From foresight education to foresight work
The Foresight program at the University of Houston works directly with its students to ensure their transition from futures student to professional futurist goes smoothly by working with government and business leaders around the globe to find the perfect fit for new futurists.
In the news
Below are some listings of jobs for futurists that we have come across. Yes, there are jobs out there.
Electronic Arts Looking for a Trends and Cultural Strategist, who will be responsible for designing a trends framework for EA and partnering with studio, marketing and publishing team.
Reports to the Director of Consumer Insights, the role will explore culture and analyze change signals and trendspotting intelligence, and get EA geared toward the future. More info
- Toyota Corporate Strategy and Planning’s (CS&P) newly formed Business Insights group is looking for a highly motivated Scenario Planning Senior Analyst to lead business impact scenario planning activities. The primary responsibility of this role is to provide business scenarios as strategic inputs for key business decisions. This role will lead scenario planning and other activities in collaboration with enterprise team members to ensure data, scenarios, insights, financial frameworks and future trends are developed to support business plans, five and ten –year plans, and business decisions. More info
- Kantar Futures. Looking for a Senior Consultant to join the consulting practice at Kantar Futures. They use cultural foresight and futures techniques to help clients around the world to ‘Profit from change’.This role involves engaging regularly with clients, managing projects from brief through delivery, developing hard-hitting reports and presentations and guiding teams in the same, and communicating insights and foresights in a clear and compelling way. The role also involves collaborating with senior colleagues in their efforts to win new business by preparing and presenting proposals. More info
- UNICEF 6-month consultancy, Policy Specialist, Foresight. Under supervision of the Chief of the Policy Planning Unit and working with country and regional offices the Policy Specialist will provide forward-looking analysis and offer strategic guidance on emerging and long-term trends, their implications for child rights and wellbeing and relevant UNICEF's strategic positioning. They will undertake strategic analysis and develop policy options drawing on latest research and expertise as well as field practical experience. The key results will strengthen the way that UNICEF undertakes scanning; debates emerging issues and their implications for its work; and integrates future thinking in its decision making and action as they relate to strategy, operations, and programming. More info
- CSIRO's Data61 announces two Postdoctoral Fellowships in Strategic Foresight for Emerging Industries and Enabling Technology as part of launching an exciting new research team. The Data61 Strategic Foresight Team works across both the public and private sectors, including wide ranging industries, geographies and social issues to identify and examine trends, risks and scenarios relating to the future economy. The objective is to help companies, governments and communities make wiser choices and navigate a pathway through technology disruption in the information era. The Postdoctoral Fellowships will be focused on collaborative work with the Queensland Government on strategic foresight. More info
- Sparks Grove is looking for a Futures Strategy Manager to join their growing Futures practice. The candidate will be focused on helping clients imagine futures and making it practical for them, this is not a cookie cutter role. The candidate needs to be a leader and a team player, collaborating with strategy, user experience, creative and technology folks and – most importantly – clients, to create some amazing work. More info
- Stellenbosch University Institute for Futures Research (IFR) is looking for a Senior Futurist. The IFR is the first and only institute of its kind on the African continent, offering a postgraduate diploma, MPhil and PhD in future studies. It also offers a range of commissioned research products and futures-based, strategic advisory services to the private sector and government in South Africa and abroad. The role will best suit a senior, creative, market-oriented thinker with a passion for the future of South Africa and the rest of Africa. The purpose of this position is to design and deliver strategic foresight interventions to corporate leadership. More info
Alberta Health Service is looking for a Foresight Strategist, reporting to the Manager of Strategic Foresight and Planning, to provide advanced technical support in strategic foresight project design, project management and delivery. The candidate will also lead and provide support with facilitation, systems mapping, research and corporate integration for critical projects that span the health system. He/she will develop recommendations and provide advice to senior leadership toward policy direction, strategic and business planning and raise awareness on emerging trends. More info
