José Ramos – Director
I help people and organizations bring their preferred futures into the present through experiments that can be scaled for impact. My work helps people generate breakthroughs, deep learning, an inner confidence in the ability to solve problems, and a shift toward an empowered future-facing culture.
People have the power to imagine and create the future: policies, businesses, social innovations, designs, that lead to qualitative breakthroughs and which take them on whole new paths. The seeds which are planted today and are nurtured become the trees and forests of tomorrow. From little things big things come. From small experiments can come the great systems of tomorrow. We must respect the small experiments. We need a diversity of experiments in our lives, our cities, our cultures, because this is the way in which we are able to adapt and grow in the face of future challenges. We can grow confident in the space of the unknown through experimentation. We may not know what the best or right solution is to an issue facing us, but by experimenting we begin to grow confident in the process of testing solutions and we become resilient in the face of outcomes (failure is reframed as learning). Ultimately we become skilled at trying new things and finding solutions even when we don’t understand the issue completely.
I work in partnership with an ecosystem of creative people to develop high impact projects where clients imagine, design and innovate breakthroughs that lead to transformation and foundational wellbeing.
I have taught foresight, public policy and social innovation at a number of universities, including at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Swinburne University of Technology, and the University of Sunshine Coast. I am senior consulting editor for the Journal of Future Studies, and have over 50 publications spanning economic, cultural foresight and political change. I am an honorary fellow with the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing. Full CV
Gareth Priday – Senior Consultant and Partner
I’m a foresight practitioner and researcher with a focus on systemic innovation and Living Labs. I bring together researchers, businesses and end-users to co-create solutions to a real life problems. I help participants to work together to understand end-user needs, create design solutions, develop prototypes and test commercial products.
I put special emphasis on end-user involvement and the use of real life contexts throughout the development cycle of the products or services.
I am a co-founder of the Australian Living Labs Innovation Network (ALLIN), held a research positions with the Queensland University of Technology (Smart Services CRC) as a foresight researcher, and am an entrepreneur. I hold a Masters of Strategic Foresight from Swinburne University and have published in the Journal of Futures Studies and presented at a number Futures and Innovation conferences.
My first career was in the financial services sector working for large international banks in the UK and Australia (UBS Warburg, Macquarie, ABN Amro, Royal Bank of Scotland) where I delivered on large scale global projects. CV
Mel Rumble – Futures Designer
I’m a Sydney-based futures designer, futures researcher and UX/digital producer with a background in futures, design, strategic foresight, environmental education and science communication.
I’m also a Casual Academic/Tutor/Mentor in the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation (FTDI) at UTS, where I’ve recently taught into several foresight and futures-focused subjects including Envisioning Futures, Making Futures and Past, Present, Future of Innovation. I’m part of a team within FTDI that recently ran several of these subjects online to large numbers of students (most recently, to 250 students) after a Covid-induced rapid pivot to remote learning.
I’ve recently embarked on an exciting collaboration with Claire Marshall of IfLabs, working on the next stage of the Museum of Futures. This has included the co-design and co-delivery of Futures Worth Wanting, a workshop in responsible innovation and futures prototyping for the 2020 Sydney Festival. We have also recently received a grant from the City of Sydney for a new Museum of Futures exhibition called Museum of Futures: Pandemic Pivots, which will bring artists and communities together to collaboratively co-design the futures they want amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
I graduated with a Master of Strategic Foresight at Swinburne University of Technology in December 2018, and was awarded the prize for the highest achieving graduate in the Master of Strategic Foresight granted in 2018.
My futures practice operates at the intersection of human-centred design, foresight/futures and systems thinking to help organisations and communities shape the futures they want, by design. I’m passionate about using foresight/futuring, design, collaborative and systems methods to co-design environments that catalyse the emergence of regenerative, flourishing, just and inclusive futures.
Questions I keep coming back to include:
• How can we create spaces that enable us to examine and consciously unearth the dormant and default images of the future we have and to then transform these into the futures we actually want, both as individuals and groups?
• How might we build foresight as a societal capacity?
• How can we enable a wider diversity of people to contribute to the shaping of futures?
• How do we ensure ethics adequately feature within the rapid tech shifts occurring in AI and big data?
I’m really committed to enabling inclusive and regenerative futures, and broadening who gets to be part creating and deciding on what futures emerge. I’m a member of the Sydney Commons Lab, and am interested in how commons approaches can help to democratise foresight and inform the creation of new and generative forms of value exchange, and enable generative livelihoods that unburden people from structural barriers such as poverty and exclusion.
John Sweeney – Associate
I’m a futurist, designer, and author, with extensive experience utilizing participatory / experiential methods with a particular focus on gaming. My work has been focused on applying futures and foresight in the Asia-Pacific, Central Asian, & Eastern European regions. I’ve organized and facilitated strategic planning and foresight projects for a range of clients, including numerous humanitarian and development agencies, government innovation units, and Fortune 500 companies, and delivered keynote presentations, seminars, and training courses in over 45 countries on five continents. I currently serves as Co-Editor in Chief of the World Futures Review with Dr. Nur Anisah Abdullah. I have a PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaii, Manoa.
Jayarethanam Pillai – Collaborator
Dr. Jayarethanam Pillai (Jaya) is currently a Lead Data Scientist and Economist. In addition, he is the Chief Innovation and Data Science Officer in his start-up consultancy and offers regional expertise in providing analytical and data science work for companies and government agencies alike, particularly specializing in developing strategic decisions using economics, data analytics, and AI. Jaya has done over 20 analytics-related projects and widely published papers in economic policy, digital transformation, and entrepreneurship while working and living in 11 international cities/states. He has expert-level advisory experience in the application of data analytics in embedded analytical operation systems specifically in panel data and supervised and unsupervised machine learning. He has a keen interest in the application of AI in digital transformation. His thirst for developing machine learning and econometric modeling to identify and offer solutions for decision-making puts him among some of the key regional intellectuals in the field of digital transformation. As a testimony, he attracted private sector funding, in setting up the ‘Futuristic Intelligence Institute (FII)’ at the American University of Central Asia, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, with the aim of pushing the research, teaching, and application of Data Science and AI in the region. Jaya obtained his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Economics, a Master of Economics, and a Graduate Certificate in Data Science, in the course of doing his analytical gigs.