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Dr Lamis Beshir

Futurist Profile

 

Dr Lamis Beshir

Medical Doctor

Education:

• Bachelor of medicine and surgery (MBBS)
• Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom, MRCP(UK)
• Currently studying a postgraduate certificate of clinical research ethics at the University of Maryland.

Lamis answered a few questions about her perspective and on being a futures thinker.

ABOUT YOU AS A FUTURES THINKER / PRACTITIONER

You identify yourself as an African futures thinker or practitioner. How would you describe to the woman or man on the street what it is that you do in this regard?

Foresight studies involve critical thinking that concern long-term development, change plans and participatory policies.

I consider myself as a futurist who tries to reject the negative stereotypes about Africa and African people by providing positive and exceptional examples.

How many years have you worked as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

Four years
I have practiced foresight studies for much more years but have identified myself as future-practitioner in the past 4 years only.

In which countries or places have you had working experience as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

Sudan, Kenya, Morocco, UK, USA

In what languages have you undertaken futures / foresight related work or research?

Arabic, English, French

What is it that motivates you to work or participate in the foresight / future studies / related field

I am extremely passionate about development. I believe that in order to make a positive social change, we should have a voice as pan-Africanists.

The world has a stereotypical picture of Africa, that would not change unless African themselves advocate for a new future.

The future cannot be shaped unless we understand the past and foresee innovative solutions to tackle it.
I look forward for a prosperous future of Africa that uses its human and natural resources to go forward and build a continent where the wellbeing and dignity of people come first.

What goal/s would you most like to reach with your work as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

I aspire to inspire and mentor other Africans through being a role model in whatever I do.
I would like to see a lot of opportunities for Africans. I look forward that our generations and the future ones can be autonomous, independent and capable of making a positive social change.

Who or what most influenced your thinking as a futures thinker / practitioner, and how?

I think Nelson Mandela is one of the most powerful, revolutionary and inspiring African leader and philanthropist.

What is your main disciplinary background? (i.e. your primary training / qualification)

I am a physician with a membership of the royal college of physicians of the United Kingdom.
I am also training in clinical research ethics.

I think the practice of research ethics and foresight are intertwined as a lot of the research review depends on expectations and risk-benefit assessment, which is also the case of future studies.

How do other people describe you and how do you describe yourself?

Others describe me as… Wise
I describe myself as… Disciplined

 

YOUR PERSPECTIVE

What is one of your favourite quotes about the future?

"Every life is lived forwards, but can only be clearly understood by looking backwards" - Bev James

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” - Nelson Mandela

“Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.” - Margaret Thatcher

How would you describe the state of African futures thinking right now?

Uprising and energising

What is, in your opinion, the main barrier to uptake of futures knowledge by African institutions and organisations?

The perception of leadership in African institutions is limited by a model of authoritarian leadership that sometimes limits creativity and team collaborations.
I think there are also a lot of financial and social pressures that might stand in the way.

If you were to give advice to someone who wants a career in African foresight / future studies, what would you say to him or her?

Learn continuously and think outside the box, have a systematic approach to make a transformational change.
Practice and construct multiple future scenarios. These can be an interim on the way to create a positive change vision. Last but not least, have a clear vision of your goals and objectives.

What are your recommended readings for every African futures thinker / practitioner?

A long walk to freedom, Nelson Mandela remains one of my favourite books.

What are your recommendations for other favourite futures resources: websites, newsfeeds, mailing lists, associations, etc.?

 

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