- The Stockholm Resilience Centre is looking for a postdoctoral Fellow on Social Ecological Scenarios under the Wallenberg programme. The goal of this two-year postdoc is to advance and integrate scientific understanding of how social-ecological scenario planning can integrate ecosystem service models. The successful candidate will working with an international team to (1) critically review and assess the effect of scenarios in building resilience, adaptive capacity, and transformative capacity across multiple case studies and (2) develop new ways of combing scenario planning methods with ecosystem service modelling in a social-ecological context. More info
- Evonik, a global leader in specialty chemicals, is looking for portfolio development manager for its Corporate Foresight Team. Tasks include identification and assessment of new growth opportunities; In-depth analysis of selected fields; creation of trend reports and scenario analyzes, networking, and support and develop foresight process. Posting is in German (I used Google Translate) More info
- MForesight (the Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight) seeks Manageing Director to work with the Executive Director to achieve organizational objects as well as ensure that high quality events and workshops are successfully executed and that the goals of the events are met. More info
- Idea Couture, a design and foreight consultancy, is looking for aother Foresight Strategist for their Toronto office. Their foresight work "is not a trend shop.....don’t rearticulate the future..team gets energy from thinking beyond familiar trends and simple speculations....illustrating provocative future themes....invest in and prototype solutions, and activate the kinds of cultures and capacities required to sustain the exploration of disruptive futures: More info
- The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research in Karlsruhe (germany) is looking for an experienced foresight colleague for its competence center. Desired qualifications include a university degree in social sciences/humanities, economics or engineering as well as significant expertise in the field of Foresight. A PhD, publications in the Foresight field and experience with international Foresight processes are desirable. Your research interests should include the analysis of human-technology futures and the theoretical and practical examination of the future - in particular in scenario processes, roadmapping and visioning methods and processes. More info
- HP is seeking an “Innovation Product Manager for Office of the Future” at the Palo Alto, CA location. This position is with the Commercial PC business’s future solutions team. Candidate will be responsible for helping to define new product or services concepts and further incubation projects to realize the HP vision for Office of the Future. Responsibilities include defining the market opportunity, build out the use cases and pain points/desired experience, and determine the minimal viable product. You will be the master of customer insights relating to Office of the Future trends, working with the Insights team and external agencies. More info
- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world's largest humanitarian organization, is seeking a “Coordinator of Futures and Foresight” to lead the design, development and implementation of the strategy to enhance organisational capacity to engage with future thinking and foresight approaches to prepare the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement for the future in terms of organisational strategy, policy and practice. More info
- World Future Society (Chicago) The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is responsible for the strategy, development and implementation of all aspects of the organization’s operations and revenue streams including finance, human resources, membership, marketing / communications, development and all related systems and processes. The ideal candidate is adept at agile project management to meet goals and objectives. The COO reports to the Board Chair and recruits, manages and develops an internal staff and volunteer committees in a start-up environment. More info
- NEXTEV (San Francisco) is “more than a car company.” They know the automotive industry is on the brink of profound change; but we also know that it may not be today’s car companies that make it happen. They are seeking a “Creative Lead: Foresight and Strategy,” who is a strategic thought leader comfortable at the intersection of a future facing cross functional team. Due to the novelty of both the company and the role, this creative should be very comfortable venturing into the ambiguous and the unknown. As a Design Researcher/ Innovation Strategist you will be at the forefront of these efforts and be directly responsible for decisions to form all of our innovations and visions. Info on applying.
- Idea Couture, a design and foreight consultancy, is hiring Foresight Strategists and Senior Foresight Strategists in their Toronto, London and San Fransisco offices. If you're interested or know of anyone who'd be a good candidate, here are links to the postings: Foresight Strategist (2-3 years of client-facing experience); and Senior Foresight Strategist (7+ years of client-facing experience)
- The Canada Council for the Arts is seeking a Director of Policy Planning and Strategic Foresight, who is accountable for providing corporate leadership and management direction for the Council’s corporate policies and planning. Among the duties are analyzing and reporting on trends and developments, and providing strategic analysis and briefings. More info.
