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Dr Rachid Serraj

Futurist Profile



Dr Rachid Serraj

Senior Officer; Delivery Manager: FAO

PhD Agronomy and Plant Sciences, University Montpellier, FRANCE

Dr Serraj 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?

Looking into the trends and drivers of the future, to be able to anticipate action and strategy

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

20 years+ as scientist and innovation practitioner in the CGIAR and the UN system

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

60+ countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and America

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

English, French

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

Science, innovation in the food, agriculture sectors. How will be able to feed 10 billion in 2050? What kind of planet are we leaving to our children and next generations?

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

Identify key entry points and drivers of change to trigger strategic thinking and clarity of the R4D impact pathways

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

Talleyrand: "Quand c'est urgent, c'est déjà trop tard"

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

Science, agriculture and rural development

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

I describe myself as... innovator, adventurous, respectful



What is one of your favourite quotes about the future?

“"Quand c'est urgent, c'est déjà trop tard" Talleyrand”

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


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?

Read, read and read again

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

My Book (coedited with Prof. P. Pingali): https://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/11212

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



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