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Senior Strategist

Faculty for a Future

Reporting to: Director

Length of contract: 21 months

Start Date: November 2021 (flexible)

About Faculty for a Future

Faculty for a Future is a community readying academia to stabilise and regenerate a world in existential crisis.

Accelerating natural disasters and harm to our life support systems are colliding with rising inequality, the flatlining of human flourishing, and falling trust in expertise, institutions, and each other. The human systems driving these crises are themselves shaped by fossil fuels and inequality, and thus often ignore or perpetuate root causes.

Relied on as knowledge producers, educators, and nurturers of tomorrow’s world, academia has the unique potential to help navigate a course to a stable climate, thriving nature, and a fairer society - and make this course resilient to the unprecedented environmental, social and economic instability ahead.

But at present, academia - shaped by the same influences as our other human systems - is not meeting that potential. Knowledge is too often siloed within disciplines and disconnected from local communities. Students are not being prepared for the future, and at worst being taught skills that are perpetuating crises. And the rules and incentives that govern both academics and their institutions too often obstruct meaningful contributions to planetary health and wellbeing.

At this vital crossroads for life on Earth, academia has a moral duty to be at the vanguard of securing a future fit for the next generation - and thousands of academics want to rise to it.

Faculty for a Future exists to empower this community. We are dedicated to understanding and easing the structural and personal obstacles to academia’s evolution. We connect academic trailblazers with each other and with other crucial change-making communities and work together to co-create resources and support that help academics light the way now, and accelerate the evolution of their institutions and the wider policy-making architecture.

Who we are looking for

This is a unique and exciting role for anyone who wants to help shape the future of academia. The person we are looking for will not necessarily have held a traditional role in academia but will be passionate about academia’s potential to play a bigger role in safeguarding the future for all. You will have developed an understanding of the need for academia to evolve, to be fit for future purpose. 

It is crucial that you can navigate academia strategically, think freely, and solve problems in changing circumstances. Your ability to think critically, to see the bigger picture and to work across disciplinary boundaries is more important than your disciplinary background. 

You will help us to develop the strategy required to deliver Faculty for a Future’s mission, and manage a number of projects within this strategy. You will have the opportunity to craft the success of the organisation as it launches into the public domain.

Key qualities and experience

Essential:

  • You have worked in or have experience of academia
  • You have some understanding of the regulatory context in which higher education is situated
  • You have some understanding of the shortcomings of academic research, teaching and public/community engagement, especially in the context of Earth’s accelerating crises
  • You understand how to systematically collect, analyse and interpret data
  • You are an excellent communicator, with strong writing and editing skills
  • You have played central roles in managing and delivering projects/campaigns from inception to completion
  • You have excellent interpersonal skills and experience bringing different communities and perspectives together

Desirable:

  • You have experience of academic governance and decision-making
  • You have some understanding of academic resource allocation
  • You are able to recruit and manage interns and freelancers
  • You have some understanding of the levers of change within the sector

Key responsibilities

We are developing a number of projects, all designed to help academics engage more effectively with power holders and decision influencers. We have flexibility to mould the role to your expertise - we want to maximise your strengths and empower you to make as positive a difference as possible. We also particularly encourage applicants who can make a meaningful contribution to developing Faculty for a Future’s high-level strategy, and develop new projects to meet this strategy.

Planned projects include: 

  • Guides exploring how academics can more effectively engage with policymakers and influencers, cultural production, local communities and authorities, and litigation
  • Behind-closed-doors events engaging academic communities, policy-makers and media professionals on the holistic picture of Earth’s crises and stakeholders’ role in them
  • A communications guide exploring how best academics can use their public voices to shine a light on the future and how to navigate it successfully
  • A career progression guide for early and future career academics, outlining how to navigate current institutional success metrics to make a difference
  • A matchmaking service linking academics and other crucial change-making communities 
  • A guide outlining effective strategies to evolve key determinants of academic institutions’ operations (e.g. mission statements, workload allocation models)
  • A resource that helps institutions reassess the financial, legal, reputational and existential risks of not evolving their role to meet the demands of Earth’s crises 
  • Tangible actions and campaigns designed to mobilise our community’s skillset to more directly influence power holders and decision influencers. For example, we plan to engage prospective students on the inadequate preparation they’re receiving for tomorrow’s world

Common responsibilities as part of these projects include: 

  • Working with the Director as part of the senior management team, delivering projects to completion while working to a set budget and within an evolving project plan
  • Recruiting and coordinating freelancers and interns to assist with the delivery of some of the below tasks, as and when required by project demands
  • Liaising with academic and non-academic communities, including but not limited to youth movements, students, academic unions, regulatory and professional bodies, indigenous and local communities, cultural producers
  • Deciding what information should be sought to deliver an effective resource/campaign
  • Collecting, analysing, and interpreting data and feedback to generate clear conclusions and identify further lines of enquiry
  • Producing guides that elucidate these conclusions accessibly
  • Internal communications, including contributing to a regular newsletter for all our stakeholders
  • Preparation and execution of proactive PR campaigns, reactive PR, and media relations
  • Writing and updating website copy

Application process

Please email your CV plus a covering letter (no more than two pages), setting out the ways in which you meet the person specification, why you would like this role and what you can bring to the team, to tom@facultyforafuture.org. Closing date - Monday, 28th October. Interviews will be held by Zoom from Tuesday 2nd to Friday 5th November. 

For further information

If you would like to have an informal chat about the role, please email tom@facultyforafuture.org 

Please Click on the link to view and download the full Job Description

Location: Work from Home
Salary: £30,000 to £40,000 per annum (experience-dependent)
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 13th October 2021
Closes: 28th October 2021
   
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