- GAO is seeking Strategic Planning and Foresight Analyst.GAO's work is designed to address four goals (1) to help the Congress address current and emerging challenges to the well-being and financial security of the American people; (2) to help the Congress to respond to changing security threats and the challenges of global interdependence; (3) to help transform the Federal government to address national challenges; and (4)
- to maximize the value of GAO by enabling quality, timely service to Congress and by being a leading practices Federal agency. More info.
- The Institute for Alternative Futures is seeking an early-in-career project consultant with strong research, writing and management skills to work on IAF efforts. Working on a large scenario project on the future of human progress and human services will be a major part of the work. The person will do research and writing on trends and scenarios, organize and summarize meetings, write and edit reports. The person must be able to travel to the scenario workshops and related research meetings (up to 17 two- or three-day meetings) for the project in 2016 and 2017. The person will additionally provide some research, writing and support for other IAF projects and communications. To apply send an email to futurist at altfutures.org with: (1) a statement that summarizes your skills and experience, acknowledges your availability for the travel, and states why you would be excellent for this work (no more than 500 words); (2) your CV; and (3) a writing sample.
- Trendwatching is looking for a junior trend analyst for its New York office. The announcement says that “2015 was a heckuva year for the North American office: we tripled our revenue, worked with brand new Fortune 500 clients, expanded our Premium service, sold out a New York Trend Seminar, and had a blast doing it all. We have no plans of slowing down, so we need your help!”
- CSIR has a vacancy for a Foresight Specialist. The purpose of this role is to research Clarge security problems that span multiple stakeholders to reduce security risk and create opportunities. Examples of security problems at this level would be cyber security and rhino poaching. This position is based in Pretoria. More info.
- The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission is looking for a dynamic person that has foresight experience. The contract that can be offered is for a period between 3 to a maximum of 6 years. The candidate will have the opportunity to work on foresight projects that are supporting and contributing to the shaping of EU policy. If you are interested, or know someone that could be interested, please get in touch via email with: fabiana.scapolo at ec.europa.eu
- Pardee Center for International Futures. The Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies seeks a Director to begin in September, 2016. The mission of the Pardee Center (pardee.du.edu) is to provide best possible long-term national, regional, and global quantitative forecasts and forecasting capability across multiple issue areas in sustainable human and social development. Use and continued development of the International Futures (IFs) forecasting system are central to the work -- more info.
- Government of Alberta. The Government of Alberta is looking for a foresight strategist. They are looking for a systems thinker who feels compelled to look beyond current reality and imagine future scenarios. The foresight Strategist will help them re-think the challenges and possibilities to impact Alberta's healthcare environment -- more info.
- UCB. UCB is a biopharmaceutical company seeking to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases. They are looking for a futurist at either its global headquarters in Brussels or US headquarters in Atlanta to “help them understand, anticipate, prepare for and gain advantage from coming changes in our ecosystem,” as part of their Foresight Center of Expertise -- more info. They are also looking for what they are calling a quantitative foresight lead to leverage their quantitative expertise to assist with key issues to support decision-making and scenario building -- more info.
