Calling on Africa’s Futurists

"The worst realities of our age are manufactured realities. It is therefore our task, as creative participants in the universe, to re-dream our world. The fact of possessing imagination means that everything can be re-dreamed. Each reality can have it." - Ben Okri

We can re-dream a non-violent and poverty free world. We can dream as far as Astromech droids replacing today's sometimes untrustworthy nanny.

Beyond the couch dream, we have powers to bring these to light. We can think and work towards these futures structurally - bone-throwing and listening to seashells aside.

Astromech Droid

We often find communities unprepared for the complexities and challenges that today’s rate of change presents. Through various methods, Futures Thinking allows us to carefully think of the paths to follow to reach our imagined worlds. This also informs what we do to face today’s challenges.

The amount of published work I've come across however doesn’t match the imperative that is Futures Thinking. The few that there is, provide great Scientific deep-dives such as “Future Peace: Breaking Cycles of Violence through Futures Thinking” by Tessa Finlev from Institute For The Future (IFTF).

We caught up with Tessa via our Twitterviews to get a glimpse of what an average day for a Futurist looks like.

Methods And Tools Used In Structured Futures Thinking

Case Study

We asked Tessa about some of her recent work and of special interest to us was the “New Paths Out of Poverty” which involved Gaming and Collaborative Forecasting:

A more detailed presentation of this project can be viewed here.

Tessa Finlev - Catalyst for Change: Worldwide Interactive Online Game to Identify New Paths Out of Poverty from Todd Duncombe on Vimeo.

The rest of the Twitterview touched on the over-hyped threat of future robots.

IFTF is doing some super cool work and the "25 Future Zones of Innovation" specifically speak to some of Africa’s major challenges.

I believe Africans should be actively involved in such initiatives and directly influence solutions. We’re currently looking into the Tech Related Zones at iAfrikan and would like to extend the invitation to the rest of the iAfrikan community.

Feel free to drop us an e-mail if interested.

Cover Image Credit: US Army Africa