Events & Speaking Engagements

Future Planners Founder Aminah Ricks speaks about the value of engaging children in city planning considerations, design and process. Her extensive experience and multi-disciplinary approach to working with children of all ages in the practice of urban planning give her a unique perspective. She has spoken before groups of architects, planners, politicians, educators, and community groups. Her particular combination of professional training and personal passion make her a credible and dynamic voice. Aminah is fluent in English and Italian and gives talks and runs workshops in both languages.

November 27 – 29, 2019
European Network Child Friendly Cities
Bristol, England

Towards the Child Friendly City, Children’s Rights in the Built Environment International Conference
Parallel Talk | Child-friendly cities = Human friendly cities

As children take centre stage in the movement for sustainable living, this event will be an opportunity for the built environment sectors to show how they are responding. There will be an inspiring programme of speakers, workshops and field trips, each engaging with the most current issues for children’s rights in towns and cities.

The conference will highlight the latest research, policy initiatives and practice innovations from the range of sectors impacting on children in the urban environment, including planning, traffic, transport, and housing, as well as play, youth, parks and leisure.

September 29 – October 6, 2019

Workshops and Public Talk in Pristina, Lisocke and Kamenica, Kosovo

One week consultation with the Mayor of Kamenica, city hall staff, Foundation 17 (the sponsor organization) and other stakeholders. This area is challenged with low density and look to Future Planners to consult on tangible solutions by leading a 2-day workshop with the goal of developing a concrete plan on how to revive abandoned school buildings in the region. The focus will be on implementing programs with child and family-friendly concepts to support local communities.  Further, Future Planners will lead a 1-day workshop with children in Kamenica, outside the capital of Kosovo. The week will culminate with a public talk, in the capital of Pristina, to share concepts generated by Future Planners from children-centered urban planning programs conducted in both New York and Italy.

July 31, 2019
Japan Women’s University
Tokyo, Japan

Lecture & Workshop | Child-friendly cities = Human friendly cities

The Japan Women’s University is the oldest and largest of private Japanese women’s universities, established in 1901. Future Planners will meet with architecture and city planning students to share cross culturally on experiences with engaging young children in the U.S. and Europe on urban planning concepts and programming. The lecture will be followed by a hands on workshop to place students in the mindset of young children. Event culminates in a Q & A session, followed by a guided tour of Tokyo, through the perspective of a child.

May 4, 2019
South Oxford Park
Brooklyn, USA

A group of 5 -7 year old children gather for a neighborhood tour and discussion of this private development area in Fort Greene Brooklyn. Future Planners was hired by one of the children to host the event. From analyzing the street, to the green and recreation areas, and finally the playground, kids were challenged to discuss their ideas on how to improve this area. Further, once indoors a session of various model building areas provided inspiration for taking their concepts into concrete form. Event culminated with leave behind building materials for the children to continue exploring their thoughts on neighborhood design.

January 27 – 29, 2019
Vienna, Austria

6th International Mayors’ Conference
Promoting Social Cohesion – Youth Participation in our Communities 

Panel Lead | Reviving Public Spaces – Developing spaces for community encounters with participants from Lebanon, Turkey, Austria, Kosovo and Italy

Act.Now will provide the space for dialogue – frank, open, uncensored, and on equal terms – between the Mayors and civil servants of the NOW Mayors’ Network (Europe, the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East), local, regional and international politicians, policy- and decision-makers, educators, experts, representatives of GOs and NGOs, and a large international group of young people from Europe and the MENAT region – around the main topics of participation and education.

Young people are underrepresented in decision-making processes which affect them, although their engagement is crucial to democracy. Our aim is to co-create and develop bold ideas and projects, jointly lead by young people and municipal and educational institutions, to shape the societies they are going to live in.

International Mayors’ Conference

November 4, 2018
Van Alen Institute
New York City, USA

City Making from the Outside In
Workshop | Make YOUR Playground

Playgrounds are built for children, so why not allow children to become the architects of the only space in the public realm that is truly theirs? Van Alen and Future Planners present this three-hour hands-on workshop, Make YOUR Playground, to turn on young imaginations and consider the multitude of priorities for playground planning.

Participants meet at VAI and then walk to explore Madison Square Park’s Police Officer Moira Ann Smith Playground.  Hands on building of models back at VAI and box lunch included.
Time: 10:00am—1:00pm

Make YOUR Playground workshop

New York City | Van Alen Institute Make YOUR Playground Workshop

September 25, 2018
Wiener Rathaus, City Hall of Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Child in the City World Conference
Presentation | Youth Oriented City Planning Benefits More than Children

Children’s professionals, university lecturers, researchers and city planners from all over the world will share their knowledge and research on child-friendly cities.

Child in the City World Conference

21 Luglio, 2018
Largo Ferrer
Spoleto, Italia

OFARCH Officina d’Architettura
Keynote Speaker & Workshop Leader | Le Città Migliori Includono le Esigenze e le Prospettive dei Bambini

An Italian language presentation/workshop with young children of Spoleto, providing a hands-on project for them to design improvements to resolve the lack of integrated play-spaces and playgrounds in the city.  The day will culminate in a talk to residents and a proposal to be shared with key politicians in City Hall, providing valuable insights to make Spoleto more kid friendly.

OFArch & Future Planners Outdoor Piazza Workshop

June 22, 2018
Van Alen Institute
New York City, USA

Flash Competition sponsored by Van Alen Institute, NYC Cultural Affairs and NY State Council for the Arts
Judge | FLOW! Getting Around the Changing City

Juror for flash design competition in NYC which invites multidisciplinary teams of urban planners, architects, designers and artists to propose design solutions for moving traffic, pedestrians, bikes, and buses safely in the Lower East Side of Manhattan with the impending L subway shutdown.

January 13, 2018
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Brooklyn, NY, USA

I Have a Dream Celebration
Lead Speaker & Facilitator | Brooklyn Kids March

Children listen to stories about Martin Luther King Jr. and design a protest sign that promotes friendship and equality in their neighborhood.  Group activities followed by a peace march around the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum Event

November 3, 2017
Hunter College
New York City, USA

American Planning Association New York Chapter Annual Conference
Panelist & Presenter | Youth Engagement in Planning: Strategies for Planning More Inclusive Cities

This session brings together a diverse group of planners and youth development professionals to present on the need to plan safe, healthy and inclusive cities with and for youth informed by their perspective. The session will begin with each panelist briefly introducing themselves and speaking to one or both of these dimensions. The rest of the session will be a chance to ask questions, and to hold a discussion and sharing of strategies that folks on the panel and the audience have used to engage youth.

APA Hindsight Conference