- Arup. Arup's Global Foresight + Research + Innovation [FRI] team is currently seeking a Foresight + Innovation Consultant to join the global team. The qualified candidate will be based in San Francisco and report to the Global Director of the FRI team. Among the responsibilities are project management; reports, articles, and presentations; brochures, flyers for events; working on Drivers of Change; curation of insights, and supporting business development relating to foresight and innovaiton team. More info (search Arup.com careers, Americas, foresight & innovation consultant)
- Global Automotive Industry Leader. The Strategic Planning Department of an auto company in Torrance, CA is looking for a senior Foresight & Innovation Strategist. The primary responsibility of this role is identifying, tracking….[to see the listing and apply: link]
- The Futures Company. It’s always good to know the organizations are looking for futurists! A few of my former colleagues are at The Futures Company now and they are working on building up the foresight practice. The asked me to make sure the Houston foresight community was aware of the positions. There positions can be found by following the link -- from internships to advisory services (supporting syndicated research) and consulting team as well. Here's the link: http://thefuturescompany.com/careers/
- TechCast Sales Representatives. TechCast is seeking sales representatives with demonstrated success in technology/ and futures-related business to work on commission. This is a high-potential opportunity for a few enterprising people who can grow sales for a subscription service offering forecasts and strategic insights from a global network of experts. We intend to gain a small share of the $5-billion market going to Gartner, Forrester, and others. (Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org) More info
- Senior/ Assistant Director (Strategist, Futures Group), Futures & Strategy Division: The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) seeks to transform Singapore into a leading global city of talent, enterprise and innovation. Our mission is to promote economic growth and create jobs so as to achieve higher standards of living for all. You will be part of a team responsible for identifying and analyzing future trends and strategic issues in the local and international environment and presenting these at key fora and platforms to inform economic strategy development and policy response. This involves conducting regular environmental scans and applying appropriate futures methodologies to determine key trends and driving forces that may affect Singapore’s economy in the future and developing strategies to seize opportunities and counter threats. More info
- One of the UK's leading cancer charities, has just advertised for a full time/permanent "innovation scout/horizon scanner." We are looking for an Innovation Scout / Horizon Scanner to identify, research and report on any market trends or changing market conditions that can be maximised to boost our performance. The role will involve scanning, filtering, evaluating and reporting on cutting-edge digital developments, world-wide innovations and start-ups as well as monitoring competitor fundraising activity to highlight opportunities and threats. You will be encouraged to establish and build relationships externally with forward-thinking individuals or organisations that can help us achieve our fundraising goals." Reasonable salary too. More info:
- Bond (the UK membership body for NGOs working in international development) are recruiting a Head of Development Futures: "Bond is seeking a dynamic and authoritative individual to develop our Futures initiative. Using futures tools and approaches you will help NGOs to adapt, innovate and make better strategic decisions..." Closing date Monday, 2 March. More info
- Fast Future is looking for one or two full-time research associates. The roles could be conducted from anywhere in the world. The tasks will be very varied and include: researching content in support of our client presentations; developing draft presentations; research in support of our client studies; working on our irregular newsletter; participating in or special projects; contributing to our social media activity; undertaking a variety of marketing tasks; other stuff that comes up as required; generally being a bright sort and imaginative egg.
The relevant individuals will be working from their own premises with regular skype contact and the occasional face to face meeting if possible. I am also open to the idea of people working with us on a part time basis. Contact Rohit Talwar <email@example.com>
- Imperial College of London is looking for a foresight practice research analyst to will be producing science, technology, market and business quick study briefings, examining prevailing trends and engaging with key opinion leaders to transform information into foresight. The goal is to help the College to look ahead at how breakthrough lab discoveries today could shape the next 20 years of innovation. More info
- The UK Government Office for Science is looking for a futures researcher to play a crucial role in embedding long-term strategic thinking in government policy. The candidates will lead on developing horizon scanning capability across government, ensuring futures analysis is improved by leading-edge evidence and insight, and building networks of expertise within and outside government that support high quality long-term analysis. More info.
- The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is looking for a candidate to fill the position of Foresight and Targeting Specialist in Mexico. The position focuses on developing and using applied social science foresight and targeting tools to help prioritize, guide and target research-for-development (R4D) investments -see the descriptioon
- KnowledgeWorks has just posted a job opening for a director, strategic foresight, to work in helping education stakeholders engage with and plan for the future of learning. See description. [Note: Houston Foresight alum Jason Swanson got this position]
- Forum for the Future US is hiring. Here's what they are looking for:
The position(s) we have available would be responsible for delivering strategic sustainability advice to leading US and international businesses as well as managing consortia funded projects. These role(s) are externally facing and highly visible – the expectation is that approximately 60% - 65% of time is spent on delivery of sustainability advice, with the remaining time divided between business development (with an annual target ranging from $115K to $160k depending on experience), communications and contributing to internal discussions and processes at Forum. Specialties include detailed knowledge of futures techniques and systems thinking and systems mapping skills.
