What We Do
Evolutionary Futures Lab is a California-based social enterprise that enables learning and collective action for systems transformation through educational programs and community-centered strategic initiatives. We work with and alongside international allies, partners, and clients to explore and catalyze evolutionary futures that are radically more just, sustainable, and flourishing.
Our client work is highly customized and context-specific. We draw from long-established schools of thought, cutting-edge ideas and practices that continuously emerge in our field, as well as insights, processes, and methodologies developed through our own work to cultivate a thought partnership with each client and explore feasible and viable design solutions that are aligned with our most up-to-date understanding of how complex social systems evolve.
The public-facing activities that we are known for include Evolutionary Futures Challenge (a biannual event that provides a platform for showcasing systems transformation work), Evolutionary Futures Fellowship (an invitation-only year-long fellowship with intensive training and 1:1 support for systems transformation initiatives), Evolutionary Futures Community (a learning and action group that supports member-led workshops and other related activities through collaborative funding), and the Though Leadership for Systems Transformation program (an evolving space for co-learning with prominent thinkers and practitioners of our time).
Evolutionary Futures Lab (formerly known as the Institute for Evolutionary Leadership) was incubated within Uptima Entrepreneur Cooperative in 2014-2015 and became Uptima's first member-company when the Institute for Evolutionary Leadership, LLC was registered in California in April 2015. Since that time, we have developed and refined our core work of designing and delivering custom educational programs, modules, and workshops on systems transformation along with relevant participatory processes, primarily for other institutions that integrated our design solutions and methodologies into their range of context-specific educational or hands-on capacity-building offerings.
Our clients (institutions that paid for our services) and beneficiaries (users of our services paid for by a third party) have ranged from the city government of Qingdao, China to Pacifico Business School in Peru to Thriving Resilient Communities Collaboratory in the United States to the Meraki People in Greece and the Social Innovation Academy in Uganda.
The organization went through an ownership change in September 2021 when one of the co-founders, Fyodor Ovchinnikov, bought the share of his fellow co-founder Manuel Manga and changed the name of the organization into Evolutionary Futures Lab to emphasize the experimental nature of our strategic initiatives and to highlight the connection with the Evolutionary Futures Challenge started in 2017. In the meantime, Uptima Entrepreneur Cooperative remained a co-owner of Evolutionary Futures Lab and we are happy and proud to stay within Uptima's member network.