Riel Miller

Head of Futures Literacy


For thirty years Riel has been co-creating innovation, leadership and transformation in both the public and private sectors around the world. He is one of the world’s leading strategic foresight designers and practitioners. Currently Riel holds the position of Head of Foresight at UNESCO in Paris. Previously he has worked as a senior manager in the Ontario public service (Ministries of Finance; Universities; and Industry) and for some thirteen years in total at the OECD in Paris (Directorates of Economics; Science & Technology; Education; Territorial Development; Development Centre; International Futures Programme). In 2005 he founded an independent consultancy – xperidox (which means knowledge through experience) to advise clients on how to use the future more effectively. Since 1988, when he managed his first major participatory foresight exercise (Vision 2000), Riel has designed over fifty applied futures projects around the world, large and small scale, public and private. He is an accomplished and innovative designer of processes for using the future to make decisions in the present. Riel is an experienced keynote speaker, project manager, master of ceremonies, university lecturer, workshop leader, and group facilitator. He is widely published, with works that cover topics such as the future of: innovation, research, money- finance, public services, education, the Internet, identity, information technology, the knowledge society, regional development, health, universities, telepresence, etc. Riel has an extensive international network and a solid track record of creativity. Specialties: Bringing decision makers to question the assumptions underlying current choices and exploring the potential of the present. Specific sectors: The future of money (financial sector). The Future of Schooling and Universities (Education). The Future of Cyberspace (Internet, networking). The Future of Technology (from nano to AI) The Future of Governance.


The Future Now: perspectives from people in places

April 11, 2020

Geci Karuri-Sebina in conversation with Pupul Bisht (Decolonizing Futures) and Riel Miller (UNESCO Futures Literacy). Welcome to our couch conversation. The session invites 3 discussants from Europe/North America, Asia and Africa into a conversation about their vantages as futurists in the current times. What are they experiencing in these different places, and what does the Corona pandemic seem to invite (or change) in the present or the future, if anything? What perspective do their own approaches to futuring offer up?

Shocks, Improvisation and Complexity: An Anticipatory Systems Perspective on Using-the-future

April 9, 2020

What if Covid-19 was a democratization trigger: the democratization of shocks? Thinking back to conversations on postnormal times, we are encouraged to think of uncertainty as our only certainty, shifting the frame from risk assessment to adaptation to complexity. This requires a toolkit that integrates broader anticipatory thinking, in one word, Futures Literacy as theorized by Riel Miller (2015, 2018), but also humility in our understanding of time, agency, learning and our role as futurists/anticipation specialists. On that note, African apprehensions of uncertainty provide an interesting reading of our times.