Medina Abdelkader

Human Factors Strategist

Presentation | Organisational Foresight

At the intersection of operations strategy and long-term planning, Medina is a human factors strategist working with teams undergoing transition. With a focus on social neuroscience, uncertainty, diversity, and bias, she works with teams to design organizational strategy that considers some of the cognitive limitations we have in enacting lasting change, and how we navigate through those limitations. She’s an avid rower, endlessly curious, and a fierce advocate of feminism in the corporate world. 

Strategic foresight and organizational culture and neuroscience. This presentation argues that the brain’s temporal way finding networks play a significant role in strategic myopia, and that there are several neurological interventions that organizations need to consider to nurture future-facing culture.

Shakil Ahmed

Associate Director of Alumni Impact
Teach for Bangladesh

Presentation | How do you create an educational movement?

Shakil Ahmed is currently Associate Director of Alumni Impact at Teach for Bangladesh. Energized by his passion for education, futures and story-telling, he emphasizes the importance of creating, sharing and teaching stories of positive, alternative futures as key to paving long-term impact in shaping a brighter future. He has been conducting workshops and giving talks on diverse fields of interest ranging from understanding education, educational futures, foresight planning, analytical thinking, experiential learning, Socratic questioning, mindfulness in schools, storytelling, educational technology, design of learning spaces, etc. He has a Masters in Educational Planning, Leadership and Management from BRAC University and a Bachelors of Science in Theoretical Physics from National University of Singapore. He has previously worked in LogicMills (Singapore), the BRAC Institute of Educational Development and Dhaka Tribune. Outside work, he explores storytelling media such as theater, performance poetry, comedy, workshops and creative writing.

Miriam Bäckström


Exhibition | ‘A Temporary Futures Institute’

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1967. Lives in Stockholm. Numerous solo exhibitions, notably at the Museum for Contemporary Art Basel in 2004, at Lunds konsthall, Sweden, in 2012 and at Extra City in Antwerp in 2014. Numerous group exhibitions, including the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999. Represented Sweden at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005. Visiting Professor at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm in 2009-2012.

Jacques Barcia

Dream Machine Futures Studio; Porto Digital

Paper | SF as a tool in futures
Case study | Porto Digital’s Mind the future, Brasil

Jacques Barcia is a futurist, speculative fiction writer and award-winning journalist from Recife, Brazil. He’s one of the crazy minds behind Dream Machine Futures Studio,  a consultancy that blends foresight, design and science fiction to disrupt the future. He is also responsible for the Mind the Future program at Brazilian non-profit tech park Porto Digital. His stories were published in the US, UK, Romania and Brazil. Jacques holds a bachelor degree in Journalism and is a MA candidate in Design. He’s also a visiting teacher at Faculdade Cesar.

This paper will discuss how cognitive estrangement, as well as sublime and grotesque SF narratives play a fundamental role in turning plain information about the future into meaning, pathos and, ultimately, a call to action and transformation.

The mission of Mind the Future, the technology observation and futures research program of Brazilian science and technology park Porto Digital, is to help companies become more futures-proof and help startups disrupt.

Peter Bishop

Founder and Executive Director
Teach the Future

Presentation | The Futures Playbook

Dr. Bishop is the Founder and Executive Director of Teach the Future, an organization whose mission is to encourage and support educators who want to include futures thinking in their classes and schools at all levels.  In 2013, Dr. Bishop retired as an Associate Professor of Strategic Foresight and Director of the graduate program in Foresight at the University of Houston. He has published two books on Strategic Foresight: Thinking about the Future: Guidelines for Strategic Foresight (2007) and Teaching about the Future: The Basics of Foresight Education (2012), both with co-author Andy Hines. He delivers keynote addresses and conducts seminars on the future for business, government and not-for-profit organizations.  He also facilitates groups in developing scenarios, visions and strategic plans for the future.  Dr. Bishop’s clients include IBM, the NASA Johnson Space Center, Nestle USA, Tetra Pak, the Shell Pipeline Corporation, the Defense and Central Intelligence Agencies, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Texas Department of Transportation, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Center for Houston’s Future.  Dr. Bishop is a founding Board member of the Association of Professional Futurists and President of his own firm, Strategic Foresight and Development, which offers training and facilitation to businesses and government agencies. Dr. Bishop came to the University of Houston in 2005, having taught futures studies at the Clear Lake campus since 1982.  Dr. Bishop started teaching at Georgia Southern College in 1973 where he specialized in social problems and political sociology.  He received his doctoral degree in sociology from Michigan State University in 1974.  Dr. Bishop received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Louis University where he also studied mathematics and physics.  He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where he was a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) for seven years.  Dr. Bishop is married with two children and two grandchildren.

