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Frieda le Roux

Futurist Profile


Frieda le Roux

Freelance futurist, journalist

MPhil. (Future Studies), University of Stellenbosch Business School
MPhil. (Journalism), University of Stellenbosch
Certificate in Media Management, University of Stellenbosch Business School
B.Arch (Stud), Architecture, University of the Freestate

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


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?

I find Wendell Bell’s four P's very useful: to identify the possible, probable, plausible and preferable futures. And to then implement the steps necessary to realise your preferable future.

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

I received my degree in 2010. However, I've been interested in the field since learning of Clem Sunter's work in the 1990's.

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 and Afrikaans.

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

The possibility of implementing change.

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

To see change for the better happening. And, if I can play a part in that, no matter how small, it will be very satisfying.

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

Apart from the people and literature one is introduced to as student, I find the input (still ongoing) of three of my class mates stimulating, challenging and enlightening - they are Irene Ackermann, Rafeeq Bosch and Henry Jeffreys, collectively known as Kafka.

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

Journalism - I've worked at newspapers and magazines for just over a decade. I still do freelance work.

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

Others describe me as… curious

I describe myself as… curiouser!



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

It is good to know that it exists but there is so much more to do with regards to introducing the field to the person on the street. And making them aware of their own power of being the real change agents.

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

Ignorance and arrogance.

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?

An academic background in the field is a good start to a general foundation. And then to get into it!

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

Popular media - TV, newspapers, magazines for a sound general knowledge of our continent. From there one can focus on specific issues and get hold of specialist reading. But a sound general background is very important.

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

www.foresightfordevelopment.org (obviously).
There are various newsletters and other websites one can subscribe to - the more one subscribe to, the better. For alumni of the Stellenbosch-programme, the planned alumni association promises to be a hub of ideas.


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