Welcome to Foresight For Development

Prof Alinah Kelo Segobye

Futurist Profile

 

Prof Alinah Kelo Segobye

Research Practitioner / Executive

Deputy Executive Director: Human Sciences Research Council

Education:
PhD - University of Cambridge
MPhil - University of Cambridge
Undergraduate Degree in Education
University of Botswana
Post graduate Diploma in Education
University of Botswana

Prof Segobye 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?

The African shepherdess who navigates intricate paths, streams and crevasses on mountainsides is more knowledgeable of the future. What I can learn from her is that the streets as a fabrication of order ned constant maintenance. I cherish their view of the future which is that our common future is mediated by the ones above and below. We are mere custodians of this realm and should discharge our duties diligently.

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

+20 – Most as a student of the African past. The future was always in my immediate thoughts in seeking to explain the meaning of the past.

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

Botswana, Tanzania, Britain and South Africa – Tanzania and South Africa continue to inspire as the cradles of human kind and technological innovation.

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

Setswana and English

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

A deep rooted passion for the continent’s development agenda both past and present. The present is where I can feed my quest for knowledge.

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

Evidence based research to inform policy development. African unity and integration. A common and shared future of Africa’s development potential realised in my lifetime.

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

Alioune Sall – the first “futures studies” expert I met. Nelson Mandela - who gave his life and time to South Africa’s liberation in a selfless way. They keep me in constant reflection about destiny and legacy and to know the two are not accidental.

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

Archaeology. The future of the future lies in the past

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

Others describe me as… Discerning

I describe myself as… Inquisitive

 

YOUR PERSPECTIVE

What is one of your favourite quotes about the future?

"The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born" - Ayi Kwei Armah
"The past is a foreign country" - David Lowenthal

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

Vibrant, more scholars coming to the kgotla and therefore likely to be more innovative and creative and enriching with new ideas and action.

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

Leadership – Until the fear factor and the legacy facto becomes the informing principle for our leaders then the future will always be a “foreign country” Leaders must think beyond their term in office and of the people who entrust them with their livelihoods.

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?

Know your history, have good command of language(s) and remain open to new ideas. Be in constant quest for knowledge. The art of futures thinking is as important as the science of it.

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

Read widely across all disciplines.

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

All global think tanks, scholars, village elders, children and all resources of learning. There is no privileged source all are equally important.

 

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