Jessica Bland

Head of Research and Foresight
Dubai Future Foundation

Panel & fish bowl | Can a compelling narrative about the future also be the nexus for public debate?
Discussion | Hard or soft hybridity

Jessica is Head of Research and Foresight at the Dubai Future Foundation. She previously set-up and then led the technology futures research team at Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation. Jessica began her career writing about science and technology for the Economist newspaper and then as a Senior Policy Adviser at the Royal Society, the UK’s National Academy of Science. She is interested in creative mechanisms to enable the responsible development of disruptive technology.

Erica Bol

Future and Innovation Designer
Conscious Futures; Teach The Future

Gathering | Teach the Future

Erica Bol is an entrepreneurial future designer who brings together strategy and creativity for sustainable future innovation. At the Dutch futures consulting firm, Conscious Futures, she works as Future and Innovation Designer for international clients in business, governments and Ngo’s. For the foundation, Teach the Future, an international initiative working to integrate future thinking in classrooms, she has the role of ‘Change Maker’ and is responsible for the European section. She has set up the Dutch Node of the Millennium Project and is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists (APF) and the Dutch Future Society (DFS). Erica is a creative partner in reWrap, an independent brand that designs and produces accessory products inspired by the Cradle to Cradle principle.

Kasper Bosmans


Exhibition | ‘A Temporary Futures Institute’

Born in Lommel, Belgium, in 1990. Lives in Brussels. Solo exhibitions at S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, Marc Foxx Gallery in Los Angeles and Gladstone Gallery in Brussels, all in 2016. Numerous group exhibitions. Participates in the 1st Kathmandu Triennial in 2017.

Marta Botta

Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast

Open Space | Making of a Revolution 

Ms. Botta is a renaissance personality with a heterogeneous knowledge base. She is devoted to lifelong learning and a practice of both arts and social science. She is keen to find out “how things work” both on the micro (body, mind) and macro (society, cultures) levels. Her multilingual language base offers her a wide scope for research. She is a native speaker of Hungarian and Slovak, and also speaks Czech, Swedish, English (fluently). In addition, she can speak some German, Spanish, Polish, and Russian. Marta gained her PhD in Futures Studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia in 2017. Currently, she is working as a researcher at the Sustainability Research Centre, affiliated with the above university. Her research focus is social foresight, transpersonal and heritage futures. Ms Botta’s additional qualifications are a Graduate Certificate in Futures Studies (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia), BScPsychology (Central Queensland University, Australia) and DipMediaStud (Massey University, New Zealand). She believes in “practice grounded research” and is a board member of the Sippy Downs and District Community Association, Sunshine Coast, and the Taskforce for Light Rail/Public Transport, Sunshine Coast Regional Council. Membership affiliations include the World Futures Studies Federation, Association of Professional Futurists, and the European Foresight Platform.

Stuart Candy

Professor of Foresight and Design
OCAD University

Presentation | Ethnographic Experiential Futures: Combining ethnographic and experiential approaches to foresight

Dr Stuart Candy (@futuryst) is an experiential futurist, design professor and strategic facilitator who has brought futures to life in museums, festivals, conferences, classrooms and city streets worldwide. Involved in the foresight field since the 1990s, for over a decade Stuart has focused on bringing futures and design together. He has created transmedia interventions, immersive encounters, tangible artifacts, and compelling images for settings including the California Academy of Sciences, South by Southwest, and Wired magazine.

Grounded in practice, Stuart has made key contributions to the exchange between design and futures in education, having served on the faculty of the world’s first two foresight programs in design institutions; at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto.