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Marius Oosthuizen

Futurist Profile

 

Marius Oosthuizen

Futurist (Theologian, Strategist, Entrepreneur)

Strategic Foresight Professional: CUSP Consulting

Education:
BTH - Theology
Hons BTH - Systematic Theology (Ethics, Leadership, Ecclesia)
Masters - Strategic Foresight (end 2013)



Marius answered a few questions about his 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?

As an African, I am passionate about securing the future of the continent. This means ensuring that we, her people, pursue the best possible future outcome in the public, private, and civic spheres. Especially among leaders. My focus is helping thought leaders and decision makers think about the future.

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

One year.

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

South Africa.

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

English, Afrikaans.

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

I believe that the deciding factor between success and failure is often how we navigate change. If change is encountered passively, it can lead us to a future we do not desire. If change is proactively pursued, with a strong awareness of our values and conscientious aspirations, change becomes our ally. I am driven to use futures methodologies to help leaders make change their ally, and thereby construct a preferred future.

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

1) See Futures competencies become widespread among African leaders.
2) See a dimension of conscientious and ethics leadership be enhance among Africans.
3) Establish a world-class leadership school in South Africa, to serve Africa.

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

A session I attended by Jay Ogilvy at the annual conference of the World Future Society, where he spoke of the use of narrative to cope with increasing emergent complexity in scenarios, while seeking to avoid the dystopian images of the future, as we navigate change, moving ourselves towards the 'high ground' of utopian images of the future. His presentation captured the essence both of futures work, and the human condition.

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

I am a Systematic Theologian and Professional Foresight Practitioner, with a keen interest in; Leadership, Ethics, and Community.

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

Others describe me as… bright

I describe myself as… catalyst

 

YOUR PERSPECTIVE

What is one of your favourite quotes about the future?

"The Best Way to Predict the Future, Is to Create it”. - Abraham Lincoln.

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

Futures thinking has permeated pockets of the upper echelons of society, across the public and private sectors, but has not meaningfully shaped the paradigms of the lower and middle strata.

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

Traditionalism rooted in a lack of education.

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?

Start with the leaders. Africa is in need of vast and rapid transformational change. This is not possible through evolutionary and developmental growth through the market or other inherent forces. Harness the methodology of futures and shape the thinking of Africa's leaders.

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

  • Thinking About the Future - Andy Hines and Peter Bishop.
  • The Fifth Discipline, Art and Practice of the Learning Organization - Peter Senge.
  • Futuring: The Exploration of the Future - Edward Cornish
  • What Money Can't Buy, The Moral Limits of the Markets - Michael Sandel.

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

 

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