MSM Senior Consultant, Julius Gatune Kariuki to hold UNESCO Chair for East Africa region


UNESCO is a well renowned organization globally and we are proud to share that MSM Senior Consultant, Dr. Julius Gatune Kariuki has been recognized through years of being part of the research community to hold an UNESCO Chair for the East Africa Region.

UNESCO has academic chairs in universities across the world. Currently there are 830 chairs with the aim to develop intern-university cooperation, collaboration and information sharing to address pressing challenges and contribute to the development of societies. The chairs are divided over several topics, of which the Futures Literacy topic is one of them. The Futures Literacy chairs of which there currently are 21 are premised on the belief that humanity requires a better understanding of why and how we imagine the future. This community of UNESCO Chairs is dedicated to exploring the origins and roles of the images of the future that inspire hope and fear. The Chairs are advancing the theory and practice of using-the-future by conducting analytical and theoretical research that is producing evidence of the diversity of humanity’s anticipatory systems and processes. 

Futures Literacy Chair
Dr. Gatune Kariuki works as a Senior Project Consultant at Maastricht School of Management (MSM) and is a futurist, policy researcher and advisor with a focus on the 4th industrial revolution, economic transformation and innovation platforms development. For 15 years already he has been involved in futures research through which he became part of the Future Research Community. In recognition of his contribution to research, UNESCO approached Dr. Gatune Kariuki to apply for the position of chair for to cover the Eastern Africa region. The chair is housed at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology where Dr. Gatune Kariuki is a visiting an Associate Professor in Anticipatory Socio-Technical Systems.

Dr. Gatune Kariuki has previous been a researcher at the Frederick S. Pardee Centre for Study Longer Range Futures at Boston University and the Frederick S Pardee Centre for International Futures at the University of Denver. He was also part of the World Economic Forum Global Strategic Foresight Community (GFSC) that help shape the agenda on emerging issues that should be part of the global policy agenda for 2015 WEF Davos Summit. He is an editor with the Journal of Future Studies.

As a Future Literacy Chair, Dr. Gatune Kariuki will focus on socio-technical anticipatory systems with the object to better understand how technologies can better respond to society to build resilience and sustainable development with a focus on Africa. His tasks are to among others design and conduct Future Literacy workshops so as to (i) help understand emergent issues and what it means for the future of the economy and society; (ii)Drive Futures Literacy and (ii) build a Community of Practice on FLL practitioners by training peer facilitators as part of the FLL workshop. Furthermore, he will help improve policy making through disseminating outputs of the FLL workshop to policy makers and also engaging policy makers in FLL activities. Dr. Gatune Kariuki will also support the development of the Discipline of Anticipation (DoA) through research and help embed FLL in curricula in education systems though research and engaging relevant stakeholders.

UNESCO Chair activities carried out so far
As an UNESCO Chair, Dr. Gatune Kariuki already carried out several activities such as writing policy briefs as for example for the Futures of Nigeria Projects, where he focused his policy brief on Nigeria leading Africa and also took part in workshops to develop future scenarios for Nigeria. Similarly, he worked on a policy brief for the South Africa Institute of International Affairs where he will participate and present his findings during the SADC industrialization week.

In December, Dr. Gatune Kariuki will participate in the second UNESCO Chairs Symposium which will be held from 5 until 9 December at King Fahd University in Saudi Arabia.

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