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Bernd Oellermann

Futurist Profile


Bernd Oellermann

Program Manager: SA Node of the Millennium Project

Current place in life journey: Making paths in trees.
This describes a strongly African perspective, building on what already exists and an approach that requires skill, knowledge, vision and strength to take leaps of faith. It indicates working at treetop level, but also the ability to scale trees and walk among them in their shade, which refers to versatility and both a detail and strategic view. This approach is also reminiscent of a keen interest in mother nature and the ecology of creation around us.

Paths already walked: Bernd is a PMI certified Project Management Professional with project management experience since 1992 in fields ranging from ICT, mining and engineering to education, health and the financial sector. He has been particularly involved in IT, e-Learning and Virtual Reality fields and has enjoyed the challenges presented in development and upliftment initiatives across Africa.

Bernd answered a few questions about his perspective and on being a futures thinker.


You identify yourself as an African futures thinker or practitioner. How would you describe to the woman or man on the street what it is that you do in this regard?

I organize and facilitate activities in this field to increase the impact futures work.

How many years have you worked as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

I am new to this.

In which countries or places have you had working experience as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

South Africa

In what languages have you undertaken futures / foresight related work or research?


What is it that motivates you to work or participate in the foresight / future studies / related field

There is a lot of work being done in support of development and growth, yet a lot of this is not focussed or directed within a framework. This limits the impact of that work and seeing the bigger picture makes it possible to pull it together so that life-changing action can be taken NOW.

What goal/s would you most like to reach with your work as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

Change the present now so that the future is a better place.

Who or what most influenced your thinking as a futures thinker / practitioner, and how?

Christ, because he showed that by living truth right now, you step into the best future there is.

What is your main disciplinary background? (i.e. your primary training / qualification)

Project Management and Physics

How do other people describe you and how do you describe yourself?

Others describe me as… insight

I describe myself as… learning



What is one of your favourite quotes about the future?

"My people perish for a lack of knowledge" - Hosea 4:6

How would you describe the state of African futures thinking right now?

Exciting and filled with opportunities.

What is, in your opinion, the main barrier to uptake of futures knowledge by African institutions and organisations?

Insufficient information and awareness of the benefits of futures knowledge.

If you were to give advice to someone who wants a career in African foresight / future studies, what would you say to him or her?

Do they have the ability to look both at detail and at a strategic level and can they make sense of large amounts of information?

What are your recommended readings for every African futures thinker / practitioner?

Scripture and current articles and publications on the topic.


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