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Thembinkosi Dan Semwayo

Futurist Profile


Thembinkosi Dan Semwayo

Futures Consultant

Managing Director: Ontolligent

Msc. Geographic Information Systems
B.A. Economics and Geography

Thembinkosi is a trained foresighting, innovation, and strategy facilitator and in the past 3 years co-facilitated the South African provincial Foresight exercises for the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and Gauteng provinces. In 2008 he co-facilitated a foresighting exercise to determine the future of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Biotechnology industries in South Africa. He has also assisted in the development of scenarios and long range strategies for the Gauteng province human settlements, and water Supply.

Thembinkosi answered a few questions about his 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 facilitate the use of futures tools and techniques to develop corporate and individual strategies for ideal futures.

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

Seven years.

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

South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe

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


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

Contribution to positive human development

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

Contribute to the positive transformation of African economies

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

Participation as a trainee in a national Foresighting project for South Africa. The process demonstrated to me the power of futures thinking towards awakening the creative human spirit.

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

B.A. Economics, Msc. Geo-Information Systems

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

Others describe me as… perceptive

I describe myself as… resilient



What is one of your favourite quotes about the future?

"The significant problems we face cannot be resolved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” - Albert Einstein

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

Growing rapidly

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

Resistance to new ways of knowing.

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?

Identify a progressive futures institution and read around futures and systems thinking.

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

Shaping Tomorrow

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

Shaping Tomorrow


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