Click here for more details.
- Hershey's is looking for a Senior Manager, Foresight Activiation in Hershey, PA. Check out the details here.
- Disney’s Future Workforce Insights is recruiting a student for a paid, professional internship in futures work. Foresight students are welcome to apply directly for the role here. The requisition ID and official name are: 163360BR.
- Trendwatching.com is looking for a Senior Trend Analyst/Trend Thinker to join their team in London. They note that "this role is fundamentally focused on creating brilliantly-written, compelling content for our tens of thousands of readers and hundreds of Premium clients around the world."
- The New York office of Forum for the Future is looking to hire a sustainability advisor in the futures group. View the posting.
- Futures Cities Catapult is posting a position for a Design Futures Researcher in London. They already have a Futures Researcher on the futures team -- this new role will complement that with a focus on design futures, and the role of this emerging area in city development. Read the job description.
- Advisor for Crisis Anticipation for the Start Network is needed in London.
- Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI in Karlsruhe, Germany is looking for a PhD holder with experience in foresight.
- A post for an Executive Director: Futures and Best Practice with responsibility for "line management of team of approximately 20 staff, management of projects and of consultants." The position is offered by Future Cities Catapult, a global centre of excellence on urban innovation, based in London.
- The Futures Company (London) is currently looking to hire a senior level person (about ten years of futures and related experience). The lion's share of the role is about winning and doing fairly large projects with private sector clients. The company positioning is about using foresight and futures knowledge to help clients improve strategy, innovation and sometimes marketing. For more info email <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Shaping Tomorrow currently is looking for Horizon Scanner in India (more info)
- Lowe's posted and opening for a Trends Insight Manager, to help create and synthesize
actionable insights and trends across STEEP, consumer, retail, industry and brand
- The Futures Company posted an opening for a senior consultant with a foresight focus, to manage client projects that include multiple perspectives and approaches, (e.g., futures and foresight)
- Forum for the Future posted an opening for a Research Intern, with responsibility for researching global trends, summarising and communicating findings, and blogging on weak signals.
- In May, the Institute for the Future posted an opening for a Research Manager in the Technology Horizons program.
Our students first foray into the world of futures generally starts with an internship with a futures firm or as an strategist inside a company.
Students Laura Schlehuber and Kate Burgess-Macintosh are doing internships this fall with Stephen Aguilar-Milan of the European Futures Observatory (EUFO). Jason Swanson continues to intern with EUFO – see one of his EUFO blog posts. Jason, Laura, and Kate will be working on a project to consider whether or not one of the effects of the Great Recession has been to limit the long term growth prospects in the recovery.
Following the education experience, a career in foresight can be an exciting one. Our graduates have become embedded futurists within organizations, started their own consulting agencies, worked with high level corporate and civil institutions, become college professors, started their own companies, and have gone on to be leading futures thinkers and writers. A futures career is unlimited, and we take pride in our students growing and developing in the field before our very eyes.
Here's some job titles our graduates have earned:
|Chief Strategy Officer
|Human Resource Analyst
|Chief Technology Officer
|Chief Executive Officer
|Innovation Policy Analyst
Place We Work
Here's a list of places that our students are working or have worked:
|Acceleration Studies Federation
||National Ground Water Association
|American Family Insurance
||National Museum of the Pacific War
||Noviscape Consulting Group
||Osaka Shiritsu Daigaku
|Department of Justice
|Federal Aviation Administration
||Schuimer Consulting GmbH
|Government of Alberta
||The Destree Institute
||The Futures Lab
|Houston Police Department
|Houston Urban League
||United States Marine Corps
||University of Akron
||University of Houston
||University of Notre Dame
||University of Oxford
|Leading Futurists, LLC
||University of Potsdam
||University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
||University of Western Sydney
||USDA Forest Service
|Mead Johnson Nutrition
||Walt Disney Company
|Money Management International
||World Economic Forum
|Musical Health Technologies