford Global Fellow, a Margaret Boroughs Fellow in the Social Justice Portals Project, and an advisor to the Movement for Black Lives. Read more about Esteban.

Democratic Management: Lessons from Worker Cooperatives | Nonprofit Quarterly
Saket Soni
Executive Director, Resilience Force

Saket Soni is a labor organizer and human rights strategist. He is founder and director of Resilience Force, a national initiative to transform America’s response to natural disasters by strengthening and securing America’s resilience workforce. As director, Saket crafts the organization’s advocacy and media strategy, and provides strategic counsel to social justice advocates and government officials across the country. Saket is recognized as a national expert on post-disaster economies, immigrant rights and the future of work. He was profiled as an “architect of the next labor movement” in USA Today, and he has testified before Congress and at the United Nations. Saket co-authored And Injustice For All: Workers’ Lives In the Reconstruction, the most comprehensive report on race in the reconstruction of the post-Katrina Gulf Coast, as well as Never Again: Lessons of the Gustav Evacuation, an account of the inequities in the response to Hurricane Gustav in 2009, which led to new state policies and new norms for evacuating the most vulnerable residents in preparation for disaster. Read more about Saket.

Hurricane Chasers: An Immigrant Work Force on the Trail of Extreme Weather | NYTimes
PhD Candidate, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations

Phela Townsend is a scholar-activist committed to advancing racial, social, and economic justice. Currently completing her doctoral studies in Industrial Relations/ Human Resources at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, Phela’s research areas touch several issues, including healthcare labor and employment relations; income and wealth inequality; newer forms of worker organization, and technology’s broader impacts on workers and on today’s labor and employment systems. From 2019-2021, she was a Fellow at Next100, a think-and-do policy tank launched by The Century Foundation, where she focused on issues at the intersection of technology and labor policy and workers’ rights, and advancing solutions to improve economic opportunities in our most marginalized and underserved communities. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she worked in different capacities, in the private and public sector, with labor and employment-focused roles in a variety of industries, including Healthcare, Consumer Goods and Aerospace Manufacturing. Read more about Phela.

Policymakers and Philanthropy Must Empower Workers with Real Authority to Create Lasting Change. Here’s How. | Next100
Trinity Tran
Co-founder and Lead Organizer, 
Public Bank Los Angeles and California Public Banking Alliance

Trinity Tran is the co-founder and lead organizer of the California Public Banking Alliance (CPBA), Public Bank LA (PBLA), and Divest LA. Trinity created Divest LA and successfully mobilized activists behind the campaign to move the City of Los Angeles’ public funds from Wells Fargo. She co-founded Public Bank LA in 2017, which led the Measure B ballot initiative to create a city-owned bank in Los Angeles. In 2018, she became a founding member of the California Public Banking Alliance and lead organizer for the statewide coalition of grassroots groups which conceived of and sponsored historic State Legislative bill AB 857 to create local public banks in California. The Public Banking Act was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in October 2019. Trinity was awarded the 2021 Woman of the Year from the California State Assembly District 53 and the 2021 Progressive Champion Award from the California Progressive Alliance. She is devoted to helping underserved populations and transforming the financial system to advance social and economic justice. Read more about Trinity.

‘Finance Can Be Something That Helps Rather Than Harms Our Communities’ | FAIR

Want to Know More?

What we're reading:

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This initiative is made possible with the generous support of: 
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation 
The Ford Foundation

W.K. Kellogg Foundation 
The James Irvine Foundation 
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

View this issue online.

About Institute for the Future

Institute for the Future is the world’s leading futures organization. For over 50 years, businesses, governments, and social impact organizations have depended upon IFTF global forecasts, custom research, and foresight training to navigate complex change and develop world-ready strategies. IFTF methodologies and toolsets yield coherent views of transformative possibilities across all sectors that together support a more sustainable future. Institute for the Future is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California.

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Palo Alto, CA 94301

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