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Dr Nisreen Rafik Lahham

Futurist Profile


Dr Nisreen Rafik Lahham

Manager of R & D Department: Egyptian Cabinet, Information & Decision Support Center
Founder and moderator: Middle East & Africa Research Center for Training and Future Studies (MEAfrica)

Education: Ph.D. holder in Urban Planning

Dr Lahham answered a few questions about her 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?

A future thinker - I try to consider the long term consequences of today’s decisions I cooperate in creating a desirable vision for tomorrow, and try to make it come true.

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

Five years

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

Cairo - Egypt

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

Arabic and English

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

Long term thinking must be the base for today’s decisions.

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

To participate in executing Egypt 2030 vision, which I had a major role in writing it.

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

Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim Mansour - He was my manager at the Center for Future studies, and I have learned too much from him about Futures Studies.

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

Development and Urban Planning

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

Others describe me as… committed

I describe myself as… determined



What is one of your favourite quotes about the future?

"If you don’t create your future, the others will do, according to their own agenda" (Arabic quote)

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

Promising - The Foresight For Development Project is a recourse in this regard.

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

Lack of awareness of the importance of Futures Studies, and lack of experience in Futures Studies methodologies.

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?

Get connected with the existing efforts in Futures Studies, and study the areas of deficiency in this field.

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

  • Randers and William Behrens, Limits to Growth
  • Foresight journal
  • Annual of Future Studies

What are your recommendations for other favourite futures resources: websites, newsfeeds, mailing lists, associations, etc.?


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